I first cut into the fabric for this coat in June of 2016 and I finally finished it in January this year…it’s called The Resignations Coat and obviously I kind of resigned part way through making it 😉
I did take a long time to finish this coat, picking it up and putting it down multiple times. I found the instructions a little frustrating to follow and had a few hiccups along the way but the real reason it’s called The Resignations Coat is because all the fabric was purchased with vouchers from two different job resignations.
When I resigned from First Job I was delighted to receive a goodbye card with a voucher from Fabrics Direct. At that time the head office had reduced our team to just myself and two guys and, it sounds a bit mean but, I really didn’t expect such a thoughtful gift. Luckily G remembered that time we were walking back to the office after a client meeting when I suddenly yelled, “I’ll catch up!” and literally ran across the road right into Fabrics Direct after seeing the “vintage fabrics” sign outside. Fabrics Direct specialise in curtain and upholstery but occasionally get in fashion fabric including estate sale lots. This voucher + and extra $55 purchased the black wool coating for the outer.
Second Job felt like it lasted 10 years but was really only just over a year and when I resigned I received flowers and a very generous voucher from The Fabric Store. Thank goodness I was good friends with N and she was tasked with my leaving gift. This didn’t really make up for the loss of my soul but I did use it to buy the silk lining (and some other pretties) and that made me very happy.
As a side note I’m pleased to tell you I’ve been in my current job for almost 3 years and I have no intention of leaving for quite some time! In fact, they would have to drag me out the door kicking and screaming…so no more resignation fabric vouchers for me for a while, all future fabric must be purchased with real money 😉
When I bought this pattern I envisioned a well made and long serving coat for the coldest of Wellington winter days. The vouchers allowed me a bit more extravagance with my fabric purchases than usual and a plain black wool meant it would go with anything. However all plain fabric must be kept in balance with a not-so-plain lining fabric, of course. Along with a sensible (outer) fabric choice, bound buttonholes fit the whole concept and would give me that next level finish. This was to be the coat to end all coats and when I wore it I would be toasty warm from the weather and from good career decision making!
I cut everything out and applied my interfacing (which took forever, but I was lucky to get it all done before my ElnaPress bit the dust. Spoiler alert: I bought another one. I couldn’t live without it) and then I purchased all the other notions (shoulder pads, sleeve heads and zippers) but got stumped finding buttons. I normally leave buttons until last but this time around I needed the buttons early for the bound button holes. So I lost my momentum and put it all away until the following winter.
I finally found my buttons at Made Marion Craft here in Wellington and so I picked everything back up late into Winter 2017. I pushed through to get the next most time consuming parts out of the way: pleating the side panels in both the shell and lining and creating the bound buttonholes.
This is when I discovered my zippers didn’t match my buttons…doh!
I couldn’t find any locally so I ended up buying them off an Australian supplier on Etsy. They took forever to arrive thanks to Australia and New Zealand Post, who I shall award joint first place in Who Can Be the Most Terrible Postal Service Awards.
I had to buy them longer than I needed but they were easy to shorten and if you’d like to see how I did that you can check out the tutorial I wrote over on the Singer New Zealand blog.
Inserting the zippers into the sleeves was fiddly but not as difficult as I thought.
Everything else went together pretty smoothly until I got to the sleeves and one of them just wouldn’t behave and set in smoothly. I unpicked and restitiched that sleeve four times and it spent a considerable amount of time in the naughty corner.
Attaching the buttons also tripped me up. After I stitched them on and did the coat up I had all this weird bubbling between them. After I realised it was due to the thickness of the bound buttonholes I pulled them off and reattached adding a thread shank and that did the trick!
Hand sewing the hem was the easiest part of this make. The thick wool and interfacing made it easy to hem the wool outer and then I attached the silk to the wool using tiny, neatly spaced fell stitch and you can hardly see it.
Despite dragging my sewing heels I am truly happy with the final coat. I took the photos for this post in January but I didn’t get to wear my coat properly until recently. Last week we had our first cold snap leading up to winter and I wore it every day to work.
In my photos I felt like I didn’t quite know what to do with the collar. I don’t like it buttoned all the way up and it feels weird folded over but since wearing it I just leave the top button undone and the collar just does what it wants, sitting up around my face and making little wind break.
I’ve worn it so often now that I’m paranoid about losing one of the buttons and realised I never bought any spares! So, back to Made Marion Craft for me this week to grab a couple of extras just in case…
Pattern – Pauline Alice Quart Coat, size 40.
Lengthened sleeves by 2cm.
- 3.0 meters of 148cm wide 100% Black Wool Coating from Fabrics Direct (used approx 2.2 meters), $35/m, purchased with $50.00 gift voucher from First Job, total paid cash $55.00, purchased 17 August 2015
- 2.6 meters of 100% Silk from The Fabric Store Wellington, $28.00/m less 20% discount, purchased with other items using gift voucher from Second Job, total paid cash $0.00, purchased 07 September 2015
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