V8548 Coat – Done!

I made a coat.

I. Made. A. Coat.

I MADE A COAT!

There are more construction details to share, but I feared a mutiny if I didn’t show you the finished item first! After a final, six-hour sewing marathon I added my final stitch to the V8548 coat.

A deadline had hoved into view. I was meeting my sisters and mum at St Pancras International for afternoon tea. My talented sister, Amanda Herbert*, intended to bring her camera. It would have been a crying shame not to get some snaps.

I set to, opening up the rear of the bound buttonholes, sewing on the buttons and snap, adjusting the corners of the hem… Resplendent in my dressing gown, I sewed my way through Saturday Kitchen, Celebrity Big Brother and a musical. I apologise to my neighbours for the language at times. I congratulate my boyfriend on vacating the house. Finally, I threw myself into the shower, slapped some make-up on and ran to the tube station in my coat. (Don’t kid yourself that the interior of a coat can be a bit tardy. The skirt will flick open in a breeze.)

I am really pleased with this coat. The cashmere coating is sooooo soft. I seem to say this a lot, but I think this was my most challenging make to date. I was experimenting with lots of new techniques, but had no teacher by my side. As I’ve already bemoaned, I felt very isolated at times. Thank goodness for the Internet – for blogs, for blog readers, for blog tutorials, for video tutorials. The Readers Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing was also a life saver.

Here are the key online tutorials that helped:

http://sewaholic.net/tailoring-a-coat-making-a-back-stay/

http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/2010/10/bound-buttonhole-tutorial.html

And these were the blog commentators who were able to help with practical tips:

The Hectic Eclectic for suggesting a way of finishing my hem.

Roobeedoo for suggesting a lace trim.

Kay The Sewing Lawyer for pointing out that I’d added calico shoulder stays at the wrong stage in the process.

Others helped via email:

Tracy in Australia, whose pink version of this coat inspired me. She replied to my email enquiring about bound buttonholes. Her advice reminded me that I had a copy of the Reader’s Digest book on my shelf.

Gertie, who was kind enough to respond to an email pleading for help, when she was in the middle of filming her new Craftsy course.

Of course, the key support from the on line community was emotional. My readers. You can do it, Karen! Don’t give up now!

I genuinely felt quite emotional at the end of this make. And stressed. When I described the stress to my family, they frowned. Did I hate the coat now? Had I loathed making it? No, none of those things! This felt like the necessary stress of growing and improving, but still – it IS stressful. This experience taught me that if there’s anything I can do to help prevent others feeling so utterly isolated, I’m there. The experience also made me hungry for more – more knowledge and understanding. I want to be able to make a tailored item without having a nervous breakdown and with improved techniques.

Some particular ‘interesting’ moments that stick in my memory:

  • Inserting the pockets too low down. Kidding myself that this didn’t matter. A couple of weeks later, unpicking the pockets and side seams and reinserting them higher up.
  • Wrestling with the hem three times.
  • Spending an entire day of my Christmas break inserting one sleeve.
  • My iron spitting chalky residue over my dry clean only lining. Me re-cutting pieces of the lining and resewing. The iron spitting again. (Tips on cleaning an iron’s innards, anyone?)
  • Machine sewing the windows for the rear of the bound button holes, which meant wrestling an entire coat through the sewing machine. To anyone who advised against adding a fifth button hole: I will worship at your feet for ever.

I am going to blog separately about the materials and, crucially, how much this cost me to make. (I’m talking monetary cost, rather than emotional!) I’m also going to blog another couple of method posts. By then, you’ll probably be sick of hearing about this coat.

After that? I’m going to lie down in a darkened room for a month.

I realize I need to amend my opening statement. I didn’t make a coat. WE made a coat! Thank you, everyone. I hope you like what we did.

*It’s worth following Amanda on Facebook. Occasionally, when she has a new technique she wants to try, she’ll advertise her services for free so that she has a model willing to humour her as she experiments. That could be you if you have a new FO you want snapped!

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164 Responses to V8548 Coat – Done!

  1. YAY!!! You fabulous lady! I’ve been desperate to make this coat but I’ve got to do my Lady Grey coat first. I started canvas stitching then got very annoyed and impatient. Your patience astounds me! x

  2. It’s beautiful!! Congratulations on a completion and on persevering. Woohoo!

  3. Andrea says:

    Amazing! Your coat is beautiful. I love the humongous flower too. Congratulations on finishing it. :)

  4. Alice says:

    Absolutely beautiful. I am in awe. You deserve a rest now. I hope afternoon tea was nice!

  5. Liz says:

    That is one beautiful coat! Well done!

  6. oonaballoona says:

    holy talented family, batman.

    your coat is GLORIOUS. i said WAOW out loud while watching the steelers. ruggy thought I was reacting to a play.

  7. Carolyn says:

    Congratulations on making such a wonderfully amazingly beautiful coat! The flower that you added to the front is the cherry on the top! Karen, you did good!

  8. Sherry says:

    Well done Karen! It’s a great achievement to make your first tailored coat – may there be many more! I really love the style.
    PS: and it matches the pillars at St Pancras perfectly!

  9. Suzy says:

    Karen, what an amazing coat!! You should and must feel utterly proud. You preservered and you learned and as result you have a gorgeous coat that looks stunning on you. I’m sure the next time you tackle a tailored garment you will feel more relaxed. Fantastic!

    About the iron, I’m not sure of any tips but I would suggest empting the water tank after each use and use the auto clean function of the iron (if it has one) every week.

    xx

  10. Roisin says:

    My jaw might have broken just now when it dropped. That coat is fan-freaking-tastic! Well done, Karen. The way you push yourself out of your comfort zone to learn new techniques is an inspiration. And you look bloody fit in those photos, too!

    • Roisin says:

      Ooh! Oh and the chalk stuff sounds like limescale. Try running water mixed with white vinegar through the steamer bit. Also, I’m not sure if you have a tumble dryer but my mum’s tip for preventing limescale buildup in her iron is to use the water from the dryer as ironing water, it’s been softenes by going through the dryer (how, I’m not sure) so less limescale buildup. Apparently.

      • Amanda says:

        I was going to recommend a white vinegar and water mix too, which is what I used when I had this problem. I just refilled the iron until the gunk was gone, sometimes I just refilled with water. When I pressed fabrics it smelled like vinegar for awhile though!

        Your coat looks amazing and so polished. A helpful post for my coat project. Love the location!!

  11. leahfranqui says:

    Dear god, Karen, this is fabulous. You look so amazing and chic and elegant and I adore this coat. Congratulations on such a wonderful and gorgeous accomplishment, and way to have the patience to stick it out. You are an inspiration.

  12. mujerboricua says:

    It’s delicious. Is that okay to say? Because it totally is a yummy delicious looking coat. And I cannot wait to read all the details about it.

  13. Sarah says:

    Sensational!! Pat yourself on the back, girl! Well done!

  14. Lisa says:

    Honestly Karen you should be very proud of your coat making self . Everything is beautful about this coat , the fabric , the subtle colour I really like the self buttons too . Welldone !

  15. Em says:

    What an achievement. It is so beautiful, love your colour choice and it looks wonderful on you. Well done!

  16. Montana says:

    Karen, your coat is stunning! Very, very well done :) The flower that you added to the front for your photos is very classy! Love the look, keep up the amazing work! And, I couldn’t tire of hearing about your coat so fast! I am very much looking forward to the posts about construction, cost, etc.!

  17. Crystal says:

    Great job – you did it! I love this pattern with the funnel neck. Your bluish-grey fabric is beautiful and it looks so feminine with the flower corsage.

  18. prttynpnk says:

    Wow. Just wow. Ok, lovely and wow.

  19. Lynne says:

    WOW!!!!! It’s absolutely gorgeous!!! You definately deserve to feel very proud of it. Happy wearing :)

  20. Kerry says:

    Well done, your coat is beautiful and stylish, you should be very proud. Well worth all the hard work, and how nice to have something so lovely to wear AND have had the opportunity to learn so many new things.

  21. Roobeedoo says:

    I have been hanging around the laptop all day waiting for this post! WOW! Definitely worth the wait!
    Am I allowed to say “ladylike”? Because that’s thje word that comes to mind. Very ladylike with a 60′s vibe. I remember a book on “how to dress” that I used to get from the library as a teenager and this reminds me of one of the illustrations. Especially with the handbag and the corsage. But you need gloves! Fine hand-made leather gloves! Oooh – you need to MAKE some gloves!?!

  22. Ceri says:

    Beautiful. Its a wonderful colour isn’t it? It looks so well on you. And you styled it perfectly. You should be very very proud. You really did a great job on it. Bet the family were impressed.

  23. Amy says:

    It’s gorgeous, Karen. Totally work all the time and effort. Bravo. A coat for a lifetime.

  24. Louise says:

    That looks absolutely Fabulous! you should feel so proud of your efforts well worth the time and stress!

  25. Abby says:

    Yay! Your coat turned out beautifully. It must feel so lovely to put it on and have it turn out so gorgeous after all that work!

  26. Kat says:

    Karen it looks amazing! I love the colour so much. You deserve to be so proud, congratulations – wear it with pride!!

  27. Clare S says:

    Beautiful! Well done!! It was a challenge, but now you’ve reaped the reward :) Congrats!

  28. Tania says:

    Gorgeous! You look amazing. I’m totally jealous :)

  29. ooobop! says:

    Karen this is soooo stunning. It ooozes style and elegance and you look so beautiful in it. I’m so grateful for posts like this. It helps me to realize that other people have nervous breakdowns too! Your sister sure is a talented photographer too. I had a look at her site and her work is amazing. I particularly like the shot of you next to the grey girder thing. I leeeuuuurve how it mimics your coat so perfectly…. genius!!!!

  30. The coat is so stunning, Karen! It’s perfect and worth all the effort and time.

  31. Clare says:

    Absolutely gorgeous, well worth the effort – enjoy your new coat!

  32. Your coat is beautiful! Thanks for the links to the resources you used, too.

    I’d like to second the idea of white vinegar to clean your iron. Just fill the water reservoir with water and some vinegar and iron an old towel or other scrap with the steam on high (and the window open since it’ll smell disgusting). Use the spray function every once in a while, too, while running the full tank. Then rinse it out and run a full tank or two of water through the steam/spray to rinse those, too.

  33. Karen says:

    It is so beautiful on you! Terrific color! I’m very impressed by the amount of time it took and your dedication when it got frustrating! Yay! You rock!

  34. Michelle says:

    Stunning coat, stunning photos. Stunning YOU! Well done for being so tenacious. Many of us would have given up, and been left WITHOUT a beautiful make as a result.

    Love that last photo especially, as your coat matches the steel pillars! Clever!

  35. Karen you look so chic! Splendid job on your beautiful coat…. and is it me or did they paint the station to match your colours just for you ;)?

  36. Kat says:

    Well Done Karen! It looks lovely & suits to a t!

  37. Magnificent. Well done, you.

  38. Marie says:

    Oh Karen, this is a work of art! It’s so sumptuous and worth all the heartache along the way (easy for me to say I’m sure)! You look just stunning in your new coat and you deserve to be immensely proud of yourself. Thanks you also for sharing so many tips along the way, for us mere mortals who dream of attempting something of this magnitude one day ;o)

  39. Robyn says:

    Wow Karen, you’ve done an amazing job, that’s one awesome coat. You deserve a celebratory drink (or two!). I cut this out at the end of our winter and I’ve set it aside to tackle when it cools down again so I’ll be revisiting your posts in about 6 weeks.

  40. gingermakes says:

    This is so lovely– what a great job you did! Thanks so much for sharing your process and your struggles with us out here in bloggyland– it really was great to follow along with you! You should be so proud of yourself for sticking with it and learning so many new things! Yay! You go, girl!

  41. Judith says:

    Spectacular!!! You are one mighty talented young women…have you taken it off yet??? I would be wearing it absolutely everywhere if I was you….

  42. Geogrrl says:

    Well done Karen! Beautiful style, beautiful fabric. You should be very proud, in spite of being on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

    As for the iron, as others have suggested, it’s likely hard water scale and can be cleaned out by running vinegar and water through the iron.

    To prevent future problems:
    1. Buy distilled water to use in the iron. Lime scale is a huge problem here, and I hate cleaning it out of the iron.
    2. Use a pressing cloth. It doesn’t have to be a special cloth–a thin towel or washcloth, dampened, will do fine. It keeps a layer between the iron and the fabric.

  43. Brumby says:

    Well done, it looks absolutely AMAZING! To be honest, those were some pretty big shoes to fill because the pink one left me wiping drool off my keyboard! The colour is amazing, and really suits you, it looks as soft as you say that it is too. Congratulations on sticking with it, the result is one you should be deservedly proud of!

  44. paunnet says:

    It looks amazing! Well done!

  45. liza jane says:

    And what a coat it is! It is beautiful- seriously. I love the color that you chose. It fits the style of the coat perfectly. You’ll be so glad you did all that work. A coat is one of those things you will wear all the time. After I made my Lady Grey I calculated the cost also thinking about an hourly fee for my time. I ended up figuring it was a 700 dollar coat! Ha! Best not to think of it that way. Gorgeous, gorgeous work!

  46. MrsC says:

    It’s PHUQUING PHANTASTIQUE! And not enough to rock this wonderful coat, you styley thing you add a kick butt flower to it. You are the real deal in style. :) So proud!

  47. Elizabeth says:

    Wow! It looks absolutely gorgeous. That color, the finished look. Everything. I love how you styled it too. It looks flawless. Congratulations!!!

  48. Caitlin says:

    Love it, love it, LOVE IT! It looks beautifully made. I have just purchased the pattern. I am not feeling confident mine will turn out this well – but it sounds like it will be a learning experience :)

  49. Joy says:

    This is beautiful! I love everything about it. Good job for going to the extra effort to do it well.

  50. Karen in VA says:

    Absolutely stunning coat… and you look gorgeous in it!!!

  51. Wow wow WOW! That’s amazing. I love the colour, the shape, the broach, it’s beautiful. You’ll get lots of unsolitiations on a lovely coat that stands out in a sea of black and boring coats.

  52. Stacy says:

    and what a beautiful coat it is! well done!

  53. grenouille78 says:

    You look fantastic! That is one stylish coat. I understand what you mean about the stress of finishing a project, even when you love it. At least now you can say that all the blood, sweat and tears were worth it! You have a work to be proud of!

  54. daisyepochretro says:

    That’s a beautiful coat! You did a great job!

  55. gMarie says:

    Karen your coat is spectacular and I’m so heartbroken that the pattern is OOP. Because after seeing yours – I really, really want one! g

  56. flyingchange says:

    Ohh that is gorgeous! I am bookmarking ALL of those links because a coat is next on my agenda, as soon as I get these jeans figured out….

  57. Sarah says:

    This is sooooo beautiful – and so gloriously finished – to look at it you would think you’d made a hundred (or had bought it from a tailor!). I’m looking forward to your other posts on this. I hope you love it as it is a wonderful make. Big pat on the back.

  58. Judy says:

    Congratulations! A wonderful coat!

  59. Jane says:

    Oh Karen I’m speechless. That coat is SSOO beautiful and YOU MADE IT YOURSELF!!!!!!!!! I’m not surprised you’re emotional, it really is a massive achievement. I love the shape, the colour, the fit is PERFECT and the photos look like they’re from Vogue. You sisters are so talented! Very, very well done my friend. xx

  60. CarmencitaB says:

    Karen, It’s beautiful! You must be so proud!

  61. What can I say? It’s beautiful. You inspire me. And I want that pattern!

  62. Debi says:

    FABULOUS coat! It’s so perfect! Well done my dear! I look forward to seeing it at the Crafters’ Ceilidh :)

  63. Wendy says:

    Beautiful and oh so stylish, congratulations! Thank you so much for taking us with you on this journey, I have the fabric, the pattern and I have finished a muslin for my coat. I have even practiced a couple of bound button holes thanks to your post and the silk organza to match my fabric is winging its way from Maculloch and Wallis.
    All I was needing before cutting it out was a little more courage, and seeing your beautiful coat has provided that!

  64. lauren says:

    Wow! This is incredible; so stylish. Fantastic job!

  65. Wooohooo! It looks amazing – I hope I can be as good as you one day!!

  66. VickiKate says:

    10 shades af beautiful amazing Karen! Well done for taking this on and for an incredible finished item!

  67. KristenMakes says:

    It is outstanding! So chic and lovely. It is amazing sometimes how all the sweat and tears and frustrating hours we put into a garment do not show at all when the piece is finally finished. Congratulations!

  68. Tracy Davis says:

    To add to everyone else’ sentiments – it’s wonderful, a beautiful coat you will keep for years. This is what makes us all love sewing. Knowing there are talented people out there making things like this – and having the time to help others – is what makes me love this “hobby” (ok, all-consuming obsession) I found by accident a few years ago.

    Plus vinegar in the iron is what I would also suggest – I use vinegar on everything for limescale – it works miracles. Just don’t use balsamic as my husband once did to descale the kettle. It worked – but it would have been cheaper to just buy a new kettle.

  69. Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments! What a weekend it’s been!

  70. Joanne says:

    W.O.W. That is absolutely beautiful. I love the colour and the shape – I can almost reach out and feel the quality of that material. Well done Karen – honestly that’s such an achievement. It looks like a proper expensive winter coat! Simply gorgeous. Well done you. xxx

  71. Lucy says:

    GORGEOUS coat! I honestly want to reach and and stroke my computer screen, it looks so beautiful and soft. CONGRATULATIONS!

  72. Kirsty says:

    Wow! It’s so beautiful and it suits you perfectly. Really well done, Karen, you’re a hero!

  73. shivani says:

    wow Karen, this is AMAZING. so chic, such an elegant colour, spot-on fit – just so PERFECT! At the risk of sounding like a total weirdo, I really want to touch it.
    Re the spluttering iron, my iron does that too, so now I just use a spary bottle and switch off the steam function – and now I actually prefer it.
    well done on this make. x

  74. Uta says:

    Your coat is really exceptionaly pretty! I found that tailored jackets and coats, while taking the most effort, are also the most rewarding to make!

  75. Saranne says:

    It is stunning! You look so classy in it.

  76. Excuse my language, but this demands a F%CK ME!! That coat is the bomb. Beautiful.You had the pain but girl, you got the gain. A heartfelt well done. I think your sewing skills have just turned a corner…..from aspiring amateur, to accomplished amateur …now we can knock out that amateur entirely. Accomplished seamstress. XX

  77. Molly says:

    Your coat looks amazing, Karen, well done! I’m going to read through all your posts at a more leisurely time with a cuppa.

    Iron 101 for you (from someone who spends much of her working life ironing, has learned many lessons the hard way and even teaches uni students how to use an iron, I kid you not, what do they learn in school these days?).

    * The spluttering is almost certainly caused by mismatching your steam output to your iron temp – or trying to steam iron before the iron has reached its temperature setting. The key here is the hotter the iron the higher steam output. Some dials you’ll notice only suggest steam is turned on after you pass the 2 dot/medium heat stage. So for medium/wool heat setting, keep steam on low and use a pressing cloth. The splutter is water in the steam which hasn’t reached the evaporation temp and with it comes all the gunk from inside your iron. (If water is too cold altogether, the iron may even pour water from the holes – learned that lesson through experience too).

    * Check your iron manual for what water to put inside it. Some irons can need distilled water. (Ignore ironing water, this is just filled with chemicals to smell nice and charge more, a 5l bottle of the distilled water that goes in the car is fine and cheaper). Other irons only use tap water (like my Rowenta).

    * Don’t use your steam iron without water. Several reasons for this: some irons won’t function efficiently without water. Most irons use water to attain their temperature settings (i.e. heat the water not just the plate). The weight of the water helps provide weight needed for “pressing” and helps counterbalance lightweight budget irons making them less likely to topple over. You can damage the iron by not putting water in it – especially if your iron is prone to lime-scale.

    * Spraying the fabric with water then ironing it not is not the same thing as steam ironing (which blasts steam through the fabric to ease out the creases and which can be done without even touching the fabric – make sure you use a mesh ironing board or you’ll end up with a soggy board and fabric if the steam has nowhere to escape or hang the fabric and vertically steam if your iron has this ability).

    *Do use a water spray on suitable fabric when ironing out creases. I iron shirts either straight from the wash, still damp, or by soaking them with the water spray, it makes ironing a hundred time easier. Don’t use water spray on fabrics that will mark (like silk, velvet or suede). I love my water spray. I use big garden plant sprayers as I get through a lot of water!

    *Do use a press cloth or iron cover. It provides a heat/water shield for delicate fabrics and protection in cases of splutter or leaking from iron.

    * Iron a scrap sample of your fabric to see what effect it has. I tend to iron a scrap before anything else every time I iron or change heat settings, just in case. It becomes habit after a while.

    * Don’t assume all irons have the same settings – these vary wildly from iron to iron. I just made a dress skirt from firm taffeta lining. My iron on its lowest setting ironed the fabric beautifully. I took the skirt to a friend’s house where I carried on working on it and borrowed his (new, good quality) steam iron. The lowest heat setting on his iron melted my fabric. :-/

    *Most irons now have a self-clean function, read your manual on how to use it then afterward iron a towel repeatedly until all the gunk has cleared.

    Hope that is a handy help for you! Look forward to seeing what you make in 2012 – Happy new year!

    • Adrienne says:

      Wow! I’m really glad I read through the comments and found this. I don’t think I’ve ever learnt so much in a comment before. Thanks for sharing all this useful info! xo

  78. Tamsin says:

    OMG!!! this is fantastic! You should be very proud of yourself. It certainly looks worth all the effort and pain that you have gone through. If only I had the courage to tackle something that advanced. Well Done!

  79. Meigan says:

    Congratulations! Your coat looks GREAT! and the flower matches so well! One of my goals for this year is to make a coat as well. You are an inspiration :)

  80. Amy Tuite says:

    I LOVE IT! wOOOOOO!!!!

  81. Law says:

    Wow Karen this is immense! Yours is one of the first sewing blogs I started reading, and the journey you have taken is really inspiring. You are so brave to take on such a complex tailored piece all on your own, please do share all you’ve learnt. BTW, spending one day inserting a sleeve?!? How did this make not drive you to the insanity?????

  82. KayY says:

    Glad I could assist. Your coat looks lovely!

  83. pinqueen says:

    Well done Karen, you should be so very proud of yourself! It looks beautiful and is well worth all your efforts. Put it this way – remember when you first started to sew? I remember my wonky seams, dodgy zips, fretting over buttonholes ! Now look at your coat post again – you’ve come miles in a short time!
    Looking forward to your next project.

    • Yes! I’m shocked that it’s only my two-year bloggiversary next month. It feels as though I’ve been blogging for longer, mainly because of how much my sewing has advanced.

  84. Sarah says:

    Wow, well done you!! The coat is fabulous, you should be super proud of it!!

    Love the colour!!

    S x

  85. LinB says:

    Yay! Victory! The coat looks marvelous, and so do you. Now, for the rest of your life, whenever you feel frustrated or incapable or just down in the dumps, you can think to yourself, “I made a coat.” And then go to your closet and look at it and touch it and marvel at it. (I once painted a house all by myself — with a power sprayer — but the house is 900 miles from where I now live, so all I have is photographs and memories.)

  86. Alessa says:

    Well done, Karen! It turned out gorgeous! I can only imagine how hard it is to make a coat – for now, I’m still afraid of button holes of any kind. ;) (Shocking, since I’ve been sewing for close to two years now…)
    Anyway: You made it!

  87. Lauren says:

    Look at that gorgeous coat! You should be pleased & proud of yourself – it fits you beautifully, and what a pretty color! Have you compared it weight-wise with a RTW coat? I can’t even touch RTW coats anymore… they just feel so flimsy & cheap lol. Even the “expensive” cashmere ones. And it’s weird, but as stressful & expensive as it is making a coat… you’ll likely get a hankering to make another one in a year or so. I did, after I swore ~never again~. The challenge feels soooo good :)

    I’m starting on my coat (right now I’m basting the hair canvas to the front pieces – barely started!) and this really inspires me to get my butt movin’ before it gets too warm to snuggle in it. Can’t wait to bury myself in the rest of your coat posts :D

  88. Jeni says:

    Absolutely beautiful – all the hard work and stress was worth it because that looks SO professional and fits you so well! Really inspiring.

  89. mooncalfmakes says:

    OMG! Every time you post an FO I am utterly gobsmacked by how amazing you are! I’m going to have to stop this comment right here otherwise I’m going to use up all the superlatives I’ve been allocated for 2012 and where will we be then? Simple STUNNING!

  90. alex says:

    Am I the 100th comment on this wonderful coat?! Just wanted to say congrats on finishing such a big project. It looks fantastic!

  91. Laura says:

    Absolutely lovely! I am so impressed by your diligence and skill. You inspire me to get my machine tuned and to start a (challenging) project.

  92. Camilla says:

    Karen, your coat is awesome. The colour is gorgeous and i love the corsage. You should feel so proud, what an achievement. A coat is up there with Everest for us sewers. Now watch non sewers’ jaws drop when you tell them you made it!

  93. happyhermit says:

    The coat looks great and you look great in the coat! Well Done … but make sure you hang the coat up before you have the lie down in a darkened room!

  94. Dibs says:

    WOW!! WOW!!! WOW!!!

    Karen I am so proud of you. Oh boy! You look so polished in the coat. Please do bring it to Scotland so I can it firsthand. It looks erally good on you.

  95. Trisha says:

    Huzzah! Great work on a beautiful coat! It sounds like you grew a lot as a seamstress on this make.

  96. GirlSpazdog says:

    You have inspired me. I bought some wool coating about 4 months ago and I keep looking at. It’s taunting me. I will fear it no more and start working on the muslin version this week!

  97. Gorgeous! Really lovely that funnel neck – I’m looking forward to reading the method and cost posts.

  98. fearnie says:

    FABULOUS!! It looks great- well done you! You are sooooooo clever. You should be very proud of yourself.

  99. CindyL says:

    Stunning. Classic. Bravo!

  100. Kelly says:

    It is an absolutely divine coat! I’m so proud of you! What a wonderful accomplishment. You do look so classy and elegant. Wonderful, wonderful job. ~Kelly

  101. Chris says:

    Stunning. Glad it all worked out, well done!

  102. Dalila says:

    Great style (I really like that neckline)! Your coat looks wonderful – congrats!

  103. Kalina says:

    Fabulous coat! I absolutely love it, well done! And thanks for providing all the links to the tutorials you used – coat is on my to do list for this year and I will come back to all the advice goodness you collected!

  104. I my word you super clever lady!! I am so proud of you. What an incredible achievement. It’s beautiful , you look beautiful. I can’t believe you managed to sew it so quickly!!!! Ps love the photos and matching iron work

  105. susew says:

    You look fantastic in your coat. Did you knit the black purse? Looks like a bobble stitch or moss stitch?

    • No, I didn’t – it was bought in Paris last year from a vintage shop. It is some sort of raffia. I don’t know if it’s crocheted or knitted. I’ll have to have a look now!

  106. Jennifer says:

    Wow!! Your coat is absolutely beautiful!! Congratulations!! All of that time more than paid off. Thanks so much for including all of those links. I’m isolated too so I’m sure I’ll need every one of them when I get brave enough to take a coat.

  107. Jacqueline says:

    It is beautiful, you should feel very proud. Love the handbag and brooch too.

  108. Helen says:

    Beautifully sewn, styled and photographed. It is simply fabulous.

  109. Silvia says:

    You coat turned out perfectly! Congratulations! Will look forward to the procedure posts.

  110. Bri says:

    Bravo, this coat is absolutely stunning on you! You persevered and the hard work paid off! I remember the first time I attempted bound buttonholes, it was an interesting experience!

  111. Kristen says:

    Congratulations!!! Enjoy that wonderful feeling of accomplishment :)

  112. Paola says:

    That is one gorgeous coat!

  113. Tilly says:

    Crikey, you’ve had 125 comments on this post!!!! Is that an all-time sewing blogger record (bar giveaways), I wonder?

    Too right, as you have done an AMAZING job on this coat. Well done you! It is absolutely stunning. Well done for hanging in there and not giving up. It’s so lovely!!

    (Ooh could you get your sister to do a guest post on photography for sewing bloggers?)

    xx

  114. Alex says:

    Beautiful coat, one to treasure which will make you feel special every time it’s worn! Worth all the angst and agonies!

  115. Suze says:

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. I hope you feel massively smug every time you put this beauty on? I am so inspired by the dedication you put into this – I hope that my attempts at a coat for next winter are even half as beautiful as yours!

  116. Colette says:

    Congratulations Karen! That is seriously one gorgeous coat. Love the colour too!

  117. I love that coat! Could you tell me where you bought the pattern from?
    I would also love a post on the steps you took and the techniques you used.
    Congratulations Karen! It’s really beautiful and perfectly finished. All the time you took and money you spent is definitely worth it…you should pat yourself on the back!

  118. melissa says:

    Gorgeous!! All that effort and tears was totally worth it in the end, it’s just beautiful! Well done you!

    (Now go sew something easy – it’s your reward!)

  119. Kay says:

    oh my! what a gorgeous coat!!

  120. Sophia says:

    Unfortunately, I have nothing to add that hasn’t been said a gazillion times by everyone else.

    But…

    Bravo!! Congratulations. It looks stunning and ridiculously well made

  121. Carly says:

    What can I add to these amazing comments but BLADDY MARVELLOUS Karen! :)

  122. Adrienne says:

    Karen, you have completely blown me away! A-ma-zing!! I really enjoyed reading all the technical details about hemming wool along the way. You’ve been pretty brave to tackle all this by yourself without a tutor! Well done, lady.

  123. Felicity from Down Under says:

    (still computerless, so excuse tardy comment) I can’t add anything to what’s been said, but I am quite, quite overawed by your courage in tackling such a challenging and yet rewarding project and bringing it to fabulous fruition so quickly – and having it photographed so beautifully! Well done. You deserve all the accolades.

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  125. Miss Celie says:

    Spectacular! The color is gorgeous. I love the accessorizing too. Great job Karen! I would be hugging myself from smugness if I were you.

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  127. Stephanie says:

    That is the MOST beautiful coat!! Lovely colour, look so soft and warm, and chic! Enjoy that coat, you have me lusting for that pattern.

  128. kazzthespazz says:

    Wow it took an hour to scroll to the comment box and was well worth the journey. This is serious!!! I just spied this on Burdastyle, it is amazing, it’s just stunning, well done on a fantastic job.

  129. Tracy says:

    Great job! It’s a wonderful feeling to arrive at the finale, isn’t it!

  130. lisette says:

    It turned out wonderful! I also love the flower pin.

  131. symondezyn says:

    WOW… I saw your review on PatternReview, and HAD to come check out the blog post about this amazing coat – what a STUNNER!!! It looks perfect on you, and so couture and elegant and perfectly made… I am in awe!! ^__^ I am hoping to make my first coat this year, and it’s incredibly inspiring to see this – thank you!!! ^____^

  132. Maxi says:

    It’s Gorgeous!! Love it! I am totally in awe. My aim (in time!) is to make a coat as my current one is very old, and rather threadbare on the seams but being black it’s not so noticeable (I’m hoping!) but I need to get a lot better before I dare do anything like that. It’s really wonderful! I hope that your afternoon tea was just as delightful x

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  136. Wow. Wow. Wow. You and that coat look absolutely stunning. Well done. You are a real inspiration. Cleaning irons? Coming soon. It will take some time to write…

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  143. Stephanie says:

    I’ve just been reading through some of your archives and I want to compliment you on this beautiful coat. I just love everything – the colour, shape…I want one for the autumn! You look beautiful!

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  147. kate0795 says:

    It’s just to die for!!!! Stumbled upon this through your Sew Assessment post….every year I long for a coat of my own…a coat that says ‘me!’ the right colour, length, style…every year I fail to find The One off the peg…it should be made…and when I get a bit better, then I totally want to challenge myself to a coat, and one like this would be desirable…everything about it…the colour, the shape…you’ve done good lady..this coat rocks…thank you for sharing…I’ll look up your actual make details. Kate x @thepolkadotroom

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