Thank you so very much encouraging me to sew with your lovely comments on the kilt. I think you all secretly, or not so secretly, long for one and truly I would encourage you to make one for yourself: that swish at the back is hard to beat and actually changes how I walk. I do believe I have re-discovered the hip sway.
This Internet sewing community we all share has provided so many opportunities and contacts for me and this coat is not an exception. I met Wendy a few years ago while she was visiting her sister who lives in Donegal. Now, Wendy lives in Colorado, so this was something special: she found me via this blog and we arranged a day out. I admired her clothes and especially her coat; she admired my clothes back. We had so much in common, it was like meeting ourselves: we ordered the same thing for lunch, same wine, and after eating we both pulled out the same lipstick! Uncanny.
We were supposed to meet again this year but sadly things just didn’t work out, however, Wendy very kindly gifted me the pattern for her coat, which by the way, she designed herself and has produced as a paper pattern [see below]. Wendy has been working in wardrobe consulting, custom design and teaching as well as producing ready-to-wear collections for years now, as well as sewing exquisite made to measure items for her clients.
The pattern is called ‘Simple Coat’ and technically, I suppose it is but do not be deceived – you can make this as easy or as complicated as you like – it’s that versatile – and gorgeous, I may add. Unlined, lined, any fabric you have, any closure you want, full length sleeves, 3/4 length sleeves, patch pockets, welt pockets, collar up or down – add, subtract, change at will to adapt to suit your sewing skills, allocated time, seasonal requirements, fabric restraints and personal taste. Who doesn’t love a pattern like that? Yeah, I went for the complicated in winter……
This coat has no seams! Well, a couple at the shoulders but that’s it. It has a vintage inspired shape, reminiscent of the 1920s and the 1960s. The first thing DH said when he saw me wearing this was ” That’s lovely.” I can assure you that he was not around in 1920 but he was in 1960 and he hardly ever comments on my attire.
Enough of the build up….. I give you The Simple Coat. The uneven hem edges are due to me sticking my hands into the patch pockets….the hem edges line up perfectly when I’m not wearing the coat
Mine is a lined version with added ‘special’ lined pockets [see below], co-ordinating facings, turned back sleeve cuffs and edge to edge closures. So let’s get to the details.
I used the blue/grey herringbone tweed for the coat to co-ordinate with the blue check fabric. The blue check has a stripe of burnt orange running through it and that’s what I focused on. I just thought that too much blue/grey would be dull. The lining I chose is a paisley orange/red/yellow blend which I am in all honesty in two minds about but it’s in now and will stay there. I added width to the facings with the blue check and faced the hem too. The sleeves I’ll cover next…
As you, hopefully can see, I have the sleeves turned back. I cut the full length sleeves but changed the lining thereof.
I replaced 8″ (20cms) of lining with the co-ordinating blue check wool. The cuff edge of this ‘lining’ was then sewn to the sleeve edge.
Turn the whole thing right side out and you have a proper sleeve, already lined, with the option of contrasting turned back cuffs, should you desire. And my reason for doing this is the trousers (and skirt, yet to be sewn): so now I have An Outfit.
On to the pockets then…. I opted for patch ones. Can you see them?
I have two full-hand pockets on either side with a little more secure inset pocket just on the left. This was a practice version of a lined patch pocket which I put to good use…
Next decision was how to close, or not, the coat. I opted for edge to edge closures with tabs and statement buttons. This sorta makes my coat a wee bit more like a 1960’s duffle coat rather than a high end couture version – but heck, it’s lovely and I’ll wear it for years with all the planned co-ordinating items as well as jeans, black and anything and everything else I can pair with it.
If you would like your own pattern for this very versatile, any season and easy to sew coat, you can email Wendy for your own firstname.lastname@example.org pattern. I strongly recommend it, even if you only keep it in your pattern stash for that single moment when you think – I need an easy coat pattern.… We’ve all been there…..
Trousers and skirt to follow….
Thank you so much Wendy – a true classic pattern that will be in constant rotation season by season, year by year and never out of date.
Until next time……….are you sewing for Christmas or for yourself?
When I go Internet shopping I tend to put one thing in the basket for them and one for me…….