Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Leopard Coat!

As you may have seen in the photos from Day 1 of Me-Made-March, I have a new coat! One of the reasons for under taking this challenge was to push myself to make garments that I'd previously never attempted (like pants), and a coat was certainly one such garment.

Now, seeing as I'm creating a coat that will probably be in service for the entire month (unless: A) climate change brings with it an unseasonal heat wave; or B) I somehow find the time/motivation to make another coat or jacket), you'd think the most sensible option would be to aim for something ambiguous in style/era and neural in colour so it would look good with the maximum number of outfits possible. Oh. I seem to have used a screaming leopard print fabric in a strong late 60's/early 70's style. Never mind.

I used the vintage pattern above which I believe I bought off eBay a few years ago. It isn't dated, but I'm guessing 1971 (any ideas?). I bought the fabric from the upholstery section of the biggest fabric shop in town during their January sale (before the Stash Bustin' challenge entered my head, promise!). It was seriously the widest fabric I have EVER seen, you literally could have reupholstered an entire sofa without needing to make a join. I decided I only needed 1m 20cms, but when the dude (unusually pleasant compared to most of the assistants they tend to employ, I must say) began to measure the required length, he found there was only 1m 70cms left on the roll and gave me the whole lot for no extra cost. Win! It has a lovely suedey texture to it.

The pattern went together with no obvious hitches, and I even managed to line it though I went off-piste somewhat with the instructions and put it in by machine instead of by hand. Seriously? Put in an entire coat lining by hand? I mean, I love sewing but I don't feel the need to martyr myself for the cause. The interesting lines of the pattern have been swallowed up by the pattern, but I can live with that. And I think I did a pretty good job marrying up the darker and lighter sections of the print with some sort of sense and symmetry.


What I am not happy with though, is the fit. My boyfriend chastised me, with the benefit of hindsight I might add, because as usual I couldn't be bothered to make a toile to test the pattern before I attacked my best fabric. But this pattern has a million pieces and I knew this coat was going to take a big slice of my time, and there was just no way I could muster the effort required to add significantly more hours to this project. And, to be fair, the fit is so screwy that I'm not sure I would have had the first idea of how to rectify the situation anyway.

The top back is a little strange, but the biggest crime is the ridiculously high setting of the princess seam in the front area. I wanted to type 'bust area' just then, but seeing as the shaping one would assume is meant to accommodate the bust is NOWHERE NEAR my actual bust (seriously, they are in different time zones) it didn't feel right to call it that. The busy-ness of the print is actually a benefit in this case as it hides the fit issues somewhat, but I know they are there. I ignored the instructions when they called for attaching the hem of the lining to the hem of the outer skirt, so I am able to get inside and attempt to deal with the fit problems without any disheartening unpicking. I think I will be able to make the strange shaping a little less apparent and continue to rock this coat to good effect.

12 comments:

sarah said...

It's lovely - and you did an amazing job on the pattern symmetry! That's a shame about the fit though -- are you tall? I'm tall by even modern standards, so vintage bust darts pretty much point at my neck. Usually princess shaping isn't too bad on me though. Good luck with the fix, and it's gorgeous anyway!!

Shannon said...

Despite the fit issues you wrote about, this coat is quite striking. I love the animal print!

Gail said...

There is one solution...a push up bra! Wouldn't have noticed fit issues from the photo.

ChickyC said...

So how did you do the lining all by machine? Did you hem the lining and fabric separately?

Just interested as I am about to tackle my first jacket, and haven't got my head around the lining yet.

piccola samurai said...

I love the coat and your blog! You're an amazing seamstress and a real inspiration. I'm sure you will come uo with something great for the fit!fle

Susannah said...

Me-ow! Looks great from here -- I can't see any fit issues in the photos. I guess the busyness of the leopard print conceals the defects as well as the design features. Did you interline it at all for warmth?

lenarrd said...

I think it looks brilliant! The print hides any fit issues IMO, but I know how annoying it is to know they're there!

Katherine said...

Coat - Absolutely gorgeous!!! Yes, awesome. Lovin' it!!!

Jackie said...

I love your coat, it looks great even though there are fitting issues. I just found your blog and it is great! I added the stash busting icon to my blog.

Jenni said...

I want one!!!

Anonymous said...

wow, that is amazing and very inspiring. I absolutely love the idea of being self sustaining, and only making your own clothes. I am going to follow suit. Thanks for the idea. heres to using up that fabric stash, and cutting back on the manufactured crap in stores.

Lizzy said...

Oh!! why I haven't seen this?? THIS COAT is wow! I LOVE this pattern too, I would do it in yellow just like the one in the pattern!

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