burda hi-viz purple coat

There were three reasons to make this coat –

  1. its a coat – I love coats
  2. the sleeve / elbow detail is unusual, and I liked the casual cut as well as it being sufficiently different from my other coats
  3. I had this purple hand-woven tweed, probably from the 80s for a long time. It’s a fairly full on shade, and I never knew quite what to do with it .

The pattern is from Burda September 2020. both the coat and the trousers made last Christmas caught my eye. I really liked the styling on the white one, as it had a sporty outdoorsy quality and perfect for my pretend outdoorsy aspirations of balancing on a boat somewhere on a river. One of the reasons I like to look though Burda patterns is they are nice simple cuts with not too many pieces. Tracing the patterns can be a bit inconvenient but still, its easier to me than sticking a4 pages together on a downloaded pattern.

Cutting –I had done a rough calculation, and was sure there would be just enough fabric….. However, there is always something I forget when laying out a pattern, and in this instance it was the facings and when it came to the cut, I did not have enough fabric. I ended up doing them in two pieces which I don’t really like doing, but ‘needs must’ and it did thankfully work out. I thought I had far more photos of the make but it turns out I only have this one of the joined front facing

Interlining – in the sewing press, I also had some knit interlining. I have it for years as I had a thought to try some outer wear (ie a sweater) with it, only to change my mind as it’s so flimsy. I decided to add interlining to the front and back only to give the coat some extra warmth.

Sewing – the sew was fairly straightforward. The sleeve is the main detail, and as I was sewing wool, sewing the curve was easy enough as wool is such an agreeable fabric. The closures are poppers so I covered the black poppers I had with the lining fabric. The sleeve is supposed to have a faced hem. I found the sleeve was longer than I anticipated, so I just turned it up. The faced hem would have been an option, but I can be a woeful lazy se-wer if I can ‘get away with it’. Having looked at the photographs, I can see that the sleeve hems still need to be steamed and rested.

Verdict – The overall cut of the coat is rather big, I cut a 14 but this did come out larger than expected – on the other hand I can wear large winter sweaters with it. If I was to make it again, I would probably make it a fraction smaller on the shoulders to bring up the curved seam detail higher towards the elbow, although I have been told (by friends) it’s fine, and it’s an 80s style cut. (I am still not fully convinced) I do find the coat very comfortable to wear, and don’t think it’s as ‘big’ as when I first wore it. Although now that I look at the photos, I still think it could be bigger than I want…. (the colour of this is hard to describe – the indoor photo with orange sweater is probably nearest the true colour)

That being said, I find the coat so comfortable to wear and just the right weight, so am happy to leave it as is for the moment. I am also glad I waited for the right pattern for the fabric. The funny part is I have received random compliments on the street which I now find amusing – the ‘norm’ now when strolling around the town, can be to have random casual short conversations./passing comments (ie lovely day etc) with strangers and its totally okay and rather a comfort in these isolating times…. and some of recent ones have been random compliments in passing ‘that coat is a gorgeous colour’ ‘I just love your coat’ etc which I am obviously chuffed with. I have taken to calling it my ‘hi viz’ coat, as it really is bright, and a nice colour for this time of year.

I was also glad to get the coat made – as this whole lockdown turned quite a lot on its head, including my making and buying habits, it was good to just make something in a whole new style and colour and use up fabric I already had. I had slowed down making in the past few years, as I like what I make and wear it, so subsequently my wardrobe is pretty much fine (except for perimenopause effect on dress size – where I have been altering or tweaking).

These lockdowns, and especially recently working from home have shown a few home truths. It turns out I am not as resilient as I thought and I am a bigger hoarder than I admitted. I had gotten into the habit of just picking stuff up from charity shops justifying I could redonate, whereas all I was doing was shopping, redonating and hoarding. I was rather surprised on how the time has passed these last 11 months…or should I say drifted. I thought I would use my time differently (only got to lesson 4 on beginners French). I still have not recovered the sofa (the project that is now going on 10 years) but do have it half covered since August. so who knows, maybe 2021 could be the year of the covered sofa – it really better be – especially as I have picked up a second-hand armchair online (which cannot be collected until April as it’s 100 miles away) which appears to also need a new cover.

Other than that – the last finished sew was pants…. I tried the jersey shorts from the ‘Secrets of Sewing Lingerie’ book from old tee shirts that were to go to the textile recycle (they were pretty raggy) – I used some colour elastic I had here as I didnt have stretch lace