With the blocking done, I was finally able to start assembling the Cable Car Coat. Shoulders first. Next, the cuffs. Did I mention that roughly 26" of sleeve needs to squeeze into each 16" cuff? The directions simply say, "Pleat sleeve at top seam to adjust length to fit cuff. Sew cuff in position."
Well, I thought I'd pleated it, but it looked dreadful. My sister-in-law/fellow Knitteress saw it in person and agreed that the sleeves looked terrible.
While I've knit a lot of things over the years, I never really made a garment before, so I'm not well-practiced with the art of finishing. (Okay, so I tried making a couple sweaters in college, but they were horrible, so I don't count those.) My s-i-l suggested trying a mattress stitch, which might help bring the ridiculously voluminous sleeves in a bit. I also referred to an old knitting book of mine which said for stepped decreases (which these shoulders have) it's best to assemble with a seam. I wish I'd thought to take a photo before I pulled it all apart, but I didn't.
I also contacted the helpful people at Patons, and they explained how to properly pleat the sleeves. After sewing the shoulder seams, you measure 8" up from the (unfinished) bottom of each side of the sleeve and tack front and back together. Then you move the sleeve's shoulder seam down to that point and stitch it together, flattening half of the excess to each side and stitching all those layers together at the edge of the sleeve. Then you can attach the cuff - it should fit perfectly since the cuff is 16" long and you have 8" of sleeve on either side of the seam. Does that make sense?
I did that and it - pardon the pun - seemed to help a lot. The seam allowances reduced the sleeves a bit, and the right pleating kept the cuffs from pulling the seam forward and down like my first ill-fated attempt.
I spent more hours than I care to admit assembling to coat this weekend, and am now working on the lower edging:
After that, it's front left and right edging and buttons. Which reminds me - I need to get some buttons!