Sunday, April 14, 2024

Waxed Canvas Akerfeldt Coat

This was a entertaining, but labor intensive project! For Tim's birthday (albeit finished a little bit late), I sewed him this fun and hopefully functional water-repellant hooded coat.

I'd had the Elbe Textiles Akerfeldt Coat pattern for a few years now. The Akerfeldt is an unlined, boxy fit coat, finished with facings and flat felled seams, with cool, three-dimensional chest and hip pockets and a choice of a collar or a hood. Elbe Textile patterns are always so cool looking!

I was inspired to sew the Akerfeldt for Tim when my local garment fabric shop, Stash, started carrying a beautiful line of waxed canvas fabrics. I've been very curious to sew with waxed canvas so I bought some right away! I chose the 10 oz waxed cotton canvas in navy for the coat. 

Tim's Akerfeldt is a size F, same as the Elbe Sanders shirts I made him. However, I did do a muslin and he was finding the back tight across the shoulder blades. I ended up doing a broad upper back adjustment, which worked well.

Sewing with the waxed canvas was fun, but exhausting! This stuff is stiff, which I don't think it problematic on a small scale, but the large coat pieces were a challenge to manipulate through the machine. A physical workout.

That said, the waxed canvas cut and sewed like butter. I used a heavy denim needle and regular all-purpose thread. I also used pins, despite folks' warnings not to (because they can leave pinholes in the fabric), because I couldn't figure out how to use Wonder Clips to sew parts of the coat, like the giant patch pockets. 

Because you don't use an iron on waxed fabric, I finger pressed all the seams. This was also tiring, especially since the coat is finished with flat-felled seams!

I was worried about the bulk when sewing the patch pockets on- the pockets have mitered corners to give them their dimensionality- but it was actually fine. I used my zipper foot, which helped navigate around the bulk on the corners well. Probably the hardest part was easing in the sleeves, but we got there in the end. I did the old zig-zag over yarn method.

I finished the coat off with heavy duty snaps, the facing with some pretty green bias tape, and the "Always Sweaty" label from Inside Voices that I think was custom made for Tim. 

I love how the waxed canvas shows every place you touch or bend or fold it. Klum House says the fabric has a “memory." I think it is such a cool texture and gives the coat character.

It also reminds me a bit of that video that was going around for a while with the paint showing how much a garment is handled as it's made - Human Touch

This coat is definitely not perfect, but I'm pretty proud of it! Lots of heavy lifting and strategic manipulation. Tim was a bit concerned that it would be too stiff to wear, but he acknowledged that the waxed fabric warms and softens as you wear it.