Collarful Coat



The thing I love most about sewing is that it is a never ending, learning process. There are always new skills to learn and you can always get better. The way I have learnt to sew is to continue to make garments or try techniques that I haven’t before.
With this in mind, I’ve made another coat. Not feeling so adventurous, I chose Simplicity 1067 which is a pretty simple pattern with only one closure. I’ve taken to researching patterns on instagram before I make them and many people who tried this pattern in fleece seemed to report that it felt very dressinggown-esque! So I went with a red tweed that I got from Ebay. I was really pleased with this as I wasn’t sure whether it would feel a little too upholstery but it’s quite light.



See the source image




Anyway, I went with View A, and opted for pockets but not a hood. The optional pockets and the front pieces come together first and then the back. The large collar is made using a big piece of facing, which I hand sewed in to place. In order to make the insides neat, I used Hong Kong seams on all the visible seams, using a black, floral bias binding to cover the edges of the fabric. I was worried that would make it feel a bit stiff but because the fabric has a little natural stiffness, it has worked out quite well. I used the bias on the edge of the facing and that nicely covered the insides of the collar. It needed quite a bit of pressing but I was really pleased with the how it neatly came together.













I inset the sleeves (still my least favourite job) but these worked out quite well, I think this was because there is a bit of natural give in the fabric. I then used bias binding on this seam as well. I topstitched the seam to the sleeve opening, which is not in the pattern but I think it looks quite nice.




The hem is created by sewing the facings to the front and then continuing the line which is created all the way round. It suggests hand sewing this and the sleeve hems but by this time I had spent a lot of time on this coat and ready to move on to new projects, I hemmed it with my machine. I sewed the little clasp in place and voila! She is complete. I absolutely love the style of this coat, it is roomy but stylishly so, the collar is such a statement which is so me and I’m so pleased with the colour. I can completely see how this would eaily feel like a dressing down so for anyone who feels they might try it, definitely stick to more structured fabrics.

I have literally not stopped wearing this since I made it, I absolutely love it, it’s so practical and so me. I love it when sewing plans come together to be exactly what was planned!

Sewing the Scene

Just when I was in a post Indie Pattern Month dip, in which I won amazing prizes for my dress and my wanted Tee and Culottes combination, I noticed the #sewingthescene challenge which Jo at The Unfinished Seamstress has organised. I talked about all the challenges in my last vlog post

The idea behind the challenge is that you copy an outfit to be worn every day (not a costume) based on an outfit you have seen in a film or TV programme. There are prizes in three categories.

I have found this ridiculously inspiring. I’ve been scouring the Internet and pinterest (see my film outfit inspiration board here if you’re interested). My original thoughts were from the following:

But in my searching I got over these ideas a little bit and was lusting over the amazing outfits that Louisa wears in Me Before You.

I’m sure lots of people are using this character as inspiration but I couldn’t resist! I decided on this deceptively simple blouse and skirt combination. I’m quite keen to hone my shirt making skills so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity. Plus, it’s practical, I could easily wear both items separately and without the tights of course! I’m also obviously hoping that I will look like her when I’m done…

 I had a rummage through my pattern stash for something which would fit the bill for the blouse and found Simplicity 6232 which I had used to make my brother a shirt last Christmas  so I had never used the female version. I cut it out and used a white cotton from my stash (this challenge was getting better and better – I hadn’t spent anything at this point!)

I tried really hard to be super precise in my cutting and as I was constructing it, everything came together really easily. I find with some garments, I don’t have to follow the instructions too much now, but I followed this to the letter and it seemed to pay off, I’ve got neat plackets and cuffs anyway (sewing win!)

Trying to stay true to Louisa’s outfit I went against my inner embellisher and kept it plain white, but I couldn’t resist throwing in a contrast yoke! I used this lovely bird print which was in my stash, which reminds me of a China cup.

Anyway, the shirt doesn’t have any buttons showing along the placket and I wasn’t sure how I could replicate this so I got out my trusty popper gadget and I inserted poppers along the inside of the placket before I attached it so that they couldn’t be seen on the outside. Then, once I had finished the shirt I inserted the poppers for the other side.

I’m going to try this blouse again with some funky iron-on embellishments like this shirt I saw somewhere online on a website called Shein…. So cheap I don’t trust it but still a good shirt! 

For the skirt – I looked around to try and source a fabric for the skirt which would lend itself to big deep pleats, like in the picture. I couldn’t find anything which stood out so I reverted to an indigo cotton. I self-drafted a skirt and used lots of fabric to insert big box pleats. The fabric isn’t the same blue as in the picture sadly but I like it.

All that was left to do was dig out my black and yellow tights and I had my Sewing the Scene outfit.

Trying to get yellow tights shot!

Are you planning on joining this challenge? Even if you aren’t, I definitely recommend using film and TV wardrobes for inspiration. There’s  so much out there! Thanks so much to Jo for organising!

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