Anyone that knows me, or reads this blog, will know that I am NOT a summer person. Especially not an extreme heat summer (and by ‘extreme’, I mean anything over 28 degrees centigrade. 25 is about my limit, thank you.) It’s just TOO HOT. I can’t believe I actually survived living in Malaysia for almost two years ??♀️?
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve discovered how uplifting the sunlight can actually be when you’re coming out of winter. Sunlight I actually like. As in, the vitamin-D and happy-hormone inducing stuff. Sweltering heat, I do not like. We’ve had some particularly savage days here in London this summer, and feeling like I might actually catch on fire when I step out the door has done nothing to bolster my opinion of this season. It’s too hot to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine, and it’s too stuffy to sit indoors with the fan on. You can’t win, so you just sit there miserable until the heat passes.
So I’m willing Autumn to come on with every fibre of my being. I look forward to the times where it’s just cold enough to warrant a comfy sweater, or a blanket, or a pair of knitted socks. To the fresh (but not too fresh) mornings, the contrast of burnt orange leaves against a blue sky. That crunch of leaves underfoot. I know a lot of you guys will mourn the passing of the summer, but I’m slowly rubbing my hands with glee as it gets darker a couple of minutes earlier each evening. I’m gonna be happier than this dog when Autumn is in full schwing ?
Craft-wise, Autumn means knitting and coats. And this year, I guess jeans too – now that I’ve actually made a couple of pairs which turned out okay, I’ve got some confidence to make more. I love browsing through all the knitting patterns I’ve bookmarked on Ravelry and choosing out a new project… although I really shouldn’t do that as I’ve got a pair of socks to knit, as well as a scarf, and also that lightning-bolt sweater that I’m now on to the sleeves of ??
Yeah, that one.
Can’t get the cables of this Purl Soho sweater out of my head tho ??
Another thing that I’ll be making more of (but really don’t need to) is coats. I have some very special fabrics set aside (cashmeres, mainly, which makes me sound really snobby but they were bought heavily discounted from the Sewing Bee Live show and the coupon stores in Paris) which I’m not willing to just cut into for a first stab at a coat pattern, so I’m gonna make hopefully very wearable toiles of them as my next three Minerva Crafts blogger network makes and see which ones could be contenders for the precious cashmere.
Even though I really get a lot of enjoyment out of sewing coats, since we’ve returned to cycling to work I don’t wear a coat on my commute anymore, which means that I’ll only wear them at weekends… but it’s not gonna stop me from making more ??♀️?
I’ve got quite a few lined up, so I thought I’d let you guys in on a little coat porn ?
Projects carried over from last year
(Yep, I have a section for the coats that were started last winter, and not yet finished. ?)
Vintage Kwik Sew 1476
This is the same pattern that I used for the husbeast’s fur coat last year.
While his one was cool, I wanted my own – my precious. Having picked up some crazy pink fur in Mood NYC and then realising it took up an entire suitcase, I felt I had to give that one life first. When you’ve got outer fabric that’s that awesome, what the hell do you pair it with for lining? I looked at what felt like all the lining fabrics in the world – ever – and settled on a Spoonflower print which cost an arm and a leg but went perfectly ??. At the time I started cutting it out, it was a particularly snowy and utterly FREEZING spell here in London, and even though it felt like there was no point starting it because by the time I’d finish it the weather would be slightly warmer again (which turned out to be correct, because yeah summer has come and gone ?), I figured that it would be ready for the next cold spell. Which, if I get my arse into gear, it will be. The main shell of the coat is complete apart from the arms, and I think I even got some of the lining put together, so there’s not actually that much further to go. What I can say, is that when it’s finished, it’s gonna look FREAKING AMAZING, fo sho.
I mean – SPACE CATS ✌?
Yaya Han x McCall’s M7373
One of the first coats I made (I did the sensible thing of keepin’ it simple, NOT) was the YaYa Han coat in hot pink with some beautiful Banarsi godets.
It remains one of my favourite coats, but it doesn’t get worn too often because, well – I put on weight and it didn’t fit any more ??? And it was one of those moments where, if I didn’t have the photo evidence on the blog of me wearing it, I’d have said there was no way on this earth that I’d have ever fitted into something that small. I have managed to lose a few pounds since cycling to work, so I’ll try it on again and see how it’s looking ?
But annnnnyway, I cut a second version of this coat (in the same teeny tiny size, unfortunately) from gorgeous black jacquard fabric with red fabric for the godets. The lining is a black and red cherry blossom satin, and I got some matchy-matchy red-and-black frog closures too. I’m not sure what avenue I was heading down, style-wise, when I got the vision of this coat in my head – I’m pretty sure it was a red and black gothic affair, but I seem to have taken a detour and ended up with an Asian inspired coat. It’s cool. So long as it fits ?
Totally not looking forward to hand-sewing all those closures on ?
(Also – crushing hard on this new Yaya M7938 pattern, maybe without the ruffle on the back though ?)
Vogue x Anne Klein V1467
Also heading back to another early make – the first jacket I made for myself.
I cut a second version of this Anne Klein number from the leftovers of a coat that I made for the husbeast. I finished the jacket off at the start of summer (so, just when it was too warm to take pictures basically) but now I don’t 100% feel it’s my style ??♀️ Which is a bummer because now I’ve got two of them ?
When it finally makes it on to the blog I’ll let you guys give me your thoughts ?
New projects for this year
Thread Theory Goldstream Peacoat
I feel like the husbeast gets a bit left out sometimes when it comes to the things I make – I mean proportionately, there are more things for me than there are for him. But I do try ? I’ve made him this Goldstream Peacoat, and I’m happy to say it’s a winner. Well, I’m pretty sure it’s a winner – he hasn’t worn it yet (and I still have the sleeve hems to finish off) but from the fittings we’ve had so far (usually on the hottest days of the year, because obvs that’s the best time to sew with and wear heavy wool) it’s looking good. Deep patch pockets for the win, apparently ??
I made it with some olive green wool from Minerva and got all fancy with the label on the back facing. Totes doing the little lining-square-thing on all coats from now on!
Vintage Vogue x Christian Dior double-breasted coat
This one was a bit of a special purchase (and by ‘special’, I mean hideously expensive). I often browse the results of ‘vintage coat pattern’ on Etsy and eBay – as you do – and I fell in love when I saw this design. There was only one available. And it was in my size. I believe in things like that.
I really really love the coat. The shape of it, the buttons, the pockets, the collar – everything. So long as it fits me well, this is 100% worthy of my cashmere.
I’ve got some lovely magenta wool/viscose fabric to make this first run with, and I’m pushing the boat out and giving it a silk satin lining. I’ve also bought pre-made sleeve head – which I’ll be using for the first time – and also some flannel to use as interlining. I feel like there’s gonna be a lot of ‘firsts’ with this coat.
This is the outer/inner combo I’ve chosen:
Plus there are some gorgeous domed gold metal buttons for the outside, too. This is the coat I’m most excited about making!
Vogue Mens 2613 coat
I’ve chosen this one for the husbeast, so he’s got at least one new coat for this year – plus I bought the pattern for him because it’s sort of similar to his RTW coat that he likes but is past it’s best so I sort of feel obliged to make it, as I bought it ?
The first bash at this is going to be with a burgundy wool/viscose blend, with a polyester satin lining. A bit of a step down from the silk lining that’s going into the Dior coat, but there wasn’t anything that caught my eye in the silks. I’m pretty happy with the colour combo though:
Vintage Vogue x Molyneux 1356 single-breasted coat
Another pattern that came from one of my online browsing sessions ? This one is pretty similar to my RTW coat, which also has seen better days. So I decided to give this one a bash and see how it comes out – could be a potential replacement. I’ve got some viscose/wool blend outer fabric (yep, I’m making all three of these coats in different colourways of the same fabric ?), and I’ve gone with a viscose twill for the body lining and satin lining for the sleeves. Usually, I’d go with satin all over, but I’m seeing more and more coats that just have the slippery fabrics on the sleeves and something else (usually something warmer, like flannel or fleece) on the body, so thought I’d give that a try. Usually, the most readily available (and affordable) slippery linings are satin, but these tend to be polyester which makes me go ewww. I can’t fork out for silk lining on every coat I make, so if I can get away with the polyester on the just the sleeves, I’ll be happy!
Vintage Donna Salyer Fabulous Fur
I’ve got some super special fur to make this bad boy from. When I made THAT fur coat for the husbeast (if you missed it, go here), he said that he still wanted an actual full-length pimp coat one day. Fur coat patterns seem to be hard to come by these days – most of them need to be picked up vintage – usually from the 80s, so I’m guessing that was their era ??♀️
This coat is going to be for me and the husbeast to share, because we’re pretty much the same height and build (spoiler – it’s not gonna be pink!). I’ve got black fur for the trim, but the main body is going to be this deliciousness:
All together now: oooooooh ?
Vintage Donna Salyer round two
This make is still… in development shall we say, because I haven’t quite found the right sequin fabric yet. If I don’t find it, the plan might be abandoned ??♀️
I saw an image of a coat online, which I immediately decided I needed in my life:
This idea is actually what led to the purchase of the Donna Salyer pattern mentioned above – it was the same style (the ‘fur’ version idea above actually came after the sequin one). I’ve been looking at lots of samples of sequin fabrics but I’m finding that a lot of them have a little bit of stretch to them, which when coupled with the weight of a full-length coat is going to sag a bit. I thought about backing the sequins onto a sturdier fabric (which seemed extremely long-winded), and then considered interfacing the fabric – anyone got any experience of either of these approaches??? Or any alternative recommendations?
One pattern that I keep eyeballing online is this vintage Simplicity duffle number.
I know it’s a bit… retro looking, but I keep thinking about that fleece lining. This coat would be PERFECT for when it’s like minus 400 degrees. In a way, I kinda just want to make it to see how that fleece layer goes in ?
But, there are already WAY more coats than I need on this list, so it’s right at the bottom. Just in case I get bored and don’t have anything else to make (which will happen like, never, lol ?)
So… wha’dya think of my list? Which one is your fave? If you’re in the northern hemisphere, have you moved on to thinking about winter makes already? If you’re in the south, which makes have you just made??
Talk to me! ??
Next week on the blog… my Evie La Luve duo – the Effie crop top and the Maxine panties ? All the deets and the full lowdown can be delivered straight to your inbox, via the box below??
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