Gok Coat: The Verdict

There hasn’t been much sewing going on in my room lately. Part of the problem has been lack of space and plenty of mess. I don’t mean to sound like a spoiled brat since but basically my new room is too small and I recently purchased a few extra items to go into it and despite knowing full well I really didn’t have the space I stubbornly assembled them anyway.

So on Saturday I had a big clean up and I disassembled and put those items away in their boxes until I do have room for them. Then I managed to finish of my second Esther (photos this weekend), which I cut out last month. I stitched 80% of it before putting it down but I think if I added up the actual sewing time I probably made this one even quicker than the last. It’s really nice and warm too, much warmer than the first since it is actually made of wool. After a quick runway show in the hallway for husband I re-threaded my machines ready for the new JJ blouse.

Here is my thread selection, I had the absolute exact shade sewing thread to match my fabric and then I spent about 5 micro seconds deciding the overlocker thread, the options were light-blue and light-blue-that-is-ever-so-slightly-green, and I chose the ever-so-slightly-green 🙂

Nerdy Husband entered the room then and announced that he needed to use my computer to back up files while his computer did other computery things and promptly banned me from using the overlocker lest I upset the portable hard drive’s spinning thingy with the vibration*.

So I resigned myself to pattern tracing for the rest of the day which wasn’t such a bad thing since it helped me nail down my next immediate projects. If you are interested I have listed them on the My Wardrobe page, but I warn you that it is an ever evolving list and that any item appearing on this page is not actually guaranteed to come into existence.

Right, now let’s get on with why we are really here: The Gok Coat…and the jury is still out.

I finished this coat quite a while ago after my amazing vintage button haul from eBay arrived.

So many buttons!

Which ones?

I used #119 from Burda 03/2009 and I originally cut my usual size 42 but after a bit of basting on Scarlett and a closer look at the model photo I cut it down another 2 sizes.

#119 Burda 03/2009

I only kind of like it… sigh…clearly my effort at photos reveals this, care factor: minimal, and I admit I have not yet worn it out in public. The gabardine is actually a bit more plum in real life, this colour is really hard to photograph! My inspiration was from a David Jones Catalogue I got in the mail for winter 2010 and I do love the buttons and buckles and the alterations I made to the gun flaps (cut them more pointy like the coat below).

Unfortunately it makes me feel huge, especially in the shoulders and despite cutting it down to a 38 it still feels way too big for me, even layered over my thickest winter items. I really should have considered the model image more before I chose this pattern as my final choice.

There is another problem too, just before I finished it I was out for lunch in the city and I saw a girl wearing a mac coat of the exact same shade but in a much more fitted a-line style and I knew straight away I had picked the wrong pattern. I mean, this coat is still maybe salvageable, but I think it is well beyond being transformed into that silhouette.

Karen Millen Coat

So right now, looking at these photos again, I am leaning towards saving it by nipping in the waist more and refitting the shoulders and bust but this will require a huge amount of unpicking of my very neat top stitching, so perhaps next winter?

So what do you chickies think? Scrap it, save it, make another even better coat, put it in the ufo pile until next winter? Leave me your thoughts below.

Ohh, let’s do one of those poll thingees!

*You might be wondering how Nerdy Husband got away with an overlocker ban so easily, well the “backing-up” included some very important files, files belonging to me, like all my digital sewing patterns…oh and our wedding photos! So there you go 😉

17 thoughts on “Gok Coat: The Verdict

  1. You have done a beautiful job in all your construction details in making the CLASSIC LONDON FOG TRENCH COAT! That is a coat that NEVER goes out of style. I owned one in navy blue when I was a teenager back in the late sixties. My sister had a khaki tan one in the seventies. Even my mother had one in the forties. But normally the buttons are more of a tortiseshell brown or dark blackish navy,depending on the fabric color. So I would definitely change the buttons. As far as the shape goes, when I look at the pattern and the KM coat it strikes me that those coats have much more pronounced shoulders than yours. (Those models are far too skinny to have that much of a shape!) So I would add larger shoulder pads because those will help immensely in giving the overall shape more feminine curves that you like. Overcoats should always have larger shoulder pads anyway to help balance out the extra layers that we often need to wear underneath for extra warmth in the winter. I would wear it belted up to accentuate the shape too. And why don’t you just put some pleats in at the waist instead of dealing with all the work of ripping out. Lastly, I would wear it with a beautiful bright colored classic silk scarf in a red or gold with navy, like Princess Grace Kelly.
    P.S. I hope you kept your coat. I just found your blog tonight, almost a year too late. I hope not.

    • Don’t worry, I still have the coat, as proof it is actually hanging up on the clothes rail (if you squint you might spot it in the photo of my new sewing studio).

      Your suggestions are great, thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thorough comment, you have made me look at the coat again in a new light. I never thought about shoulder pads, I guess I always think of them as an 80s throwback but you are right, they are an important shaping element for fit. The buttons gave me such a problem, trying to find the perfect ones I can see in my head, and in the right sizes, and I know these are not quite there.

      I haven’t given up on it but spring is making me too excited about dresses at the moment 😉 I promise you will see the Gok Coat resurrected eventually, maybe next winter. It’s great to have you reading, thanks for stopping by xx

  2. Hey – I just had another thought about your Gok (I’ve decided that’s what I’m going to call it ;-)). What about changing the buttons to something bright and playful (like aqua or red, perhaps??). Combined with the alterations to the shape you’re planning, playing the buttons up as a colourful feature could draw attention away from more masculine cut – making it more fun and feminine? Hmmm… I don’t know if this would work for you as an option at all, or if you could even find appropriate buttons (which were the right side, right colour AND didn’t look too childish) but… you never know 😉

  3. I actually love your coat and I find the fit is fine. Looking at the Burda technical sketch the style is suppose to be a looser fitting jacket that hangs straight rather than fitted and flared out like the Karen Millen coat.

  4. I say scrap it. If you don’t love it, you won’t wear it – no matter how beautifully made it is (and it does look spectacularly well made – I ❤ the buttons and details in particular!). I reckon, based on the pictures and what you wrote, that the cut is just too masculine. Simple as that. Give up on it and focus on scouting the right pattern to start sewing in 4-6 months time – based on all the lessons you learnt making this one. It's summertime now… you have many more JJs to sew, I'm sure!

    • Oh sooo many JJs 😉
      “Masculine”, got it in one, I hate feeling unfeminine! I think part of it is that I am just not used to that style, I’ve never owned/worn this kind of coat before…but it’s growing on me, well actually, it’s growing on Scarlett where it is currently full of pins!

  5. It looks fantastic Mel! It doesn’t look big. Though I tend to think that even if others think something looks great, if you don’t love it yourself it is going to languish unworn in the wardrobe. Ooh, a difficult one. Was the fabric very expensive? How long and painful is it going to be to unpick and resew it? Maybe leave it in the UFO pile in case fixing inspiration strikes and if you see some great new fabric make a new one too.

    • The fabric was pretty cheap, a Spotlight special I think but everyone’s comments have been so encouraging, I’m going to challenge myself to get it to a point that I love. The overlocking is the most painful unpicking part, but I’ve started and filled it with pins…but I’m easily distracted so I’ll temporarily ufo it for now 😉

    • Thanks Molly 🙂 I’m going to correct this ones fit a little then next years coat will be in a more “me” colour, something deliciously bright to make me smile every time I wear it 🙂

  6. I absolutely LOVE your coat/Trench – it doesn’t look big on you – I really like the back dart and when you close it and tie the belt it gives you an hourglass’ish shape. I might have to agree with Pixie – if you want to alter it – change the buttons to a darker colour. And if you want a moer fitted coat – take it in a wee bit at the waist. But I’d leave at that and then wear it with PRIDE all winter!

    • Thanks Ann, you make me feel much better about it. All is not lost, I think a nip at the waist and a little reduction at the shoulders will sort it out 🙂 I’ll get some better photos up eventually xx

  7. I reckon those buttons aren’t helping, at least in the pics. see how your inspiration pics all seem to have dark/matching buttons? in your pics your buttons look bright especially on the gun flap thingies…..and you know…..they look kinda far apart rather than the 2 inches between them that the far too skinny models have. that’s my 2 cents worth. I like it! wear it woman, it’s just what you need in this bloomin awful wind we have!!

    • I think with the wind today (& yesterday!) means I’ll be wearing it belted up more than I thought 🙂 haha, ahh Wellington: I love you ❤

      You might have a point with the buttons, after I get it back together I might look at another option but a little waist and shoulder adjustment will make me more comfortable wearing it. I think for me it's more getting used to the style, which is new to me.

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