Thursday, July 23, 2009

Is it a coat, or is it a dress?

From the back





I love the way the bodice swings down the front to the natural waist at the back, and the hem line mirrors it. The hem at the front has been drafted to slope through to the back.



A peek at the lining



Darn, forgot to turn out the collar under the button - don't worry, it is perfectly symmetrical in real life...


McCalls Coat dress 4769, (1975).

I did a lot of fitting and refitting on this pattern, but I learned lots of very useful things. The best thing is that it has given me the confidence to grade a pattern up or down, which means a whole new world of retro sewing has become possible. Let me show you just a fraction of what this pattern has been through. Here's the upper bodice piece with a 2 inch FBA moved 4 times, a sliced side seam, a forward shoulder alteration, a tuck taken out through to the shoulder and a dropped arm hole.



I bought my fabric for the Palmer/Pletsch 3 day tailoring workshop I am doing at the end of next month, thought I may as well buy it on sale. I am not very excited about my fabric to be honest, but exactly what does a stay at home mum need with a tailored wool jacket anyway? At least I'll get to have some fun with the lining. it's a suit wool, the perfect weight and hand for this project, BWOF 03-2009-110. Three and a half dots. The pattern that will make me a sewing guru.





But ...I've been thinking of making this one instead. It doesn't have a welt pocket, but I am quite happy to learn the technique on a scrap of fabric anyway. This is more my style, with a faux fur collar option and the petersham ribbon trim. And it's only a 3 dot pattern (7728), which means I will stay a sewing mortal.



Oh by the way, have I introduced you to my sock ham? Socks make great pressing hams. Just go through your drawers and find an odd wool one (in my case, that's also been shrunk in the wash) fill it with scraps to the heel and tie it off. Works brilliantly.

22 comments:

  1. "decolletage", "sock ham": You are always teaching me new words.

    In honour of your lovely new dress coat, I will have a sock ham and cheese toasted sandwich for lunch.

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  2. Your tailoring looks beautiful. I'm impressed at all those bits of tissue stuck together to make your pattern! Bring on the retro patterns now.

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  3. Wow. I'm impressed too. I have only ever tried to grade up one retro pattern, and I made a hash of it.
    Digging your sock ham.

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  4. The results are stunning. I'd be inclined to wear it as a dress with great boots and a silk scarf to soften it up. Either way I love it. This looks like the same fabric I used for my Burda coat.

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  5. Looks great!
    I like those other BWOF coat patterns for the PP thing - more funky, less corporate. I still can't find anything that fits both requirements, so I'm thinking that I'll just have to do the welt pocket on a scrap of fabric (or the lining or something.) No point spending all that time making something that won't get worn, I reckon.

    Will catch up soon. Are you free this afternoon? We are all free of snot - long may it last. How 'bout you guys?

    J

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  6. Lovely lining in the coat! Good on you for that FBA and grading job! (See? I do catch on.) I'm liking the peplum on the second BWOF jacket myself, but either will be striking.

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  7. The fit looks fabulous. I love the lines of the garment.

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  8. Brave, very brave of you.

    Bravo on the coat too.

    My ham has flattened. I don't think it was stuffed with the right stuff.

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  9. Great looking coat. Clever idea, the sock ham.

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  10. That is one beautiful coat. How come making that pattern fit you and then making such a beautiful job of the coat doesn't make you a sewing guru?

    If you can stand one more opinion, I like your new suggestion for your jacket class better. You could always add welt pockets to it if you wanted to. How about slanted ones. Just to make it even more challenging!

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  11. Beautifully tailored coat! I love swingy look at the back.

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  12. That coat is absolutely beautiful! Honestly, I sometimes cringe at some of the photos I see on sewretro, but your coat is definitely not one of them. I just had to come over and tell you how gorgeous it is!

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  13. I usually read my blog list on my iphone while waiting for my kids--since I am such a bad text writer...I try to remember to go back and comment when I get home to a normal keyboard! Anyway...I wanted to say that your coat is fabulous. I made a "fancier" coat last winter and loved wearing it as a stay at home mom. I feel, in cold monthes no one ever sees what you are wearing under the coat...just the coat! Having a great looking coat is so important--you can get away with sweats underneath it and still look good!
    Thanks for the input on the sewing machine. It is a great recommendation about the light---i have gone from a 210 to a 240 in two days...save the pennies!
    also---be on the watch, Antoinette and I are starting a Chanel Jacket sew along very soon...you will join..right?

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  14. You make such a beautiful, thoughtful job of all the sewig you do! I thought of you severaly times last week as I hastily threw together a dress, no finished seams, non-matching thread. And always onto the next thing- so inspiring!

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  15. that's a very lovely coat, especially the floral peeking out from the gray which is a nice touch.

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  16. Beautiful job! Love the lining! I like the ham idea too! I haven't wanted to buy one, but making one seemed like such a pain. This I can do!

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  17. Incredible looking coat! You did a fabulous job. I'm smitten with the idea of making a sock ham. Too clever by half.

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  18. I'm in awe of your tailoring!! This coat dress is gorgeous, and it's great to see you posting on sew retro and finding your blog!

    Kellie R.

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  19. Oh now how elegant is that coat? What a great job you've done. I love love love the floaral lining.

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  20. and it looks great too :)

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  21. Wow there are a lot of comments on this post! I'm sorry but what exactly is a sock ham used for? The mind of a non-sewer boggles.

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