It may seem a little late to be posting pictures of wool coats, but here in the California bay area we’ve been having a lot of chilly, windy, rainy days this spring!
I’ve spent many winters on the hunt for the “perfect” wool coat, only to come up disappointed; usually I find something I sort of like, but it’s either too big, too expensive, or otherwise just not quite right. Now that I’ve made pattern blocks (basic pattern templates) in my own clothing size/made to my measurements, I finally sat down and made myself a coat this winter! (Let’s ignore how long it took me to find the perfect shade and thickness of grey wool fabric.. and how when I found the “perfect” fabric, it ended up being $200 per yard.. which meant I now had to find the *second* best, because clearly I wasn’t spending over $300 on fabric for my coat!)
Okay, so the first step was coming up with the coat design. I sort of have an obsession with designing princess seams on coats and blouses, which is amusing because it requires additional pattern pieces and thus additional work. Sometimes I think I’m a glutton for punishment when patterndrafting and sewing. Oh, what, did you say that pattern is going to require over 50 pieces and take a full day to sew? Bring it on! *Ahem.*
I’m also very indecisive.
Needless to say, I had multiple variations of a jacket design happening, and finally chose one. I drew up a “technical flat” for it (quite literally a technical drawing to show all seams and hems/sewing lines of a garment) before I got started on the pattern, so I’d have a better idea of what the finished product should look like.
Here’s my technical flat for my coat design:
The specs, for those who know what I’m talking about: My design is a long wool coat with front and back princess seams, a waist seam, two-piece sleeves, asymmetrical peter pan collar, belted waist, and a double breasted front placket (one row is workable buttons, the other is just for appearance.) There are hidden pockets at the side seams. It is also fully lined, of course! The bow at the collar is just for decoration, as you’ll see below..
I sewed up a sample before sewing the finished garment to make sure I liked the fit, and then sewed it in the grey wool. Here’s some photos of the finished coat!
At first, I was a little disappointed in myself for waiting until February to make the coat. Then I remembered that we have chilly nights here year round – and fairly un-typical weather other months – and I have actually been wearing this coat frequently, even this month. I’ve been accenting the front closure/collar area with an assortment of sashes, fabric flower brooches, and large vintage enamel brooches. It’s a lot of fun to dress up this coat!
Now as for my title, “Fabric two ways”.. I typically buy more fabric than I need, just in case something goes disastrously wrong and I need more fabric. Better to have too much, than not enough. I still have wool left over, but also had plenty of that beautiful blue teal satin! Feeling creative one night, I made two boleros. (The second one I will show you later, in another Fabrid-Two-Ways post!) For now, here’s the teal satin bolero..
Well, there you have it! Fabric two ways.. teal satin fabric used in completely opposite seasonal garments.. a winter coat and a spring bolero!