1.05.2014

I'm Your Personal Tailor* - Ottobre Design Peacoat

*Some exclusions apply. Are you related to me and plying me with fabric gift certificates? If not then you're probably excluded. Unless you are a photogenic toy frog, he is excluded from exclusions.

My sister does meet all the above criteria which entitles her to coats.
Here's the back story on this coat - My sister is always spoiling me with lovely gifts, so I asked her if there was something she's like me to make her.  She sent me a picture of a RTW peacoat with a faux fur collar and said, "How about this?"  I went through the pattern stash and darn if I didn't have a pattern almost the same in an issue of Ottobre Design women. I picked some pretty wool and lining from my stash, bought some faux fur and made her a coat for Christmas.
Sounds great right?  Well I forgot to mention that this conversation took place in 2012.  Worst personal tailor ever, I'll never make it in this business. At least my sister is doing better than my husband, who asked for a jacket in 2009 and still doesn't have one.  And no he has not forgotten. Perhaps he should ply me with fabric gift certificates for favored sewing queue status.
Pattern
Nanette Peacoat from Ottobre Design Woman 5/2010.

Fabrics used
Wool flannel coating from Gorgeous fabrics - this color "Heathered Smoke" was purchased in Dec 2012, so it is now sold out.  The good news is that there are other colors of this coating still available. It's wonderful quality wool at a reasonable price, especially at 60" widths.  In my opinion it's also the perfect winter coat weight. Thick enough for colder climates, but not a nightmare to sew on your home machine. I might have purchased 3 yards of it in red this December.

Faux fur "Siberian husky" collar from Fabric Empire on Etsy.  This was my first time purchasing from this source and I was very pleased.  The faux fur is excellent quality, similar to $50+ a yard furs, but at $34 a yard. Their shipping was also lighting fast. I had a fluffy package on my doorstep in 3 days even though they are based in California.

Rayon leopard print lining - This was also from Gorgeous Fabrics in the year 2012.  It's long gone except for the stockpile in my closet. So put that on your "to burgle" list.

Pattern changes/alterations
OMG people, my sister is so easy to fit. I think she made a deal with the devil to be almost a perfect fit model.  I hear her yelling in the background, "But I have short legs!" Shhhhh Shhhhh, you got two good knees to wear 4" heels to get around that.  The devil deal still stands.

1. Blended sizes 38/40 because being a bit pear shaped is in our genes.

2. I assumed she would also need a 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment and put it into the muslin. She did so I went back and adjusted the sleeve the same amount for the real coat.

3. The muslin showed that my sister is also narrow in the small of her back.  She needed 1/2" taken out of the princess seams right at the waist seam. I blended this out to nothing before reaching the upper back.

4. Shortened the sleeves around 4" because my sister is petite and likes to show off her bracelets.

5.  Added 1 3/8" of length to the coat. My fitting muslin did not have the hem turned up and I liked the proportion of the coat with the extra length.

That was all the fitting changes, no moving waists, doing sway back adjustments and FBAing. It was blissful.

One other note - The pattern is not drafted to have contrast fur collar, but it is very easy to modify for one.  The roll line is well marked on the facing. I cut the pattern apart on this line and added seam allowance to each side.  The lower part was cut in wool, the upper in faux fur. Cut the upper collar in faux fur and sew as instructed.

Confessions/Advice
On the whole I found this pattern to be beautifully drafted and the majority of it was a delight to sew.  I only have two issues.

1. The collar stand/collar seam has a really tight curve.  I'm used to a flatter curve, much like what is on a button down shirt collar.  Don't even try to sew this at a 5/8" seam allowance cause that mother clucker will not fit.  Trim down the SA to 3/8", or if your daring like me 1/4", and the two pieces fit just fine.
2. The pattern does not come with a back facing pattern.  I drafted one and adjusted the back lining to fit the new piece. 

Tips for cutting faux fur
When cutting your faux fur you want minimize the amount of fur cut off a the edge of the piece.  Here are my steps with some semi dark photos. Such is the hazards of middle of the night sewing.
1. Trace the pattern on the back of the fur.
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2. Cut a small hole on the pattern edge with a razor blade, just big enough to get your shears through.
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3. Then take the shears and very slowly cut trying to just catch the backing with the blade.
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Here you can see the cut out piece. 
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Of course always remember to pick the fur out of the seams when you're finished sewing. My choice instrument for this is the large blunt needles used for seaming knitting.

Husband Comment
"Do you make that? Why does it have extra buttons."  Then I explained that a pea coat is double breasted and double breasted styles always have extra buttons for visual balance. "But those buttons aren't functional, you should just take them off."  At which point I might have mimed choking him.  Otherwise he thought the coat was great.

My Final Thoughts
Guys, I love this pattern.  I whole heartedly agree with Ottobre that it's a feminine take on the the classic peacoat.  But not too frou frou flouncy feminine, just right. It's staying in my sewing queue to make for ME!  Confession - I'll probably procrastinate another year before making another one.  See you in 2015 new coat.

40 comments:

  1. Amazing coat!! Not that I'm shocked that you'd make this ... I'm just really wishing we were related by blood. Your sister is one lucky duck. Oh, and please don't tell my sister's you made your sister a coat. I've been promising dresses that have never been made. haha

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  2. J'adore! And j'want some one for myself! Maybe by 2015 I'll be brave enough to join you in your coat-sewing!

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  3. Wow gorgeous! I need one!

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  4. Wow, this coat is amazing! I actually just made up the same pattern last week, and found it was a great pattern. I *love* this version with the fur collar. :D

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  5. Wow! Great job, this coat looks like it was made by a professional couturier.

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  6. I. Am. In. Awe. That you made it and that it was unselfish! But then if my sister plyed me with fabric gift cards I may consider it... Or falsify a few birth records so that I become your long lost sister!
    Gorgeous, gorgeous coat. Lucky, lucky sister!

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  7. I seriously love your coat! The fur collar is fantastic. Your sister is a very lucky girl.

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  8. Dude that is amazing. She must be well chuffed! And I bet you'll get yourself one sooner than 2015 if you keep seeing your sis wear hers. Great tips for fur cutting by the way.

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  9. I don't care how many fabric gift certificates she's given you already, she now owes you BIG and for a long time for this gorgeous coat. But seeing her pics, I'm thinking she may already know that and is hoping her smiley face and easy fittings will make you forget.

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  10. Since we're clearly unrelated, I think I'm going to have to go the photogenic toy frog route. I would wait a year for a coat like that! It looks perfect on your sis and the lining is extra-special. And thanks for sharing the tip on cutting faux fur.

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  11. Darn exclusions, I guess this forces me to make my own coat someday! I think the coat is gorgeous and fits your sister perfectly (lucky sister). I agree that this is a nice take on a peacoat. I just wish I had your skills!

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  12. Gorgeous coat!! You have the luckiest sister, want another one? ;-) And that lining fabric--definitely on my "to burgle" list!!

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  13. Very lovely coat for a very lucky sister. I hope she appreciates all the work that you have put into this. Great tips for cutting fur too.

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  14. Wow the coat is BEAUTIFUL! One lucky sister, even if she had to wait a little while :-)

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  15. this is gorgeous!!! i love pea coats and this one is perfection. lucky sister!

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  16. It looks so great!! Very fine work.

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  17. Thank you Leila, I think a coat might be in your future. At least that's what Max the Machine told me. I also promise not to hunt your sisters down on facebook and flash pictures. They'd probably be scared if I did. :)

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  18. Yes dear Gillian, I think you should make it a 2015 goal. Get that button down shirt under your belt first. It will help with collar sewing on any garment.

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  19. Where is that darn cloning ray when you need one? I would zap you off a copy.

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  20. Thank you Wendy. This was my first woman's Ottobre and it really made me want to sew more of their designs. Really great drafting.

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  21. Thanks Catja, I will confess to you that the topstitching on the back tab thing is a little wonky.

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  22. Thanks Ginger, she did give me my second child the iPad. I might still be ahead on that deal. :)

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  23. Thank you Vicki. I was a little concerned that this was gonna be a long project. But with the easy fitting it went really well. Hooray!

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  24. Thanks so much Beverly. I'm gonna give Ottobre most of the credit, their pattern really made me look good. :)

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  25. Thanks Amy, I might find myself making this sooner because my RTW shorter coat is self destructing.

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  26. LOL Debbie, my sister is playing her cards right. She doesn't badger me for garments and gets me fabric for Christmas in addition to the gift cards.

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  27. Haa haa haaa Morgan! He has a pretty nice life hanging out eating cookies and sleeping on fabric. Maybe we should all be toy frogs.

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  28. I would gift you my skills if I could Shar. But I think you can get there too. Just keep on sewing baby!

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  29. MOAR sisters! Hmmmm that could come in handy. :) Guess I better put that lining in my secret wall safe behind the picture of frog.

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  30. Thank you Jean, my sister was really thrilled so I couldn't ask for anything more.

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  31. Hee heee, my sister said she knew it was in the bag so she was OK with waiting. She is pretty lucky though. ;)

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  32. Thank you Melanie, Jamie makes a nice model too. :)

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  33. Thanks Lisa, peacoats are one of my favorites too. I'm glad Ottobre made such a nice pattern.

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  34. Thanks Katie, so have you started making your fur collared coat yet? :)

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  35. Thank you Wendy, it was pretty fun to make as well.

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  36. Muhaaa haaaaaaaa! You can pet the collar and sing, "Sweet kitty, nice kitty, little ball of fur."

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  37. Thanks Laura, I gonna have to check mine out again too.

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  38. OMG - I LOVE this coat Heather. Will you make one for me? OK to queue it up for 2015. ;-)

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