When you sew a project sharing every detail with step-by-step over the blog and social media it feels almost anti-climatic sharing the ‘final’ pictures. I hope you will indulge me while I share
a little lot more. This coat isn’t perfect and I will get there in a moment however it encompass a lot of things I learned since my last coat. The result is surely beautiful and the final “look” is very me.
When the McCall pattern company invited me to co-host this project I was super excited. I have taken part of many sew-alongs and online challenges as it makes me feel part of the community. I feel it is important to be an active contributor. This Sew-at-your own pace sew-along felt just right.
Let’s talk about the pattern: Vogue 1467. This was the first time I made a designer vogue pattern. Instructions were good giving us hosts a bit of a challenge to what information was needed to bulk up for the sew-along. Not a bad problem to have. This coat is described as loose fitting. I really love my coats to be fitted but of late I noticed that I was struggling to wear anything bulky underneath my current RTW coats. This pattern being half lined wouldn’t be warm enough to be worm by itself. The final size is between size 14 and size 12 making the final result on the ‘right size’ of loose which it’s perfect. Layers, layers, layers!
Traditional pea coats have a notch collar. A design feature that I love. This design don’t and the collar it’s a bit underwhelming. I like big dramatic collars. I’m 6ft tall (1.81cm). I can handle drama. Another thing that bugged me is how boxy-shaped the coat looks when closed. I knew that shape would bother me after the toile. A test garment is very enlightening and helpful to envision a pattern final result. Sewing being the empowerment of self indulgence meant that with a bit of creativity any pattern can be ‘made your own’. Oh Gosh cannot believe I used a talent show’s cliche phrase but it is true. Because of the sew-along I didn’t want to dramatically change the design and only alter the fitting. To counter balance the boxy effect I used two strategies: optical illusions with the fabric playing around with the print placement of my collar, facings and sleeves and reducing the “power”of the buttons. The ‘buttons’ are a very distinct and strong part of the original design. I wanted something that was invisible. Fabric covered buttons did the job nicely. I can wear it open and just add a belt. (which I’m making it).
The final change was to reduce the ‘hem turn’. That meant adding an extra pair of buttons. You will notice that not all the coat been topstitched. My delicate wool weave (specially the white section) reacted really badly to topstitching. I was not going to risk it ‘weaken’ the weave over the whole coat. It is a shame because when you topstitch an item it elevates the craftsmanship. All that said I’m delighted with how my coat turned out. I really enjoyed challenging my print matching skills and playing with design elements on the print. There are so many design focus like my “battenberg” side seams. Envisioning this coat and turning into reality was amazing.
Sadly during my honeymoon my clumsy-self ripped the right sleeve. Heart breaking really but I didn’t cry over ripped “seams”. Pun intended. To fix it do you think a band like on a trench coat would work? I will give it a try.
I will be posting a compendium of the supplies & techniques and a sew along index post next week. Thank you all for following the sew-along even if you didn’t sew this coat. If you haven’t seen Meg’s version that periwinkle colour is luxurious. Lori proves how lovely the original look can be. Pop over our hashtags on Instagram to see other fabulous finished/ WIP versions.