Time to do another trusty calico test!
I must admit that when I first started making Tennant Coats, I was so desperate to have the finished result there and then, I would storm in and design on the fly as I was cutting final fabric and correct for any inaccuracies as I went along. I always knew calico tests were what I should be doing to start with, but it was only when I was getting ready to cut the £75 a metre Alcantara, that I stopped myself and went down the calico route first.
I found it very useful and it encouraged me to transcribe a proper pattern which I then have if I want to make another. I would now never do a coat any other way.
So, for the Five Coat I quickly cut the pieces that form the body of the coat, as well as one of the outside pockets as I want to get to grips with this unusual method I am not familiar with.
It was easy to follow how to put it together and within an hour I had a wearable shape I could test. There were immediately a number of issues I could see with the pattern that would need to be fixed: the fiddle-back was pushing the buttons too far apart (see below, top left); the underarm area was not as fitted as I would like (see below, top right); the seam on the shoulders was angled backwards more than I would like (see below, bottom left); the skirt was not as full as it should be; and the pocket flaps were too small (see below, bottom right).