A Coat for my Petticoat

2.26.2015

At long last a sewing FO post! Sewing Goddess be praised. I've been living with this coat as a UFO for what seems like two months.  It was more like one month, but there's nothing is worse than a giant project taking up your sewing space that refuses to finish it's self.   Where is my army of sewing frogs? What do I do all this baking for if they don't show up?

The problem did not lay in the pattern or even the fabric. The problem was me.  In the past I've gleefully cranked out several coats/jackets for the blog. Usually I find them to be an enjoyable project that has a great pay off.  This time the manic desire to cut into some coating just didn't come brimming up through my pores.  It could be that "sewing a coat" has been on the mental list so long that it turned into an obligation.  It could be that the Christmas dress was a big ass project and I wasn't really ready for another one. Or it could be that it's freaking cold in my sewing area and I'd rather hide in my bedroom with some knitting needles.  Bring me a heating pad and a pie!
Now you might be asking, "Heather, if you didn't want to sew a coat, then why did you bully yourself into doing it?"  Good question and I've got three perfectly valid reasons.  Number 1 There is a lot of wool coating in the stash taking up tons of room.  Number 2 - I didn't feel like freezing my butt off outside while taking pictures of summer dresses.  Number 3 - I needed a coat that had a wide enough skirt to fit my petticoat under it......like you do.   OK, I realize that the last sentence is a bit absurd and even Past Heather would be going, "Petticoat What?"  Let's just say this whole "retro dressing" thing is a slippery slope and soon you find yourself buying petticoats and hair flowers and LOVING IT. My petticoat gets worn semi-regularly and thus I needed a coat where it didn't awkwardly stick out the back. Nothing ruins your look faster then a "tooth paste squeezing out of the tube" look around your knees.
With the criteria "can fit a petticoat under it" only one pattern jumped into my mind.  Gertie's kimono sleeved, full skirted coat pattern, better known as Butterick 5824. Now that baby has petticoat room to spare. Heck I could smuggle drowsy Dashshounds under there and no one would be the wiser. "No your coat is barking. No yours!. Yip, yip, yip."
Ahem, where were we? Ah yes, coat planning. I've always liked the look of B5824, but it does need a whole lot of fabric. Did my stash have a length of coating long enough? I had to put my minions to work finding out. "Ohhhh Froggie, break out the tape measure cause you've got some measuring to do. Chop, chop." Turns out most of my coating lengths are in the 3-4 yard range, way too short for the pattern. I was about to abandon B5824 when, huzzah, the cobalt blue wool turned out to be 5 yards long. That's still a half yard short of the requirements, but with a little tweaking the pattern just might fit. I did a test layout and found that 5 yards would work fine if the coat was 2" shorter.

The original plan was to get this coat done in January for both Jungle January and the Gertie pattern contest McCall's was having. I'm sure that could have happened if I'd sewed the coat instead of doing a bunch of avoidance knitting. "Laa, Laa, Laa, what coat?  There is only yarn." Oh well, knowing you'll like a finished garment doesn't always make for speedy sewing. Hopefully Miz P. will forgive me for missing the wonderful Jungle January if she gets a flash of the lining.  Put on your sunglasses because snow leopard lining springs eternal.
As usual I've put all my fitting tweaks, scandalous confessions and husband input below. So read on for more coat goodness.

Pattern
Butterick 5824. I used a combo of sizes 16/18, but could have easily cut a straight size 16.

Fabrics used
Wool flannel coating from Gorgeous fabrics.
Snow leopard lining also from Gorgeous fabrics

Pattern changes/alterations
1. Made the same 1/2" sloping shoulder adjustment to the kimono sleeve as I did to my Christmas dress.

2. Shortened the bodice length by 3/8".

3. Increased the back dart intake to 2 1/2".

4. Did an "on the fly" adjustment of taking in the waist at the side seams about an 1" total.

5. Instead of using bound buttonholes as the closure, I used large snaps so that there was nothing to get in the way of a belt. Also I hate sewing bound buttonholes.

6. Added some thread belt loops to the side seams.

7. Pieced the pocket so that the self fabric would peak out of the seam and not the lining.


8. Reduced the length of the coat by 2". I did not use the lengthen/shorten line. Instead the length was taken off the bottom of the hem to also reduce the hem sweep a bit.

Confessions/Advice
- I did check out the sew-a-long for this pattern on Gertie's blog. Most of the coat's construction was straight forward to me so I didn't need additional hand holding. However I did appreciate some of the extra finishing tips she'd posted. For example I'd never basted down the edges of a coat and then steamed them so that they roll in the correct direction. That technique worked well and I think it makes the coat look a little more professional.

- Because of the weight of the skirt pulling on the waist, you could almost go down a waist size on the pattern.  Even with my on the fly waist alteration, the coat is still overly roomy in that location.

- I like the look of this coat with a belt on my figure. The belt gives me some more waist definition and detracts from the fact that the front closure is bulky in this fabric.

- The instructions to fuse the entire hem were followed even though it was a total pain in the ass. It probably doesn't matter in wool this thick.....but then I'm not a coat expert.

Husband Comment
"You look like cookie monster. Just kidding, it's elegant.....for cookie exchange parties."

My Final Thoughts
While I might not have been in the mood to sew a coat, I sure do love wearing it. It's all "wintertime princess" with serious twirl factor. Pretty sure you could throw this over a bath robe and strangers on the street would still ask why you are dressed up. "Because I made this coat. See, SEE!" Then they back away slowly. That's good cause I need room to twirl.

P.S.  A big thanks to everyone who nominated/voted for my blog over on Madalynne's best sewing blog series. I almost feel sheepish about getting an "award" for inheriting my father's need to be productive at all times. Still gonna put the button up though. ;)

60 comments:

  1. The coat is just lovely. I love the colour on you and the lining is so lux. Twirl! It's so pretty when it twirls. :)


    Your husband's comments always make me spit out something from laughter. This time it was coffee.

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  2. Heather, this coat is a knockout! I absolutely love everything about it. Go forth and twirl your heart out... at the grocery store, dry cleaners, you know, everywhere a snow princess might find herself. :)

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  3. love it! and of course you need a coat to wear over petticoats - everyone knows that!

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  4. Twiiiiiirrrrrlll! Looks lovely and the colour is fab. I totally agree with you on the coat-making front - I love the idea so much but sometimes they become this huge "thing" that you have to do and get a bit burdensome. But then at the end you have a coat! So all is well.

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  5. So pretty! You need to sew more of this color, it's gorgeous on you!

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  6. Coats and blazers always take me along a mental why-am-I-doing-this-to-myself?!?! roller coaster. But it's (almost) always worth it in the end. This is just too fab. Twirl away!!

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  7. Oh, Heather, this coat is over-the-top beautiful. I love the color and the style. You look amazing.

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  8. I love the coat. Are you going to put lots of patch pockets on the inside so you can flash your coat open and reveal all the cookies you've brought with you to exchange?

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  9. Love your coat!! I like the idea of Petticoats. When I discuss this fashion point my grand daughters look at me like I am weird. Then I found them shopping at Tatiana which has full petticoats under the full skirt dresses. I see a comeback.

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  10. Amazing coat! I'm still scared of sewing outerwear, so I am in awe of your skills. But you are tempting me to have a go. You massive, massive enabler.

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  11. www.tresbienensemble.comFebruary 26, 2015 at 4:53 PM

    Cookie Monster (HAHAHA). My husband is a 'fashion critic also'. I'm going to have to relay that one to him, because I know he will appreciate it. I think the blue is incredible! This coat looks very glamorous. The full skirt is really awesome!

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  12. Oh my gosh, what a beautiful coat!

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  13. Oooh, so pretty! I love the deep cobalt colour and your lining is so fun! Well done!

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  14. This coat looks magnificent on you and soooo glamorous!! I am hardcore crushing on the colour too! I think it was totally worth the extra effort and the wait. I'd be twirling everywhere I go in this coat.

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  15. Absolutely lovely and that colour is wonderful on you. I have this pattern but worried that the kimono sleeves might be restrictive.

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  16. Heather, this coat is so beautiful! The color is jaw-droppingly gorgeous on you. Why aren't sapphire coats a standard item of clothing, like the LBD? We all need one, if yours is any indication! I love how swingy the skirt of this one is, as well. Totally fabulous, (leopard) inside and out!

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  17. Gorgeous! I loved reading about it and the colour is knockout !

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  18. I adore this! The colour, the swish, the lining! I'm so glad overlord froggie made you finish it. I want one (but not sure I want to sew one at the moment!).

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  19. What a success; that is one fabulous coat!! The colour suits you so well.

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  20. This is a fabulous coat! I'm also over winter, I hope spring decides to come soon enough.

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  21. That is one fabulous coat! You look like you could beat winter single-handedly.

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  22. Holy C! I needed this Blog. I am creating my Mrs Claus costume for next year and... THIS. I need to go win a contest for some coat fabric money. Love this! Great blog entry, and gorgeous coat. Cookie?

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  23. This is so gorgeous! I love it! Just tell all those strangers you're Elsa all grown up and they'll either start taking your photo or run for the hills.. Wait, you have a boy so maybe you got to skip the "let it go" madness.
    Anyway, thanks for a lovely blog post. It cheered my day!

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  24. All the work was well worth it. A FAB.U.LOUS Coat and I love the colour!

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  25. You look gorgeous darling!! I particularly love that last picture. It is very show choir spin! :)

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  26. Beautiful coat! I love the silohuette and the colour is fabulous on you!

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  27. Thanks Andie. Hope no electronics were harmed from the the spitting of coffee. :) Honestly I though the husband wouldn't have anything funny to say about this coat. Then when he made the "cookie monster" comment I belly laughed.

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  28. Thank you Carolyn. I'm gonna admit that being seriously overdressed at the grocery store is fun. Though I better not twirl too much in the aisles least I knock all the merchandise off the shelves. ;)

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  29. Thanks Jo, especially for condoning my petticoat obsession. :)

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  30. Thank you Jenny. Yes, yes! Coat making can drag on a bit and then you start wondering why you're not making knit tops instead. If only knit tops protected you from the snow. ;)

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  31. Thanks Momma B. I agree with you about needed more cobalt. It's sometimes hard to find though. Maybe there needs to be a cobalt safari!.

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  32. STOP BEING SO FABULOUS!!!!! I CAN'T TAKE IT!!!!!

    OK, I'm glad you powered through because this thing is so damn good that I'm actually mad. You look superb in this amazing blue and dude, what does it feel like to be the glamorous neighbor? Do the other ladies in the 'hood give you jealous eyes when you swan down the street???

    Also, it really makes me happy to see your pieced pocket! Since I've started taking tailoring classes, my new pet peeve is the usual side seam pockets you see in sewing patterns. I'm like, "FACE ALL THE POCKETS, PLEASE!!!!!" It looks so much better! So much!

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  33. Thank you Lisa. Wonder if it's the taxing mental thinking that makes the project so satisfying in the end. Probably. Silly brain.

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  34. Thanks Lori. I'm kind of glad the red coating in the stash was too short yardage wise. This blue color works so well with the pattern. :)

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  35. HAA HAA HAA HAAAA!!!!!! I think that a special loose fitting cookie coat needs to be constructed. That way the cookies won't be broken during transport.

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  36. Thanks Anne. Sounds like you might get the last laugh when it comes to petticoats. :)

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  37. Thank you Julia. Watch out, I'm all about enabling. ;) You too can sew outerwear. I'd just choose a simple pattern and maybe one that's short so you don't have to wrestle with too much fabric your first time out.

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  38. Thanks Michelle. Glad that I'm not that only one with a Fashion critic husband. His cookie monster comment did give me a good laugh though.

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  39. Thank you Stacy. I'm so glad it's done. Wearing it is a lot more fun than sewing it. :)

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  40. LOL! Thanks Kate.

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  41. Thank you Sara. When I run out of that leopard lining I'm gonna be sad. But for now it still runs free in the stash.

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  42. Thanks Heather. I'll have to do an extra twirl for you and the pugs. :)

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  43. Thank you! I do notice the kimono sleeves when trying to reach upwards. Other than that they are pretty comfy.

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  44. Thank you Mary. If only this sort of color coating was stocked more regularly. You can always get a good navy, but brighter blue seems to be scare. I'll put Froggie on the search so you can have a pretty blue coat too.

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  45. Thanks Susan. I almost want another one of these....almost. :)

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  46. Thanks Bobbi. If this coat gets us out of the arctic cold we've been having I'll be so happy. Beat it winter!

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  47. Thanks Heather. This would be perfect for a Mrs. Claus costume!!! I'm getting excited just thinking about. Hopefully Santa will leave you a 5 lb box of money on the doorstep and you can be the most fabulous Mrs. Claus ever. Cookies for everyone!

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  48. Thank you Emily. I did skip the Elsa madness even though we bought a copy of the movie and showed it to him. Half way through he said, "Watch something else." There's no accounting for taste. (I do like the though of being wintertime Elsa.)

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  49. Thanks Sandra. Funny how all that hard work fades away after you can wear the garment. It's like childbirth. :) Must be why I'm thinking about sewing another coat.

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  50. Thank you Nothy. It's almost sad not to have any more of that lovely color to sew. Oh well, guess I'll have to console myself with the red coating in the stash. :)

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  51. Thanks Ginger! Thanks to my hermit tendencies I think most of my neighbors have no idea who I am. Muhaaa haaa! So far I've been lucky that in social situations people say nice things or nothing at all. Sure there's someone thinking, "Why's that snitch all dressed up."


    Don't let that unsightly lining show......pocket facings forever. It will be our motto.

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  52. Even if it was a bit of a drag to sew, the results are fabulous!

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  53. Thanks Becky. I've already forgotten what a drag it was. LOL! Just keep me from sewing another coat yet.

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  54. Oh how behind I am on my blog reading!! Heather this is simply gorgeous and as your hubby said elegant! Love it!

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  55. Thank you Margo! The coat is almost making me like the fact that winter is still around...almost.

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  56. This is my dream coat. That color. I want. It. On. Me. Incredible work! I would find even more reasons than usual to wear petticoats. (How we do.)

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  57. What a gorgeous coat! Great job and its only logical that you'd need a coat to go over your petticoat!

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  58. Thanks Sylvie! I could totally clone one for you cause its so fun to wear.

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  59. Thanks Elizabeth! It is really nice to have a petticoat friendly garment now. :)

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