If you looking for a dramatic coat then look no further than Lolita Pattern's new Spearmint. With form fitting princess line seams and a large flouncy collar it's sure get noticed.
Spearmint from Lolita patterns. Amity is pre-saling the pattern at a 15% discount until Monday so if you love the pattern then you might want to jump on it right away.
Sizing Tip - Spearmint was drafted to be more of a fair weather topper. If you want to make it as a woolen winter coat, then go up a size from the suggested one. If your size straddles the regular and plus size blocks, like mine, then you might want get the plus sized block.
Format Suggestion - You have the option of buying Spearmint as hard paper copy or as a digital file. If you purchase the digital format I highly recommend using the copy shop file to print this coat. You know that I LOVE putting together PDF files, but after hour one of gluing the tiled version I was no longer having fun. It took me 2 toddler free hours to put the tiled version together and my back did not thank me.
Felted wool blend boucle knit from Marcy Tilton. She seems to have sold out of this lovely red color but still has gray and black in stock. However I feel like this fabric was not the best choice for this pattern and will elaborate more on that the confessions section.
Rayon lining white with black polka dots is from Gorgeous fabrics and still is in stock.
Since my fabric was quite thick I did not put horsehair canvas in the collar. Instead I used pro weft fusible interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply.
Normal pattern adjustments
1. Forward shoulder adjustment on both the shoulder seam and the sleeve cap of 1/2". How to do that on a two piece sleeve here.
2. Wide upper back adjustment of 3/4" with shoulder seam dart added.
3. Sway back adjustment of 1". This seemed to hike the hem up in the back so I added an extra 1" of length to the hem at center back and blended it out to the side seam.
4. Moved the bust apex of the princess line seam down 1 1/2". Alas god did not give me perky knockers.
5. Dropped the armholes 1/2".
6. Took in the upper back princess line seam about 3/4", blending that alteration out before reaching the armhole where I do need extra width.
1. I very aggressively FBA'ed the side front piece by 1 1/2". In retrospect I was a bit vein to think I'd fit into the size 14, no matter what the back of the envelope might indicate. This was my first time sewing a Lolita pattern so I had the whole "How does this block match my body" question. But Colette patterns should have taught me never to use a size 14. Like it or not I'm a size 16. However using a size 16 would mean I had to put together another PDF pattern, so I just made the size 14 work.
2. I raised the bottom of the neckline 1/2" for personal preferences, blending it out before getting to the shoulder seam. To make the collar match I took off 1/2 at the CB seam. This will keep the notches from matching, but I had no problem inserting the collar without them.
3. I raised the button hole placement 1/2" because of my neckline change. I also moved the button hole over from the edge about 3/8" because it seemed a little close to the SA with all the bound buttonhole bulk. The finalized pattern also made this change, so no need to worry.
Now let's talk about the pros and cons of my fabric choice. I was very intrigued by the thought of a winter coat weight knit when I saw this fabric on the Marcy Tilton website. The fabric was described as being stable but with great drape. It also came in the perfect red color for me and I could not resist.
The fabric it's self is very thick with about 10-15% stretch in the cross grain and no raveling when you cut it. On the pro side - the princess line seams sewed up beautifully, easing the sleeves was a snap and I got a perfect looking bound buttonhole on the first try.
1. I put twill tape in the shoulder seams since a lot of weight hangs from those seams. I also put stay tape along the body neckline edge before sewing on the collar.
2. The pattern does not call for shoulder pads but I put some in because that's the look I prefer. I used 1/2" pads and did not have to adjust the shoulder seams in anyway.
"Hey you're red and white like a Canadian flag and the collar is ripply like a flag in the wind. That's nice. And you can pop the collar, cool."
My Final Thoughts
Despite my problems with the fabric not working with the pattern as much as I'd like, this counts as a successful garment. I especially like pulling the collar up like this and doing my best Cruella De Vil impression. "Bring me those puppies! For some reason I want a dog hair coat. Don't question my ethics or my inability to hire competent henchmen."
holiday pattern bundle Lolita patterns has put together. You can get Sugar Plum, Gunmetal, and Spearmint for over 15% off the purchase price. Happy sewing in the new year indeed!