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Isla Trench Coat by Named Patterns

The Fall/Winter collection of Named Patterns came out … well last fall as it’s name indicate. And I remember liking every single pattern. But as I knew ordering more than one was stupid as I would never have time to make them, I just ordered my favourite: the Isla Trench coat. And I’m just about to show it now, 6 months later 😉

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I wanted to make a very traditionnal trench coat (traditionnal in the sense of copying a Burberry one!) so I studied every Burberry trench coat pictures I could find on Pinterest (i even created a special board, check it for details). I went fabric shopping for some beige gabardine and tartan checked lining, which was more difficult than I thought first. In the end, my gabardine is slightly lighter in colour than desired but it’s ok. I found all the fabrics and material (buttons and belt loops) at my local fabric shop. I will admit that it was quite an expensive coat to make: the printed pattern was 22 € (+ 8€ shipping fees so 30 € in total), 3 meters of gabardine at 20€/m, 2 meters of 15€/m lining and about 15€ for the buttons/belt loops, I mean it’s almost a 100€ trench coat. But knowing a real Burberry one retails at least at 1500€, I feel better.

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The gabardine is very nice, a bit on the heavy side so some areas were quite difficult to sew due to the various layers. I didn’t add any interfacing because of the gabardine’s weight. And the lining is a Burberry-like tartan in flannel, which makes it a perfect winter coat for the mild mediterranean weather of Valencia (sleeves are lined in rayon).

As for the supplies, I chose to change some of the features to get a more Burberry-lookalike coat. I’ve used some metal belt loops and eyelets for the sleeve straps and the belt. I wanted to do the same for the collar stand but instead just shortened it. I also added some epaulettes and made the under collar out of checked lining.

Isla-trench-coat-named-patterns-5For the pattern itself, I made some changes mostly due to my petite size: I had to shorten the body about 30 cm and the sleeves by about 10 cm (fyi I’m 1m55 tall , 5ft1). The instructions were very complete but I wouldn’t recommand this pattern for a beginner (which Named patterns doesn’t either, the pattern is marked 5/5 and challenging). There are a lot of pieces and the construction has to be very detailed and meticulous. But the results are very professional looking. The only complaint I have is just some personal preference: I like to cut my pattern directly in the paper but I could n’t do it as the numerous pieces are layered on top of each other so I had to trace them first.

I’m still not sure I attached the lining at the back vent correctly but it looks ok. It was the fist time I had to line a back vent, I even left the trench unfinished for about 4 months before going back to finish the lining. I finally figured it out and that’s why I’m showing it only now (started in november and finished in march, that’s my longest project!)

For the rest, everything fits together nicely, the construction order is great and the fit is good.

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I’ve been wearing the Isla trench coat for about a month now and I really like it. My favourite thing about it? When the wind blows and the pretty tartan lining peeps out!

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Cruella Devil

Cruella Devil

by Pauline Alice
I’ve never been an animal print fan, but sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants! And my heart was wanting a leopard print coat so that my inner Cruella Devil could be satisfied.
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Cruella-Devil-sewing-pattern-2I found the fabric in my usual fabric store, Julián López. It was on sales but still a little bit pricey, but I really liked the light
background and the furry touch. It was easy to work with as the wrong side is very similar to linen but the whole house was full of hairs for the next few days… (and I have a sewingroom so imagine!).

I chose a bright blue lining to contrast with the leopard.

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As the fabric was bold enough on its own for me, I decided to use a very classic coat pattern: Burdastyle #101 from 08/2012.
It’s a good pattern: I just enlarged the collar and shortened the coat. I didn’t make any buttonholes for the moment as I wasn’t sure which one to use, but I might keep it buttonless as I like better open.
I’ve already worn it quite a lot as the weather is perfect for a light coat.
It adds interest to an otherwise simple and casual look like this one.
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pink Dior coat

The Dior coat

by Pauline Alice

I am glad to present The Dior coat in all its spendour:

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I designed the pattern myself from a princess seam slopper I did for the scallop coat I made in october.
The idea was to accentuate the waist and have a full skirt like the type of coats popular in the late 40’s, early 50’s. I also had some contempory inspiration but even those were based on retro models.

Earlier this year, I purchased an e-course on Craftsy called the Starlet Suit Jacket (sorry, I can’t link it, it appears to have disappeared from the classes availables). The course focuses on sewing a fitted jacket with hand-tailoring (or fusible-tailoring), using bound-buttonholes. welt pockets, and other vintage/tailoring technics.

I mostly bought this class because the instructor was Gretchen Hirsch, whose blog I religiously follow and whose book I bought and devoured. The woman is so passionate about vintage technics, her style is very close to mine and I love the fact that she is self taught (by that I mean that she has not been to fashion school, because she obviously has been to a lot of sewing classes with the crème de la crème of US sewing teachers).

Anyway, the craftsy class was great and I learnt so much from Gertie while sewing my coat. I even took the welt pocket pattern from her jacket and added it to my coat as I found it very elegant and I wanted to included as much technics as I could. I fear those technics are disappearing and that’s a shame as no machine will ever be able to make such beautiful and delicate buttonholes for example. Go to any store and try to find a jacket or a coat with bound-buttonholes, that might be mission impossible (or they will be very expensive).

pink Dior coat front details

I interfaced the front, the side front and the facing with weft fusible interfacing. I wasn’t feeling confident enough to do the whole hand tailoring method for the moment and I was also afraid it would take me months instead of weeks. And as my wool was very thick, the interfacing was just for shaping, not for supporting the fabric. So I am very happy with the fusible method. But next time, I definitely want to try the hand-tailoring method.

I wanted the shoulders to be structured without giving me crazy swimmer back. In the craftsy class, Gertie explains how to use biais cut mohair strips to consolidate the sleeve cap and give structure in the sleeve head, that technic is often used on tailored jackets and coats and it works wonderfully. I also added small shoulder pads.

As I might have repeated thousands of times, the fabric is pure double face wool from Dior in fuschia. It is very heavy, the coat has to weigh about 3 kg! But it feels so luxurious, even more when you get a peek of the bright fuschia silk lining (sorry, I realise we didn’t take any pictures of the lining). There were some moments I thought my sewing machine was going to die from the thickness of the fabric. Imagine sewing the seam allowances where you have 4 layers… a nightmare! But Elna survived! Good girl!

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I am very happy and proud of the work I have done with this coat. I love a fast sewing project like a little dress or skirt that you can wear the following day but spending hours and hours on a project like this one is rewarding in a different way. I have learnt a lot in terms of sewing technics and for me that’s so much as I am self taught.

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