Back in February when I found out I needed to be in Europe soon I had a small panic. My coat that I had was very worn, sad and pilled. Also it really wasn’t that warm (probably synthetic, it’s RTW) . I have other coats, but not ones appropriate for judging or for the super cold. When I judge I am supposed to be unobtrusive and to wear dark colours, so obviously my two white coats I have weren’t an option. I have two puffer coats but these are not dressy enough for sitting on the judging panel of a major event.
Of course my sewing brain took over – I could make a coat! I had the fabric already (bought in November), I had the pattern and the buttons were already made. With two weeks until I was due to leave, did I have time to make it? I figured why not give it a go? Worst case I could take my old, sad (probably only to me) coat or one of my puffer coats.
With some serious dedication and some sewing just about every day I got it done in just over a week! (Plus I also managed to re-paint the kitchen, buy a block of land and worked full-time – yep, my blog title isn’t just a name)
The pattern of choice – V7979 (view A) which I have had in my stash for years, I mean look at that artwork, that is serious 90s business, although the actual lines of the coat are fairly timeless. A quick muslin revealed that I needed to petite the pattern with an inch and a half out of the body and narrowing the shoulders.
The fabric is a lovely wool from my favourite shop in Melbourne Alannah Hill, only $10/m too!! I decided that I really wanted to make an effort for this coat to be super warm. I am not used to the cold and when I travel I always freeze so I interlined the whole coat with flannel to add an extra cosy layer and to stop the wind cutting through. I also interfaced with hair canvas. I haven’t done so much hand stitching on a project for ages! Of course in my haste to finish and get to the real sewing (as in putting the pieces together) I have no pictures so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
To interline the coat, I cut the shell pieces in the flannel and hand-stitched them to each outer shell piece. Once the seams were sewn, I then trimmed the interlining extremely close to the stitching line to reduce the seam bulk. This was a little scary as I was worried I would cut the outer fabric.
The coat went together quite easily. There seemed like loads of pattern pieces (especially with the three layers and with the interlining it was a lot of fabric to handle but my little Janome coped just fine and no special walking feet or anything were required. The most difficult part was making it in 30 degree heat! I didn’t want it on my lap for handsewing and it was not fun trying it on – too hot!! I know it sounds like I am complaining, I’m not, I love the warm weather, but off season sewing has its challenges!
I love some of the detailing of the coat. It has lovely hidden in seam pockets, top-stitching detailing, and I love the back belt too. The buttons I had made by a fantastic store, Buttonmania in Melbourne who make any kind of covered button you can imagine. Their service is fantastic and quick too and they post anywhere in Australia!
So tried and tested in London and Holland, this coat is super cosy – it is a definite wardrobe winner and I wore it almost every day – mostly like this:
I am super happy with this coat and the extra effort and hand-sewing were definitely worthwhile.
What would I change for next time? Nothing!! I love it!! (although a more exciting colour would be fun)
Now some extra pics for all you details peeps: