The Darcy Trench Coat

This week's 'long read' newsletter is a little different to usual. Instead of sharing a make from my perspective it will come from the view point of my new assistant, Emily. She joined me in January and has been learning the ropes and assisting in the big range of weekly tasks that make this business tick.
I had a firm make on my list for spring and that was the Darcy 'trench' Coat. Emily took the reins on this one and produced an impeccable garment which is all the more impressive as it was her first fully lined coat.
So I'll hand you over to Emily, I hope you enjoy.
For the past few years a ‘big coat’ has been on my to-make list. I’ve always felt a bit nervous of the amount of time and effort and, lets face it, skill that needs to go into making the perfect coat.
I have had my eye on the Darcy coat pattern since it launched. I know it had the potential for ultimate ‘big coat’ vibes, especially when I saw Hetty’s blue wool version which she had slightly altered from the original pattern.
So when Hetty asked if I could make a Spring version of the pattern I was very excited. We had a vision of a trench coat/traditional macintosh, perfect for spring showers and the temperature slowly rising. Hetty had purchased a beautiful gabardine for the outer shell and a classic looking brushed cotton gingham for the lining.
There’s a few alterations we opted for on this coat:
-increased the length by 20cm
-reduced the back side seam by approx 10cm
-Gusset Pockets instead of welt or patch
-Buttons on the sleeves instead of poppers
-Belt loops on the sleeves
(These are the exact same adjustments used on the Navy Darcy Coat - refer to the blog post for a thorough explanation of this hack.)
Cutting out the pattern was the first sign of how big the project was going to be as there are so many pieces. I made sure to take my time over this as there’s nothing worse then realising you’ve cut something wrong in the middle of sewing.
Adding length to a pattern is something I’ve done before but only in smaller increments. I found the trick to adding length is to be careful to keep the hem line the same shape as it would have been originally. It’s also important to make sure the measurement from the underarm to the hem is the same on the front piece as it is on the back piece. Similar to Hetty’s blue wool version, I removed approx 10cm from the back side seams - this was easy to do on the back pieces as it was near enough a straight line to the hem.
The process of sewing the coat was extremely pleasant I’m happy to say! I reminded myself to take the process one step at a time. A lot of the steps were familiar to me after making countless shirts and jackets over the years. For example, inserting a sleeve works the exact same way on a big coat! We opted for gusset pockets and used the lining for the under flap of the pocket, giving the first little peak of the lining. Although feeling slightly nervous at the start that quickly changed into enjoying the process.
I was looking forward to attaching the lining and facings to the outer shell. I haven’t made many garments with a lining before, so I was excited for this part of the challenge. When first joining the lining to the facing that’s when I got my first wow moment, it was so satisfying to see the lining neatly fold over the front hem facing. It was already feeling like a very sophisticated coat.
One thing I learnt from this process is just how important pressing is. It completely transforms the look of your garment. I added topstitching all the way around the front facing hem and back collar - pressing was crucial for this and I would definitely recommend taking your time over it to get a perfect finish. 
Working Progress
The final steps of sewing a lined coat are often the most tedious but also the most rewarding. As Emily said, the simple act of pressing the jacket can completely transform how it looks.
We thought we'd share the final steps of finishing the jacket to show just how much of a difference the final 10% of the making process makes.
The finished outer shell - the whole outer shell is finished here. At this point you could attach the facing finishing option or go for the full lining.
The lining and facings attached to form the inner shell.
The lining inserted and attached around the neck and the hem.
The lining now attached at the cuffs as well and the hem of the jacket hand stitched to finish.
Buttons and belt added and a final pressing is done!
A peak at the lining...
All in all, a beautifully made jacket. Well done Emily!