Things made by me. Paintings, clothes and everything in between.

5 Kommentare

I made a coat!

I made a coat!
It’s been a few weeks since I finished this coat and I have been wearing it exclusively. All my other jackets and coats look at it with envy and disbelief, I must imagine.

I needed a coat for autumn and early winter and I knew I wanted something slouchy and oversized that I could just throw on, regardless on what I was wearing that day. The coat had to tick the following boxes: big enough to be worn with multiple layers underneath, neutral color for max combination possibilities, formal enough to be worn everywhere. In addition to that I wanted to learn some new techniques but it was also supposed to be a quick make, I didn’t want to bother witch tailoring techniques.

So along came La Maison Victor 9-10 2015 and the Cheri Coat and I was sold. I must admit, the made up coat you see in the picture didn’t really look great to me. I might be wrong but neither the fit on the model nor the chosen fabric and execution look quite right to me. But I quite liked the line drawing so I decided to give it a try anyway.
The pattern isn’t complicated to trace or assemble and the instructions in the magazine are pretty easy to understand. They even have additional diagrams for people how need visual aid rather than text. (This is true for every one of the 15 patterns and a great thing compared to the crappy instructions Burda provides).

I can’t quite remember how I chose my size but I think I made a slight error. Either that or the pattern runs big. Looking at the line drawing, the shoulder seams are meant to be dropped, so that part I’m fine with. The fit through out the bodice is also fine – oversized is oversized and I don’t feel like I have too much unnecessary fabric there. But the upper sleeves are a bit to big. I might be nitpicking here but I would have loved for them to be smaller, just an inch or so.

I lengthened the sleeves by about 3 inches which might have been a tad too much. I wanted full wrist coverage for those cold and drafty days we get here in Berlin. And I’ve certainly achieved that. But I found that – with wearing the coat on a daily basis – the sleeves tend to get in the way from time to time. If it’s not too cold I cuff them up a bit for practicability – added bonus being the possibility to show off the gorgeous lining.

The pattern doesn’t include a lining so I drafted one. I have a bit of experience in that regard as I did it only last winter for my old RTW coat (see here). I just used the main pieces and subtracted the facings whilst also adding a seam allowance. For a more structured garment this process would need to be more complicated but for this pattern it worked like a treat. I also decided not to fully bag the coat but instead slip-stitch the hem to the lining after sewing all of the other seams first.
Ah yes, that pretty, pretty lining. The wool I bought quite cheaply online and it is quite nice quality (see details here). But the lining is just a dream. I bought it here and I gladly paid 12,90€/m for it. It’s heavy and soft and super drapey and has a brushed back. Also it looks like liquid gold *swoon*. (I don’t know why it seems to be so hard to buy lining fabric with a good drape in Germany. I looked around for ages before I found this one – it’s a mystery to me.)

The first thing I wanted to do with the coat was attempting a bound buttonhole. The pattern dosen’t include a fastening but I knew I wouldn’t always want to wear the belt. I liked the design of the coat and didn’t want to change it by adding a full row of buttons down the front so I decided to put one on the top right instead. This way I could wear the coat with the belt and have the „collar“ show or button up the collar pieces and wear it loosely.

I had previously imagined the process of making bound button holes to be scary and super complicated. You can imagine my puzzlement when I found that I not only enjoyed the process but also managed to make a fully functional and – if I may say so myself – not too shabby looking first bound buttonhole. I looked up a bunch of diagrams and pictures which really helped demystifying the process.
I also love that wooden button. It’s smooth surface contrasts nicely with the loose diagonal weave of the wool.
Everything else was quite straight forward. The wool stretched out a bit at the neckline – despite all attempts at stay stitching – but thankfully I managed to fix it.

All in all this is a fine pattern. But if you want to make it I would advise to check the slightly weird sizing in advance.

I’m very proud of this coat. Not everything worked out perfectly but I am still incredibly happy about the end product. I feel great when wearing it, it’s just so warm and comfy. Most days I wear it loosely with knee length skirts and dresses and when I swirl it swooshes around me. What more could you ever want from a coat?

xxx Sarah


2 Kommentare

A nightmare in pink


Let me tell you: I’m exhausted. The tale goes like that: Sunday I decided I wanted to tackle a project that I had been planning for a few weeks. Change the sad-looking, teared and mended and teared again lining of my old winter coat into something new and shiny that I could be proud of.
I had bought 4 meters of pink polyester/nylon fabric suitable for coats and felt pretty confident about the whole project. I had never before attempted a project like this and although I’m planning on making a coat this year it will be my first. I thought: How hard can it be to draft a new lining from the old pieces and put the whole thing together? (Not very unless the person doing it f***s it up …)

The deconstruction of the lining went pretty well, it took me maybe around two hours. I then ironed all the pieces of the old lining to use them as a cutting template for my new fabric. I then cut the the new pieces out with a slightly bigger seam allowance. In this process I must have made a horrible mistake because the two middle pieces ended up not fitting perfectly together at the back vent and I ended up with a big pleat and some puckers on each side that look just plain awful.

The construction of the lining as a whole went fine and even setting in the sleeves was not horrible. Attaching it to the shell of the coat went badly on the other hand. This took me and my seam ripper about 6 hours and a lot of muffled insults towards the fabric and my own stupidity. Although this coat is interfaced the wool was way stretchier than I had thought and it took me several attempts to put the lining in exactly symmetrical. This process was made harder by the pure amount of coat I had to deal with. It just didn’t fit under my machine like I wanted it to. So there are a bunch of wonky seams all around but the most horrific thing was yet to come, the sleeves.

Shouldn’t be that hard, you say. Right. It shouldn’t. In changing the lining I also wanted to let out the sleeves a bit as they are a bit short for my long person. So I lengthened the lining of the sleeves in the pattern to then attach it further down at the cuffs. This should result in longer sleeves as the wool is just folded inwards and then attached to the lining. Well, at this point it is about 1 am and I’m trying on the coat and am findning that the lining is much longer than the sleeves and sticks out about one inch (unattached). So I go and cut off about 2 inches. What, you may say? Are you crazy Sarah? You need to account for seam allowance. Oh yeah…
Well, I realized my mistake and tried not to cry. then I reattached the pieces and sewed the whole thing to the sleeve shell. It doesn’t look good. I will redo the attatching part so that the pink lining will no longer peek out but I just wasn’t able to unpick yet another seam last night.


I wish I had been able to change that weird seam at the vent that the old lining had in the pattern cutting process because it shows much more in the pink lining fabric. Sadly I don’t have the slightest idea how to draft a lining for a vent but if I ever attempt something simmilar again I will certainly find out.

All in all I am devastated on how „almost really good“ it turned out but on the other hand I am immensely proud of myself for being able to breath a bit of life and fun back into my old, sad RTW coat.

Please let me know what you think. All comments along the lines of „not all that bad and certainly wearable“ are especially encouraged ;). But no, please be honest.

x Sarah