January 15, 2015

2015 Presents…. Bright Green Coat: The Comeback

Well here’s a turn up for the books: I fixed the green coat of doom
Simplicity 1759 coat
After the unveiling of my boxy, unflattering coat, I had a torrent of suggestions about how to improve it. Two things were clear: I needed to fix the neckline – that collar just *didn’t* work – and take it in through the waist and hips. 
At the time, I’d spent way too long making and fixing it as I went along, so I couldn’t quite face the seam ripping and whatnot. However 2015 brought with it some viral sickness thing. Overall: a bad thing. But for my coat? A good thing! Because it meant I was sat on my couch for hours at a time watching TV, which proved prime seam ripping opportunity. And boy are there a lot of seams when you have a bagged lining and everything’s top stitched. 
Simplicity 1759 coat
I took in the waist by about 4 inches, and about 2 inches through the hip and length of the coat. I also removed the side seam pockets, which were adding unnecessary bulk. The result is noticeably slimmer, but still has enough ease to move about and wear over bulky clothes.

Simplicity 1759 coat
And then, I removed the standing collar entirely, but the real stroke of genius came from commenter Texas Urban who suggested a faux fur collar. Genius! I promptly ordered a TopShop one (via Nordstrom), and it works A TREAT! Big woop! The big “V” of the fur collar together with the nipped in side seams gives it a totally different look. At the moment the collar is just sitting on top of the coat, but I’m going to put buttons on the coat and little elastic loops on the collar to keep it in place. 
Simplicity 1759 coat

So there you go! Perseverance, the wisdom of my dear readers, and a bit of patience paid off. And now I have two homemade coats, rather than one awesome coat and one wadder. The fit isn’t perfect, but I’m also trying to cut myself more slack these days.. maybe I need to do another side by side of the RTW coats I wear vs. my homemade ones!

Simplicity 1759 coat

This is certainly not the last coatmaking you’re going to see around these parts, though. I just bought some incredible Italian Loro Piana raincoat material from EmmaOneSock to make the McCall’s 5525 trenchcoat, I have some wool lined up for the new Leanne Marshall Simplicity coat (though I’m a bit intimidated by all the problems folks are having over at the PatternReview sewalong), and I also have a (likely overly ambitious) plan to make a boucle and leather deconstructed motorcycle jacket probably from the StyleArc Ziggi jacket. I’m not sure if I’ll get to all of them in 2015, but I’ve enjoyed tailoring and coatmaking so much I think I’ll have one on the go for at least the next few months. Do you enjoy making coats? What are your favourite patterns and techniques?

67 thoughts on “2015 Presents…. Bright Green Coat: The Comeback

  1. renee says:

    What in the frick frack! You totally saved it. It looks terrific. So much more flattering and I love love love the touch of fur. I’m going to call and ambulance. Because, you might get hurt from patting yourself on the back.

    1. Jenny says:

      Ha ha ha you made me laugh out loud in the office 😀 Thanks!

    2. Sophie-Lee says:

      Best comment ever, and I totally agree – Jenny, this is FANTASTIC.

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Marilla!

  2. Wow, what a save! It looks loads better, and that collar is splendid!

    1. Jenny says:

      Yay for saves!

  3. So pleased you saved it – I’m totally in love with the green and was mourning the loss of all that gorgeous fabric. Well done you.

    1. Jenny says:

      Luckily the green cashmere didn’t end up in the bin after all 🙂

  4. Amazing! Jenny, you did such an awesome job saving this coat!!! The fur collar is genius.

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Alicia! Big thanks to Texas Urban for the collar tip

  5. Jo says:

    Great save! It would be such a shame not to wear that lovely green. The fur collar makes it look like a luxury item. As to the fit, pfft, I don’t have any coats that fit me that well!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks, Jo! The fur collar was remarkably high quality (given it was from Topshop, not really reputed for their high-quality garments), so I’m enjoying using it

  6. puu says:

    i love a happy ending! great work!

  7. Looks fantastic, that fur collar idea was a brilliant save! I loooove coat sewing, definitely have plans for a Vogue spring jacket out of grey twill in addition to the Yona coat I’m making now.

    1. Jenny says:

      Oh that sounds great – I’ve seen a few versions of the Yona and it looks awesome

  8. Duuuuuuuuuuuude! This looks AMAZING! What a perfect save! Yay! I’m having a bit of a coat addiction situation right now… I just can’t stop making them (and I can’t stop buying coating… seriously, I now have four huge pieces of coating that I love dearly, but they’re taking up TONS of space). Coats are just so fun to sew!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Sonja! Coats are indeed so fun – it’s hard to put my finger on *why* because they do indeed take ages and can be a real pain to fit, but maybe it’s because they’re in that magical category together with bras and swimsuits where it seems like magic that you can make on!

  9. YES!!! TRIUMPH!!!! also, i am totally stealing that fur collar idea for a RTW coat…

    1. Jenny says:

      I think you should consider a technicolored fur collar though….

  10. Glorious. What a fabulous fix! And glad you’re feeling better.

  11. Debbie Iles says:

    Awesome work! That fur collar is a stroke of genius!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Debbie!

  12. this looks so much better jenny (and you look happier in it!). glad you saved that lovely fabric!

    1. Jenny says:

      I am indeed 😀

  13. WOW. What a save! I’m glad you were able to make this coat work. The fabric sounds too luscious to not wear. The collar is really a wonderful suggestion! This looks like a totally different coat.

    The Ziggi moto jacket is on my list of DREAM projects.

    1. Jenny says:

      Ah yes the Ziggi is sitting there in my sewing room staring at me… I’ve heard the instructions are dreadful so it will be quite the task!

  14. Crab and Bee says:

    Like night and day! It looks very stylish and very you. I can’t remember if I mentioned this earlier, but I tried making a muslin of this pattern with the same collar view last year – it looks so cool in the drawing – and it just didn’t look quite right. I think it’s too close to the face or something? Anyhoodles, the updated coat is fantastic!

    1. Jenny says:

      Huh, interesting to hear I’m not the only one! Funnily enough I saw this collar in a few RTW coats when I was home in Scotland over xmas and they didn’t look great either…

  15. Laura (lap) says:

    The contrast of the fur on the v-neck plus taking in the sides has seriously lengthened the line here! It’s a beautiful textural wonderland to boot! I’m jealous because I love fur collars and a brown fur (the best kind) just mixes with my long brown hair and looks crazy so I avoid them to my dismay. So much loveliness!

    1. Jenny says:

      Maybe you should just go blonde ;D

  16. Effin awesome faux fur collar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a lovely coat you’ve got here.

    1. Jenny says:


  17. Michelle says:

    Awesome save! It looks so much better now!

    Re: The Leanne Marshall coat…the end is in sight (for me) now. I think that a lot of the problems you’re reading about us having are due to it being our first “real” coat project. I know that I also got bogged down on underlining all of my lining pieces with interlining. I don’t think you’ll have as many problems because you’re a lot more experienced in this area. The good news is that outside of the sleeve being a bit snug and short, I don’t think anyone ran into any unexpected fitting issues. The coat is a bit more flared at the hips/bottom than the photos show, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. I just need to add the hood at this point…and am really, really, really hoping to finish this weekend so that I can FINALLY wear it and move on to other projects.

    1. Jenny says:

      Huh, I’m interested to see how the Leanne Marshall experience goes – I reckon Ill have to do a major FBA and will probably take in that flare, but I’ll have to muslin regardless. It’s in the queue!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Christine!

  18. V says:

    Oh the fitting is ever so much better and the collar just bring it all together! It looks fantastic! Good save! I would have cried to throw away that lovely cashmere!

  19. Margo B says:

    Wonderful save!!! The fur collar made such a huge difference in styling!

  20. Ginger says:

    Love your new updates to the green coat. I think if you were to go to a department store and try on coats you would see that you are being too hard on yourself.
    I would love to make a new winter coat. More of a classic pea coat type thing. But I haven’t seen a pattern but I haven’t looked a lot either.

    1. Jenny says:

      Yes, you’re probably right… the bright colour is also harder to make look good fitting-wise.
      For a peacoat, I know taht Colette’s Walden one has been quite popular though it’s a bit boxy

  21. emadethis says:

    Wow, what a dramatic improvement. The faux fur breaks up the green and the added shaping makes it completely different. Gorgeous!

  22. magistra says:

    Your green coat is a complete dream now! I would probably turn around and follow you on the street just so I could look at that coat more 🙂 I love green and I love your coat! Magistra13 at yahoo dot com

    1. Jenny says:

      Ha ha well wave if you see me! 🙂

  23. Birgit says:

    It looks great Jenny! So awesome that you managed to save it!!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks very much, Birgit

  24. Caroline says:

    Great save, sometimes you just need a little time off from a wadder to figure out how to save it (and also to gather the mental energy to sit down and unpick).

    1. Jenny says:

      Quite! I’m not very good at being patient and putting things aside, but it’s definitely the way forward when you’re frustrated

  25. I love the changes you made!!!! 🙂 So awesome!!

  26. Sara A. says:

    I love this! It reminds me of this green boucle coat I picked up in a thrift store in Montana for $40. It was from the 60s had bracelet length sleeves, a real fur collar, and big chunky buttons. It was so stunningly beautiful and I wore it until it fell apart led by the buttons. I wish I was sewing at that time so I could’ve studied its innards.

    1. Jenny says:

      Wow that sounds gorgeous! Isn’t it funny having “why didn’t I sew in the past” regret? I had the same thinking about the fact I went to Japan before I sewed and therefore didn’t buy any fabric! What was I thinking?!

  27. Great job fixing it, it looks gorgeous on you!

  28. Alice says:

    Nice save! I love the new collar!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thank you Alice!

  29. Bunny says:

    I absolutely love it! You look so lovely in it. Sometimes you just have to walk away for a bit. I really admire that you didn’t give up.

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks, Bunny – I certainly learned a lot!

  30. Nancy K says:

    What a difference that fur collar makes! It’s so much more striking.
    I’ll say something that I learned about fitting coats they need more ease than you think to hang well. In the right places of course.

  31. Marjie says:

    Well, slimming it down was just the ticket, and that fur collar looks wonderful! I’m so glad you stuck with it, because that color is stunning and now you have a coat you should genuinely enjoy.

  32. Sue says:

    You look wonderful in that coat! I am so happy that I stumbled across your blog: I’m almost exactly the same size as you, and coincidentally a few months ago I bought a gorgeous green alpaca cloth at Stone Fabrics down in Devon, for a coat. I have been dithering over what style to make, and your project has inspired me no end. Thank you.

Let me know what you think!