One of my favorite designers is the Italian brand Etro, which is known for its coats and jackets in beautiful brocade and jacquard prints. There are some consignment shops on the Upper East Side that I haunt regularly looking for an Etro score. In the meantime, I made an Etro tribute coat!
My sewing journey started with two brocades in my stash that I didn’t realize worked well together until Carlos, Vogue Patterns designer, pointed out the obvious to me. One was a black brocade with gold metallic polka dots; the other was a black mini-floral brocade. They are so perfect together:
Then Carlos came to the rescue again, suggesting Butterick B6421 for this Etro-like coat I had in mind. I had completely overlooked this pattern, but once you look at the line drawing you can see it’s the way to go if you want to combine two different fabrics:
This jacket went together quickly. The only alterations I made were to narrow the A-line shape a bit at the lower side seams, and to lengthen the bottom panel so I could wear this more as a coat. (I’m also 5’8″ so I tend to have to lengthen patterns.)
For an Etro-like touch, I stitched some grosgrain ribbon atop the horizontal seams.
The inside is lined with China silk. I edged the facing with black satin piping I made.
I’m really pleased with my Etro/Carlos coat. I like the fact that I can wear it fall through spring, and that you can dress it up or down. This is a great pattern for using up small pieces of fabric in your stash. You could even try mixing up to four different fabrics—just make sure they’re all of similar weight.
Next up: Honestly, I don’t know what I want to make next. January and February are months where I’m never sure if I want to stick with sewing for winter, or just give up and move on to spring sewing. What are you working on?
Hey, sewalongers, it’s the big reveal time! My co-host Lauren and I are finished with our coats and are ready to show them off. (But don’t worry if you’re still working on your muslin: This is a go-at-your-own pace sewalong. We’ll leave all our posts up and you can still access the V1419 Flickr group.)
The flared shape that makes this coat so distinct was just not working for me. So, with the help of Tatyana, our head dressmaker here, I narrowed the back lower seams to reduce some of the flare. I also narrowed the sleeves.
I originally sewed this as a coat, but the length was too much on me and I felt I’d wear it more as a long jacket. My goal is to pair it with slim pants and heels, maybe jeans.
The fabric is a metallic brocade from Carolina Herrera that I ordered from MoodFabrics.com. It’s blue and silver on one side and then metallic dark brown on the other. It has a very stiff drape, which accentuated Rucci’s bell shapes way more than I think even he intended.
Yes, I was a weenie and I skipped the elaborate buttonholes. My reasoning was that this fabric already had enough drama to it and didn’t need another element to distract from it. But really, I was at that point of MUST-GET-THIS-FINISHED or I’ll die. You know what I mean.
I omitted the belt because it really bisected me and made me look wider. Now looking at the back here in this photo I kind of wish I hadn’t, because it looks so…naked? Weird? I think it might look better on me than it does on the dressform, just because I don’t wear this jacket buttoned up. So it will hang a little more loosely.
This is my favorite part of this coat, that it’s double-sided and in a contrasting color. All my bias bindings were done in navy wool suiting that was from our stash.
Bottom line: I really like this jacket/coat! It’s quite dramatic and a change of pace from what I usually wear, but sometimes you need to kick things up a notch. Agreed?
And the pattern is actually not so very hard to sew. Committing to making a muslin first is the most beneficial thing you can do, because you need to get the fit down. Nothing is particularly challenging sewing-wise, just maybe a little time-consuming. So no need to feel intimidated by this pattern.
Are you finished with your coat? If so, we want to see it!
Be sure and use the hashtag #V1419sewalong so it will show up on this tagboard
This tagboard, to see all the photos and posts tagged with #V1419sewalong
Thank you so much to everyone who participated in our very first sewalong. We really enjoyed being a part of this group with you, and we look forward to possibly hosting another sewalong in 2015. Stay tuned!
This week it’s all about welt pockets in our #V1419sewalong. If you’ve never sewn a welt pocket before you’re probably cringing about slashing into the coat you’re already put so much work into. Do not panic. You can do this! Just follow these three guidelines: 1. Practice first: Make your first welt pocket in muslin. You don’t have to do all the steps, just 51-56 on the instruction sheet. You can make your tests in a smaller size if you want. Once you have a perfect test muslin, then try it in a small scrap of your garment fabric or a fabric that’s similar to your garment fabric. 2. No eyeballing: Your stitch lines need to be perfectly parallel and the same distance in length. Keep your ruler handy for this stage. I love using my clear quilt rulers here. 3. Take your time: This is not the point to hurry things along because you’re already over this coat. I spent most of my Sunday working on the welt pockets and I haven’t even reached step 58! A well-sewn welt pocket is a thing of beauty and you’re going to be so proud of your efforts. In this post I’ll talk about how to make the welt pockets by following our instructions. My co-host Lauren wrote extensively about her experience with the V1419 welt pockets. Before you dive in, take a look at both our posts and go through your sewing books for more tips on welt pockets. I always rely on my old copy of this Singer Tailoring book for its clear photos; if you have favorite welt pocket online tutorials or videos please mention them in the comments for others to see. Steps 51-53, my notes: Proceed as we instruct you to. I pressed my seams open first before I turned the welt. After I turned and pressed, I machine-basted along the seam line. Then I trimmed the seam to 1/4″.
Step 54, my notes: We give you guidelines where to place your welts on the front piece #2 tissue. Pin your welts in place on your coat first and make sure you like the placement. Re-adjust as necessary and mark your placement area. Baste welts in place (they should be downward, as they’ll be flipped up after everything is stitched). Make sure your welts are in exactly the same place on both front pieces—your front pieces should be mirror images of each other. Note: Just to clarify, there is no need to stitch any lines on your coat at this step or before it.
Step 55, my notes: Here’s where you need to mark your lines. Transfer the markings on the pocket piece #11 tissue to your fabric pocket piece. Check that your welt will fit snugly in this rectangle area; if not, adjust the lines as necessary. Mine fit perfectly. I recommend machine-stitching on your lines to reinforce the area. Next, place the pocket on top of the welt, matching the welt seam line with the lower stitching line on the pocket. Hand-baste carefully in place using a thread that removes easily. Now stitch along the lines (which looks like a long thin rectangle), making sure that only the bottom row of stitching catches the welt. Slash carefully in the middle between the two lines, clipping diagonally to the corners. Do your slashing one layer at a time—first the pocket layer, then flip over and slash from the reverse side of your coat.
Step 56, my notes: Follow our instructions here. I turned, and pressed and pressed and pressed to get nice neat corners. I also pounded the corners with a rubber mallet to flatten them as much as possible. Then I slipstitched the welt ends in place and basted the pocket opening closed. Note: on the designer coat the pocket openings are machine-stitched closed.
Steps 57-63, my notes: This is where I was last night at 9 pm, when I put my sewing aside to watch that edge-of-your-seat episode of Homeland. But this part of the pocket is all about adding the binding to it, and by now we’re all experts in adding binding, right? Just follow the directions here and you’ll be fine.
Next week Lauren will blog about the remaining steps in the sewalong. I know some of you have already finished your coats…how does everyone else stand? Remember, no pressure because this is a go-at-your-own pace sewalong. And don’t forget to visit our Flickr group!