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I've finally started on the collar for my daughter's coat!
The button band has needed a lot more rows than the instructions stated. In the instructions, the band is 5 rows of sc (single crochet) wide. This didn't come close to closing at the front. In this photo, you can see the 10 rows of sc I've done so far. The corner is the front where the top button will be located. My daughter wants a large collar, so I started it at the spot where the front changes width for the neckline. I decided to work the collar directly to the coat, rather than as a seperate piece added later. I stayed with the smaller (H/5.00mm) hook while using the same pattern repeat as for the body of the coat. I did the first sc row, working from the right side of the coat, so that the right side of the collar faces the other way. That way, when it folds down, the right side will be on the outside. The smaller hook will have the collar slightly denser than the body, so it'll be a little stiffer and a little less open between the stitches.
I am increasing the pattern the same way as increases/decreases were done in the rest of the coat. And extra stitch is added on the sc rows only. In this photo, I've done the foundation row of sc, one row of dc (double crochet) with the same number of stitches, the first increased row of sc, and have started the second row of dc. I don't know how many rows I'll end up doing - I'll get my daughter to try it on before I finish off - but I will end it on a dc row. When it's finished, I'll go back to the bottom of the coat, where I've still got an active ball of yarn attached (I just fastened the working loop with a stitch marker, then used a new ball and the same hook to work on the collar). The next sc row I work on will be the button hole row, with 2 more rows of sc after it, which will give the collar an edging of 3 rows of sc to tidy it up.
As we were out and about today, my daughter wore a light coat that she has that I stopped and took a closer look at. The coat she's using now is, according to the label, a smaller size than what I'm making here. The front panels on her current coat, however, are MUCH wider than what I ended up with using the pattern. It makes no sense to me that the front panels of this coat at this size are so much narrower. It's not a matter of gauge - I took that into account when I chose the larger size pattern instructions. With my daughter's broad shoulders, the back panel at this size fits fine. Even if my daughter wasn't so much bustier than the model, I don't see how such narrow panels would've fit.
I'd hate to think how much worse it would've been if I hadn't blocked the pieces!