About 6 months ago, I was in a charity shop and spotted a coat for 2euro. now this particular coat was – a dated cut(huge shoulders), dated colour (green), and dated buttons (they were everywhere), but it was also wool cashmere and that started me on thinking about the challenge of refashioning these coats – the quality of the fabric was brilliant, and wool is a nice obliging fabric to sew – (having said that, if I was asked 10 years ago to recut a coat or suit, I would have run a mile) Now, when I say these coats, I do mean plural, it became a slight digression (obsession) for a few weeks and I ended up with 6 coats, 1 black, 2 navy, 1 bottle green, 1 fawn, 1 camel. At this point I was also thinking I should start sewing or draw a halt, so I took one coat apart, got a bit overwhelmed, and thought I would work up some smaller projects, and then revisit the idea, which as it happens is how this blog evolved – these coats.
And then I spotted this Pauline Trigere pattern on etsy,how could I not?
When I took apart the black coat, there was a lot less fabric that i thought. the extreme shoulder shaping was helped in part by inconvenient (to me) darts. I got the jacket cut from it though, and only was compromised by back facing which was cut across, but then wool is so obliging!
Sewing it was relatively straight forward. the original coat was interfaced in most parts and I managed to keep the interfaced pieces to the back and front, but part of the back sleeve had some at the seam, so I added some to the other sleeve to balance it – I should have interfaced whole piece, it makes little difference but if i was doing it again, this I would do (and now that I have typed it, I am wondering why I didn’t) . The nice curve detail in the sleeves worked out beautifully, they were set in and sit at the shoulder and the neckline is wide, it feels a bit like a wearing a cape, and not unlike the matching dress, the cut of dress and jacket seem to ensure correct posture when you wear them. I was able to flat construct the lining sleeves, as the sleeve head would be hand stitched to the facings.
I probably got a bit too confident and also wanted to have it finished that evening so I went straight in to the buttonhole – the only buttonhole – and even while I was doing it, something felt amiss……. I tried it on after, and there it was, the buttonhole was on the left, and then for some really really odd reason, I thought I could fix that later, and I would put the button hole in the other side – which I did, crooked and out too far – so I left it for a few days……
I decided that poppers were the best alternative, and made a bow to cover one buttonhole and put a strip over the inside one. All in all, it looks fine, and I would love to say this is the one and only time I have gotten left, right, wrong side, right side mixed up but I will get to do it all again when I get to make the coat version!