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.
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.
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.
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!
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?