Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

1 Coat


This is McCalls 4394, a long or short jacket, trousers, dress and top. I can’t find a pattern image so I’m guessing it’s out of print now, but I’ve made 4 so far. 
When I first started sewing seriously again, about 4 years ago now, this was the first thing I made. I wanted an outfit for a job interview. I don’t do head-to-toe black and navy just seemed too boring, so I opted for bottle green wool crepe with a coordinating patterned silk for the top. I made the long jacket and top but sewed a straight skirt rather than the dress. I had enough fabric left over to fashion a belt with the buckle covered in the remnants of the silk for a totally coordinated outfit. the jacket and skirt are lined with blue/green lining fabric. By the way, I got the job!
Next came the happy rain jacket. It rains all the time here and I wanted a casual rain coat that cheered me up – not the drab beige and khakis that usually go to make rainwear. I added three different funky buttons mainly because I couldn’t decide on what single colour to use. It is lined in a bright green – even that makes me smile.

The pockets are in the front princess seams – a raincoat without pockets is a pretty useless item really, but I like them because they are ‘hidden’ especially with all those flowers.
I sort of look forward to rainy weather now and I know this coat adds some colour to otherwise grey and dark days.

The posh velvet version.

Looking to make a coat for evenings out I choose a beautifully soft cotton velvet. A bit more hard wearing that silk velvet – I can wear this coat in the rain without it spotting. this one is lined with an iridescent lining that alters colours from mauve to blue depending on the direction of the light. I added covered buttons and put cuffs with button trims on this version. In the photos it is worn with a patterned silk chiffon blouse from Vogue’s V1127. Needless to say, I love this coat and wear it during the day as well as going out. Most recently I wore it to an October wedding and it carried me through from the daytime ceremony all the way to evening party.

And finally…….
The most recent addition to the stable is this denim patchwork version with quilted cotton lining. My son is growing so quickly these days (he’s 14) that he only gets to wear jeans for about a month or two and then they’re too short. I was hoarding these jeans not really knowing what to do with them. Then during the summer I cut them all up into squares, added a few pairs of my own old jeans and made up the difference with a couple of metres of light and dark new denim. Sewed all the squares together in a very clumsy patchwork about 2.5m by 60″ and then used this as my fabric for the coat.

 Added jean studs as buttons on the front, removed the in-seam pockets and replaced them with patch pockets with flaps and stud closures. Love this version too and it’s really warm with the quilted lining.

 So, one pattern and four coats…… so far……………………

4 thoughts on “1 Coat

  1. Wow! These are all so different and so lovely! Much coat envy!

  2. All lovely coats. My fav is the raincoat, but I also realy like the denim coat – what a great way to use up jeans. I have the same problem with my 11yr old, but her jeans have to pass on to 2 other sisters before I get my hands on the material!

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