Saturday, 11 December 2010

Walking in a Winter (Coat) Wonderland

Can you believe it?! It's FINALLY finished! After a couple of months grappling with the extensive sewing instructions, my winter coat (as announced in this Cunning Coat Planning post) was finished just in time for the temperature drop and snow fall the UK experienced a couple of weeks ago.

My goodness, was it a challenge. Not so much a challenge of sewing ability (seriously, what can't be figured out after an internet search or phone call to your mum?!), but a challenge of sheer perseverance to keep going. I've only ever made one other coat before so I'm hardly an expert, but jeez did this pattern call for an incredible number of steps before completion. Indeed, it did include lots of nice tailoring elements, like pad-stitching to hell and back, that I'm sure make all the difference in terms of ultimate garment quality, but it really was the promise of colder weather to come that provided the motivation to get to the end. That and the cost. All told, the fabric, lining and interfacing probably came to about £60-70-ish. I could of bought a coat for that, which was of course NOT THE POINT. Ever. The point is: I made a fully functioning and (thankfully) warm winter coat with my own two hands. I Win. Probably.

So. Aside from grueling, what's up with this creation? Well, I made one basic change to the pattern which I am very pleased I did. I added anout 1.5cms to each of the side seams at the waist on both the bodice and skirt parts of this coat. I have accepted that I do not have quite the nipped-in waist vintage patterns assume. Plus, being a winter coat, muchos layers of jumpers worn underneath are a very real likelihood. Another thing I should have done, which didn't come to mind until too late, is lower the bust points. Why I didn't remember this from the Leopard coat fitting issues, I cannot say. From now on, I vow to at least make a cursory check of the bust dart placements on a vintage pattern before fabric cutting goes ahead. (I've just realised how ridiculously vintage sewing-specific that last sentence was, and how, if they bother to read this post, the vast majority of my friends will be so bored by this point! Anyways....)

As for my whole Todobedobedo list tactic, to be honest I didn't keep up with it after the 'Buy lining fabric' and 'Cut out lining' to-dos were completed. I even gave up with making it at home, mainly because I was bored with it, but also because dark blue is really tricky to work with after dark in our tiny, poorly-lit cave of a flat. I took it to work and worked on it in daily lunch-break increments. Doing just half an hour each day was much easier to stomach than longer sessions, and I'll definately be implementing this set-up with future endurance sewing projects. Of course, I am lucky that I work somewhere with a large cutting table (usually covered with mid-project crap, mind) and a sewing machine and iron easily to hand. But hey, if you've got it, flaunt it, no?!

Oh, have you seen the slinky red satin lining? And the cute little label that came with the Vogue pattern? A very cool feature, in my view. (Haha! I just noticed, if you look closely in the pic above, you can see my vintage Star Wars pillow case.) And the belt buckle! So good! I bought this at Britex in San Francisco when I was on holiday with my mum a squillion years ago. I've been hoarding it for just the right project, and bringing a pop of contrast colour to this otherwise potentially drab garment finally felt like the right application for it's amazingness.

Good luck everyone who is currently embarking on a winter coat or jacket project. Keep with it, the snugness will be worth it! As for me, I won't be attempting another coat project until I have forgotten how much effort this one required! So probably some time next year then!

29 comments:

amandamonkey said...

love it!

Libra-s said...

Woow! So Gorgeous! Great job!

woolcat said...

Love the scarf and hat too! Also self stitched??

tanitisis said...

So yummy! And I love, love, love that pattern. I am sadly coming to terms with the fact that the winter coat I made this past fall, while fabulous, is not quite Canadian-winter-worthy (though still better than what I wore last winter)... so if I can find money for truly top-notch materials, and energy, I'll probably be tackling a similar problem again next year. >_<

Claire (aka Seemane) said...

Great coat ('n' pillow case ;) )!

Amy said...

It looks totally awesome--so worth all the work!!!

B @ Sweet Limes said...

Terrific! Just wondering if you know of a place online that I can find nice heavy wool for jackets? I've been looking for some to make myself a coat but I just can't find it anywhere here, and online has brought me nothing yet.

limes.sweet(at)gmail(dot)com

lazystitching said...

So pretty!

Tilly said...

Good work, it's amazing! So elegant and cosy looking at the same time. I LOVE the buckle - good hoarding. What are you going to make next? I think you deserve to make something super easy!

K.Line said...

It's great! I love the belt buckle. I totally know what you mean about the cost of making a coat. When I did the Lady Grey sew along recently, my coat cost about $175.00. And it took more than 100 hours! You really have to love the coat to give it a go...

Catherine said...

Love it and the belt buckle is gorgeous! The pillowcase is fab too!

la inglesita said...

Qué maravilla! Well done, it´s fantastic. The lining and the buckle are great, you can´t buy that, can you? Very very deep down I´d like to live somewhere where I could use a winter coat for longer than a couple of weeks...

didyoumakethat said...

Looks fabulous! I love the buckle and the beret and scarf go fabulously with it. Re cost of making: yes, sometimes it just doesn't work out that much cheaper, does it? I'm also very good at forgetting lessons learned on previous makes.

Lizzy said...

I love it! and it looks so modern too! I mean, I love vintage style clothes and I've notices most coats have this look modern/vintage.
You did a great job it doesn't matter how long it took to do it, right now I'm sewing a coat also is not from a vintage pattern but that is my actual project, hope to finish it tomorrow.

Tasia said...

Looks wonderful!! Great job. Love the buckle too, it's the perfect vintage finishing touch!

jessica said...

Oh it looks stunning on you! What a fantastic coat!!! Will truly be an heirloom and a much-loved and well-worn garment :-).

Minnado said...

The coat looks fab on you. I am impressed that you kept going with such a complex project. I love the buckle - it adds a nice touch of colour.

Gail said...

I think you a bit of a style icon. My daughter thinks you are VERY cool.

Clare said...

Beautiful coat - also love the buckle!

Karin van D. said...

What a great coat. I love the dark blue and the buckle is perfect on it!

Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

Very nice coat, and I love your Vogue label. I am just about to start on a black wool coat. Fun to see your comment about Britex - I am here in San Francisco and when I do a very special project I treat myself to a trip there for some fantastic buttons.
Stay warm this winter in your cozy coat.

Roobeedoo said...

Ooh yes! Lovely! Especially that red buckle - it just makes the whole thing sing!

sewistafashionista said...

Your points about vintage patterns are very helpful to sewists even if your non-sewing friends start to tune out about there. The coat looks great. Love the red buckle.

Clare said...

What a fab coat! The hard work looks like it was definitely worth it, you look very snug!

Zoe said...

wow! Thank you everyone for all your comments! I don't think I've ever made a garment that has received so much interest. Means y'all must appreciate how much effort outerwear creation takes!

Well Tilly, thanks for asking, since making this coat, I have made a quick blouse and even quicker dress! I'm just always behind on blogging my creations!

No, sadly Woolcate, my scarve and hat are not self-knitted, one day!

xxx

home made gorgeous said...

Wow, this is such a gorgeous coat, the shape and material is so flattering, wish I could find coats like this is the shops! You must be very proud :) Sarah

Erica L said...

Congrats on finishing this, it looks fantastic. I have my own vintage vogue coat project waiting to be started this week, so I hope mine turns out as well.

Anonymous said...

I really love the style of this coat. Have you seen this pattern for sale anywhere? Since I first saw it on your blog, I have searched the internet and haven't seen another one like it.

Ali said...

Love this: "As for me, I won't be attempting another coat project until I have forgotten how much effort this one required!" Yes, agreed! I just finished the Lady Grey (sort of ...) and I'm not going to attempt anything so time-consuming and complicated 'til I've forgotten.

Yours looks fab! I loved that pattern since you first posted it. A classic coat in a classic color. And lovely shift dress with lace (I'm playing catch up!) I particularly like that it's got a bit of shape.

You know, I've been thinking about your refashion posts -- it'd be great to work something like that into your awesome challenges -- one day or one week in Me-Made-March/May that's a refashion day. I'd love to see how folks are breathing new life into old garments.

Or perhaps an unrelated day (say Earth Day, though I suspect that's not an international holiday? Saving the world one refashioned frock at a time?) Anyway, I'm done rambling :)

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