Here are my final pics and final thoughts on this coat. And just to keep things interesting...a confession.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN SEWING THIS PATTERN:
1) Be sure to note that the seams are sewn 3/8! It says this in the beginning and this does not mention it again. So make a sticky note and put it on your machine if you need to. Tearing seams out of fleece is a real pain, so you will NOT want to forget this.
2) Many of the seams are sewn wrong sides together so that the seam allowances are exposed. This is done to show off the color on the double-sided fleece. However, when you are cutting out, you will want to be VERY careful to get the seams cut perfectly straight as they will show.
3) Because of the exposed seams, I recommend NOT cutting out the notches. The pattern does not say this and it should because it does not remind the reader to remove the notches after sewing. I recommend thread basting all your markings. Chalk will brush off the fleece. Pencil does not work well on fleece either.
4) I used my built-in walking foot as the double-sided fleece is quite bulky. It also helped when attaching the faux fur which is apt to stretch more than the fleece.
5) The pattern calls for interfacing the collar. I found that there was plenty of bulk going on already and didn't think the double-sided fleece needed it. However, if I was doing the coat in a different fabric such as a lighter wool or suiting, then I would do so.
6) When working with the curly faux fur I recommend using those large flower-headed pins. Regular head pins completely disappear into the fur. It's easy to hit them with your needle or overlook removing them when completing the seam.
7) There is a slight problem in attaching the neck facing. If you are making the coat from fleece, the pattern layout calls for cutting the neck facing from fleece. When I went to apply this I realized it was going to be far too much bulk to use fleece for the neck binding. At one point this would mean four layers of fleece in the seam allowance. So I decided to use a bias strip of cotton as close to the fleece color as possible for the neck facing instead.
8) Illustration #12 show the front facing being on TOP of the neck facing. Actually when this seam is sewn the neck facing should be depicted as being atop the FRONT facing so that when the front facing is turned back to the inside of the coat it encloses the raw edges of the neck facing. The directions say to do it this way, but the drawing shows it incorrectly.
9) The pattern calls for a button-on hood that sits under the collar. I didn't like this idea and decided to do the hood as one would a hat. Separately from the coat. I lined with the fur fabric, inserted ties cut from strips of the fleece and put pom-poms on the end of the ties and the point of the hood. The hood can sit under the collar for the cuteness factor when not in use and then tied on like a bonnet when desired. This way the collar doesn't wad up at the neck like it would if the hood was buttoned on and used in place under the collar.
MAJOR CONFESSION TIME.....
Does anyone notice a difference between my coat and the one on the pattern envelope. A big difference?
Sigh...I had a thyroid moment. Okay, a couple of thyroid days evidently. I sewed this coat the wrong side out. The pink side of the double-sided fleece should have been showing. I sewed this whole thing. Worked hours and hours on it. And never even noticed my error until I was cleaning up after it was finished. Upon putting pattern pieces back in the envelope it dawned on me that the coat in the pic was pink and mine was...was...was...VERY orange! Oh well. Here's to hoping my little niece likes orange. Alot.
Bummer. It would have been so much cuter in pink. Note to self...check thyroid levels before sewing!