Coat Progress with NL 6852

New Look 6852: Misses Coat in two lengths and collar & sleeve variations and doing View A.

I am using an upholstery fabric from Fulton Fabrics in a deep seaform color.  The underside has some type of weaved backing with a coating and to soften the underside I tossed it in the washing machine on a cold setting and tumbled dry.

I've spent the better part of the week working on the coat, mainly sewing the underlining to the fashion fabric.  I've completed the pockets which has a welt facing and topstitching and really like it. My intention was to have the pockets lined with the polyester lining, but when I placed the pockets, I noticed that the lining side ended up on the outside and decided not to fight the forces and pressed on.
To keep the pockets flat... I did a whip stitch along the perimeter.

This coat has dolman sleeves since the sleeves are part of the front and back pieces, as well as side fronts and side backs which merges into the underarm seams. The pattern instructions calls for seaming up the shoulder, sleeves and side seams prior to closing underarm seams, which are baste stitched closed for fitting purposes and noticed upon trying on the coat that when I raise my arms, the coat lifts up and wondering is this what happens with Dolman sleeve garments...ummm. 

Right now I am at a stand still with the progress, in search of answers to fixing the underarm seams and thinking that a low armhole is the problem.

What remains is the collar, sleeve band, facings and lining. Instead of going with the belt, I will do buttonholes & buttons.
I've subscribed to Sandra Betzina Power Sewing site, which lists her technique for getting rid of bulky fabric at the underarm and making Dolman sleeves fit better, but unable to access the information.  I guess since its the weekend I have to wait til Monday.  In the interim... I ask all you out there... is there any way to fix the underarm of Dolman sleeves.


Towanda said…
I just had the same issues with a coat that I just finished. I raised the armhole two inches. I laid the coat down on the cutting table. I used chalk and started tracing the curve when it turned from the straight seam and came up two inches. Then I just followed the curve and blended it back down to the original sleeve seam. It is hard to describe but the area that I trimmed out looked like a upside down enlongated letter j. I hope that this helps. When I finished the coat looked and felt much better.
Faye Lewis said…
It will be so interesting to find out what Sandra Betzina says about alleviating that little problem. For some reason when I read your post inserting a gusset immediately came to mind. Not that I have ever done one of those mind you.
The coat is a wonderful color and it will be good to see you sporting such a lovely and toasty coat.

Try Kay's blog, "The Sewing Lawyer" at

She was making a coat and having some of the same issues and she added a gusset. Check her out maybe her solution will help you.
Monique said…
I checked out the pattern. Cute coat. It's coming along nicely!
alethia said…
It will be interesting to hear Sandra B' answer. I have an old video tape of her making a coat using a dolman sleeve. I will try to find it, and watch it to see if she has any tips...
Andrea said…
That coat is coming along nicely. Sorry I can't help you on this one. I haven't dealt with that problem yet, but Faye and Towanda's advice sounds good.
Anonymous said…
That is shaping up wonderfully. That color is what I call winter pastel. Appropriate winter fabrics in pastels uplift my spirit.
I just love this color ! Well, sometime the sleeves will rise because there is not that extra space (like an inch or so) underneath the arms. The fault of this goes entirely to the pattern, not you. It will definately work for you though and it is beautiful.