I mentioned a few weeks ago that I'd made a coat over the Xmas break. I'd not intended to make a coat, at all but having seen this fabric on clearance sale in my local haberdashery in November, I totally fell for it and bought three metres, in the hope that would be enough for an at-that-point-undiscovered-coat-pattern.
I had parked the idea to one side whilst I got on with other projects, until I was in Solihull with Sarah just before Xmas. We had a look in the John Lewis haberdashery section and I bought Vogue V8346 on the recommendation of the lady who worked there. I'd been flicking through the catalogues knowing I wanted something about knee length with a full skirt and this fitted the bill rather perfectly.
I couldn't wait to get started so as soon as New Year's Eve came around and I knew I had a day at home after a week or so of craziness, I set about cutting my pieces out. I'd picked this bright pink lining, which I liked and was rather cheap per metre. It's nice and shiny but wasn't too hard to work with.
Now, I'd not made a proper coat before (let's forget the fact that one of the UFOs which haunts me is a jacket I began in my dressmaking lessons and never finished) and I am by no means an expert at dressmaking. I found that this pattern went together pretty easily and I couldn't fault the instructions.
It went together rather like the cape I made. Obviously with sleeves.
Plenty of panels were required to achieve the full skirt effect of the coat. I'd chosen View <B> from the pattern, which gives five options with length and collar variations. I kept checking how the skirt hung on my mannequin - I really liked seeing how the shape of the coat was coming together. I didn't find it too difficult to stitch through the fabric and layers of lining, facing etc, which had been one of my main concerns, given that altering a coat is what led to the demise of my last sewing machine. I don't know whether that's because the Singer is stronger, or because my choice of fabric and lining wasn't as heavy-duty as some coats would be.
All in all I think I spent about a day making this coat up. I decided to trace the pattern pieces before I started cutting them out, which is something I've only started doing recently. I sort of figured it makes more sense in case I want to make another length or style of the coat in the future. So that took a little more time than I'd usually expect. I then spent perhaps 6 hours once I had all the pieces cut out, sewing it together.
Here's how it looked when it was finished. I do like the full skirt effect, which is the shape of coat I'd always prefer as it makes them easier to wear with fuller skirts and dresses.
I followed the pattern almost exactly, until the very end instruction where I was to stitch buttonholes and add the buttons. I chose to use poppers instead and stitch a button on top of each of those. I also decided two would be sufficient, and placed them where I wanted based on the fit of the coat and how I wanted it to hang, rather than using the pattern instructions for guidance on where to place them.
I'm not sure whether I'll make another coat - I'm sure if I find the perfect fabric I will. I'm quite impulsive like that with my dressmaking; I'll wait until I've found a fabric I like and decide what I want to turn it into, rather than having a pattern I want to make and searching for fabric to suit.
I don't suppose I'll ever be one of those sensible stitchers who make a list or sketch a mood board of what their wardrobe is lacking and make the things from the list. That's just not for me.
And how does it add up in terms of cost?
Well my fabric was on sale at £14/m and I bought 3m. £42
Lining was £4/m and I bought 3m to be on the safe side but only used 2m. £8
And the pattern, which was £14 from John Lewis. £14
Total cost: £64, which I don't think is bad for a winter coat when I consider ones I've bought in recent years from Louche, Tara Starlet, Warehouse, etc.
Would you make a coat?