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We’re almost there with the camel polo coat. Since I covered it last we’ve had a second basted fitting, where it was ripped apart again and re-cut. Then it went away to be made-up and today I had the final fitting – all complete save buttons and cuffs.

A coat is not usually cut to fit snugly over just a shirt, so at every stage we have taken in the waist a little. At this stage we took in an inch more, but I think that is enough – any more and it would look too shaped, rather effeminate. In the picture you see here I am wearing just a shirt underneath, and it fits quite snugly on the waist now (with the pleat in the back at its smallest setting). Obviously that means the shoulders are a tiny bit big, but nothing you can do about that – you can’t alter the shoulders every time you take your jacket off.

The pleat that we planned all the way up the back has been altered slightly (search this site for Coat Project to see all the history). Rather than starting at the neck, it now starts three inches above the waist. We decided that a full-length pleat sacrificed too much control over the fit of the back. This way there is still a lot of room to alter the lower back, waist and hips but the top of the coat will retain a consistent shape.

At the initial design stage I was afraid the raised seam, double breast and patch pockets would look too busy. But the raised seam is very subtle, neat, possibly even smart. (I asked that the raised seam be added to the welt of the patch pocket on the final coat as well.)

I am also particularly pleased with how the split sleeve worked out – lining up the shoulder seam with this is not easy, but looks very sharp.

And I lowered the button stance slightly – the three buttons can be seen marked on here in chalk. This was to balance with the length of the coat. You can also see a chalk mark where I have requested the sleeves to be shortened slightly. Coat sleeves should completely cover jacket sleeves and shirtsleeves, but then I like my jacket sleeves short anyway.

In the picture you can also see that the overlap of the coat partly covers one of the patch pockets. This is because we extended the overlap as part of the extra waisting; that pocket will be moved further round.

Finally, you will notice from the below pic that the patch pocket is sloped outwards towards the bottom. I assumed this was a sporting detail to accommodate gun shells etc, but apparently it is so that the two edges of the pocket are parallel to the front edge of the coat and the side seam. As the coat is gently flared, so too are the pockets… Apparently all flaps on suit jackets should be sloped in a similar manner, they are just too short to notice.

Hopefully final coat next Tuesday!

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