Get Your Coat

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.

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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 🐶

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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 🙌🏻

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Yeah, that one.

Can’t get the cables of this Purl Soho sweater out of my head tho 😍👀

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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

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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 ✌🏻

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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.

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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 😂

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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 🤔)

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Vogue x Anne Klein V1467

Also heading back to another early make – the first jacket I made for myself.V1467 Vogue Anne Klein Red Military Pea Coat

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 🧐

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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!

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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.

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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:

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Pretty, huh?

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 😂

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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:

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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!

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Vintage Donna Salyer Fabulous Fur

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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:

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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:

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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?

The wildcard

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 👀

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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👇🏻DSC 5876

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21 Comments

  1. Brenda Holmes
    September 1, 2019 / 7:45 am

    Ohhhhh, that cat fabric! It’s taken my breath away, so I have no more to say

    • Sarah
      Author
      September 10, 2019 / 8:30 am

      Haha, thanks Brenda! It’s really something special isn’t it 😍😻

  2. Julie
    September 1, 2019 / 7:48 am

    That Vintage Dior pattern, I’m having all the feels an serious pattern envy. 💕💕💕

    • Sarah
      Author
      September 10, 2019 / 8:31 am

      Thanks Julie! That’s the one I’m most excited about making… something about it just lured me in. Hopefully I can do it justice! 😨

  3. christine aram
    September 1, 2019 / 12:01 pm

    That Christian Dior coat, just fab

    • Sarah
      Author
      September 10, 2019 / 8:31 am

      Isn’t it?! As soon as I saw the pattern, I knew I needed it in my life!

  4. September 1, 2019 / 12:03 pm

    one serious coat is enough for me, and my red full length baby is winking at me already, waiting to be used again for all those windy autumn/winter playground duties. Personally, I find the duffle coat WAY less retro than most of the other ones you’ve chosen, odd that. I don’t think it’s a style that can date, totally itself. I love duffel coats! The fleece lining looks to be one of those good old-fashioned removable waistcoat linings- it would button into buttonholes on the coat facings by the look of it.
    The fur projects look fun, but the sequins? Yeah it would need to be underlined, interFACED seems tricksy as you won’t be able to fuse anything onto plastic sequins.

    • Sarah
      Author
      September 10, 2019 / 8:35 am

      Ooh I’m not sure I could live with just one coat lol. OMG yes I remember your red coat!! It’s gorgeous ❤️ I don’t think I’ve ever owned a duffle coat, but this one looks suuuuuper warm – I’d get some funky fleece for the inside (obvs) and just snuggle up in it and never come out! I’m still not quite sure on the sequins, I haven’t found the right fabric yet… so there’s still time for the plan to be abandoned 😂

  5. Susan Ashworth
    September 1, 2019 / 2:33 pm

    Your comment about 82 degrees killed me. That’s a cool summer day here! I have used silk dupioni for a coat lining, and I’m getting ready to try silk taffeta. I haven’t thought of doing the sleeves in something slippery and the body in something else, and I’m intrigued with the idea.

    • Sarah
      Author
      September 10, 2019 / 8:40 am

      Ohhhh if I had to live in that temperature all the time I think I might die lol 😨😂 I’ve not tried either dupioni or taffeta, so that’s another two I can look at – thanks for the tip! 😘 I’ll definitely report back on how the viscose twill works out in the coat body lining 👍🏻

  6. Nicola
    September 1, 2019 / 4:59 pm

    Holiday coming up coat fabric bought tick lining bought tick, brave enough to cut it out not sure but if you can do all these coats I can at least try one. Think I had that olive green coat in the 80s.

  7. Cindy
    September 1, 2019 / 5:32 pm

    All those beautiful coats and fabrics, I love the space cats lining best.
    Still not able to sew much as knee is now in a full leg cast…its going from bad to worse, and start chemotherapy on tuesday…so I big time need cheering up, so have ordered a sewing machine I can operate with my knee. How cool is that, so looking forward to feeling well enough, i hope next weekend to use it, as I’m a little low and need to smile.

    I’d love to make some underware, so I await with glee.

    Take care my loves,
    Cindy xx

  8. September 2, 2019 / 2:31 am

    Ohhhhh I love coat sewing, and you have some of the best coats around. I haven’t really started thinking about my coats for this year, but there definitely needs to be one – I feel like none of my coats are quite perfect at the moment. My favourite is wearing out and getting too small and the new ones I’ve made to replace it just aren’t quite there so I need to try again……

    I can’t wait to see your pink fur and space cats coat – that looks absolutely fabulous an the rest of them look pretty special too.

  9. Camille Duncan
    September 2, 2019 / 11:46 am

    I truly like your choices in coats and fabrics. I think I like the fabric choices you made for the hubs the best. I’m a woman of years and remember my mom’s swing coat in the 50’s. I’m wanting to recreate that one for myself. I’ve not owned many coats as being raised in Southern California didn’t warrant it. I need one where I live now though. The black and red frog closures you got are the best ever!

    • Sarah
      Author
      September 10, 2019 / 8:43 am

      Thanks Camille! 😘 So glad that you like all the fabric choices – I do quite like the lining that I got for the husbeast, it coordinates really well with the outer wool 👌🏻 It’s the first time I’m sewing that pattern for him though so hopefully the fit will be okay! The fashions back in the 50s and 60s were just THE BEST. At the risk of sounding like my mother, they just don’t make ‘em like they used to 🤷🏻‍♀️ Those frog closures are pretty but I’m really not looking forward to sewing them on by hand 😨😂🙈

  10. September 3, 2019 / 1:15 pm

    I like all the coats and it’s impossible to pick a fave, I have spent a while muttering to myself, that one is the best, no that one, oh wait, that one is the amazing best, etc etc etc. However, I actually like the vintage Simplicity for myself which clearly indicates that if I can see myself wearing it, it most definitely isn’t your style (which is far far more interesting than mine :D). I am already hunting online for one in my size, thanks for pointing it out.

    I really like the Anne Klein on you, the fabric is interesting and it fits you so nicely.

    The label on the husbeast’s coat is fantastic, I think I may have to shamelessly steal the idea from you and claim it as my own. We’re not on the same continent so it doesn’t really matter, right?

    • Sarah
      Author
      September 10, 2019 / 8:48 am

      Haha, there’s just too much coat-goodness isn’t there! The Dior is defo my fave one, although I am quite excited to make the one for Husbeast. Did you manage to find the Simplicity in your size? I hope so! 🤞🏻
      Loool I actually stole that coat-label-idea from Thread Theory… so we’re both shamelessly stealing it 😂😂😂

  11. September 4, 2019 / 12:02 am

    I live in Texas and last week we had a summer “cold front” that brought us down to 91F (33C), because our average temperature has been about 106F (41C) this summer. So yeah, great time to be thinking about coats! 😉

    I totally agree with you about the polyester lining thing, and it sucks having to say that because there are so many people that would be quick to shriek stuff about “fiber/fabric snobbery” – but the fact is, some of us SWEAT. Like, a lot. And wearing polyester is like wearing a plastic bag. Literally. Because it is plastic, and you bag a coat lining…yay puns! So it’s not about natural versus synthetic, or sustainability, or anything else. Polyester makes me feel horribly physically uncomfortable. And since I’m putting time and effort and money into making things that I will hopefully wear, I prefer not to make things that are uncomfortable. My rayon-loving heart is happy that rayon linings are becoming a lot more common. We used to be limited to acetate or polyester, or shelling out for silk if we didn’t want to be sweating when it’s freezing outside.

    As far as coat styles, I have always liked the look of a double-breasted coat, but it’s a bit much on a short person. Same with the huge lapel trend that keeps coming back. Why must all of the things I like the look of on the models look stupid on my actual body? Well, whatever. I tend to stick with moto-style jackets or shorter coats with princess seams, small collars, and a single row of buttons.

    – Julia

    • Sarah
      Author
      September 10, 2019 / 8:54 am

      Ah man, I think I would legitimately DIE in 40 degree heat 😨🙈 I can’t handle that. I’m just not meant for it 😂
      Looool to the ‘plastic bag’ pun 😂 but yeah, you’re totally right. I’m a sweater, and I don’t need to be wrapping myself in non-breathable fabrics. I’m a rayon lover too! On the rare occasions that I make summer clothes, it’s my fabric of choice – and there seems to be (slowly, but surely) more choice of rayons to use for linings. YAY! 🙌🏻
      It’s funny, because I’ve always liked the look of a moto jacket, but can’t wear them 😂 I rarely wear short jackets because if I close them, they ride up to the narrowest part of my waist – which is pretty much underneath my boobs – pulling my sweater/T-shirt/whatever with it. And then I may as well not be wearing a jacket, because all it’s covering is my boobs 🤷🏻‍♀️ Don’t get me wrong, I actually quite like my hourglass shape but it’s totally incompatible with anything that’s designed to hit at the waist (cropped cardigans, short jackets, that sort of thing) 🤦🏻‍♀️

  12. Kim Mcwhorter
    September 13, 2019 / 3:11 pm

    Oh my goodness! Love the fabrics you have chosen for the coats! I have admired your hubby’s fur coat because it looks like so much fun to wear. Happy sewing!

    • Sarah
      Author
      September 18, 2019 / 5:19 pm

      Thanks Kim! That fur coat is just THE BEST isn’t it… I can’t wait for it to get colder so that he can wear it again!

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