A Tale of Two Coats

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times – or it soon could be. There’s been a certain amount of fluff and silliness on this blog and you may be thinking, Well, come on, then. What are you going to make next?

I’ve been dithering for a reason, probably because my plans are insanely ambitious. I’d like to make not one but two coats, as I am incapable of resisting the lure of either.


I have very, very strong opinions on this pattern, somewhere along the lines of … WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE? I sew. I cycle. I begrudge spending hundreds of pounds in outward bound shops that only seem to accommodate women by making the odd jacket in a saccharine shade of violet or pink and adding a machine embroidered flower. These places are unashamedly male establishments, in my experience. Then up pops Sewaholic, who invested in a bike this year – and, lo! A really  great, contemporary jacket is mine for the asking for cycling in and general hanging out in the city. I am a very, very happy woman.

And, you know what, it’s just something different. Waterproof fabrics, sealed seams, hidden hoods – I’ve never engaged with any of these before. How exciting! I was all set on something waterproof, but then I saw this on MacCulloch & Wallis’s Facebook page:

It’s high visibility drill with reflective trim. Do I want to be seen when cycling? Yes. Am I going to MacCulloch & Wallis soon? You bet I am! (Please, please, still be in stock! Please, please, don’t be £50 a metre!)

So that’s plan number one. Sewaholic has a sewalong for this pattern, starting in mid-January but I honestly don’t know if I can wait that long.

Next up…

VOGUE 8548

I saw the most AMAZING version of this on Sew Tessuti‘s blog:

Isn’t this just one of the most divine coats you have ever seen ever in the history of coats ever? It should be in the Museum of Divineosity. Anyone who knows my love of strong colours will understand why this appealed to me. It’s really odd, therefore, that on my trip to Mood in New York I found myself walking back and forth, back and forth in front of a roll of cashmere wool coating that looked like this:

It’s a blue-grey mix with a visible stripe in the weave that I hope isn’t going to be a problem for cutting out pieces. It’s soft as fluffy clouds. A swatch of this has been rattling around in my handbag and it barely creases. There is a touch of give in the weave, so I definitely think this needs an underlining – and I totally want to try one of the back stays that Sewaholic just blogged about. Along with bound button holes and whatever other couture techniques I can throw at this, I think I’ve found myself some more new experiences!

So. Two projects. One intensely practical, one more special but still suitable as a daily coat – or that’s my hope. I have to make these things now – I’ve said in my blog that I would! Along with the crocheted blanket I’ve embarked on (that would be 140 Granny squares, yes, you read right) and the Christmas gifts I’m attempting to make it looks as though…

Oh dear. I seem to have a lot on my plate again. Here’s to the rollercoaster ride. I promise you there will be neither rhyme nor reason to which steps I take and in which order – I’ve learnt that I hate my sewing to be regimented, preferring a much more organic, spontaneous and Oh look, it’s 5am, I think I’ll start sewing approach.

I hope I don’t send you all demented. I hope you keep reading!

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37 Responses to A Tale of Two Coats

  1. Suzy says:

    Can’t wait to see how they both turn out! Even though I do not cycle I quite like the Minoru Jacket and will be doing the sew along 🙂

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I have loved the minoru jacket since first sight. I think the funnel shape of the other pattern could be a bit drafty.

  3. Debi says:

    YAY for TWO coats! I love them both! Do keep us posted if you find that fabric at MacCulloch & Wallis. I LOVE that store (at least the online version–I hope to someday make it to the real life store!!)

  4. Katie says:

    But the sending us demented is what keeps us reading!! How does she do it? I love both coats, and you’ll be dementedly fabulous in them.

  5. lladybird says:

    wow, that vogue pattern looks pretty boring from the line drawing, but the made-up coat is GORGEOUS. love self-covered buttons with bound buttonholes – the combination is so delightful to me 😀 can’t wait to see it in that cashmere coating!

  6. susan in peckham says:

    I look forward to following your progress alongside my own demented joy!

    Re the Vogue pattern, my friend C has a store bought coat with a very similar neck opening and she plugs up the draught with a warm, wooly scarf. Perhaps your snood could serve a similar purpose? Alternatively, pick out some lovely big/chunky wool and make yourself a smooshy YarnHarlot One Row Scarf.

  7. Tamsin says:

    Plenty of snood room in the neck line of the vogue coat! Look forward to seeing your progress in all your projects….

  8. Vicki Kate says:

    Ah, the demented-ness is part of the appeal, and who doesn’t have insanely ambitious plans! Definitely make both, they’re so different and you’ll use each a ton. Hurrah for projects!

  9. Wow – that pink coat is ah-mazing!
    I’ve got the Minoru pattern on order too – hope it comes soon, I want to make it grungey-style in a medium weight twill beigey-khaki colour to I can wear it all hippy-fi-ed in summer.

    P.S. Can you coming out to play tomorrow Karen ;)?

  10. Felicity from Down Under says:

    Obviously I totally misinterpreted that dream about cutting bricks with scissors. It actually meant you don’t have enough challenge in your [sewing] life.

  11. I see why decision making is tough. The line drawing on the Vogue wouldn’t have really caught my eye, but the finished product looks incredible.
    I like the fluff and silliness. 🙂

  12. Jane says:

    I agree, the made up Vogue 8548 IS the most divine coat ever in the history of coats. Looking forward to the roller coaster ride! x

  13. Rehanon says:

    Oh my both these coats are gorgeous! I’m a cyclist myself and have always been bored by the high vis stuff on offer in the shops. You have fired my imagination to create a glow in the dark piece of gorgeousness!

  14. Joanne says:

    I’ll stick with you on your rollercoaster but I may have to shut my eyes on the scary bits. I love that Vogue coat but agree the neck may be tricky. I advise going into Selfridges or some similar coat emporium, finding a similar neck and taking surreptitious pics in the dressing room to make sue you really like it. Love the buttons on that coat – gorgeous. And see you on the other side of 2012 for that Minoru sewalong!

  15. Always a wow on response to your posts?! That maculloch and wallis high vis style is awesome- I’ve never seen practical blended with stylish so well. I’m also in dreamland around coat making and have fabric and lining. Just can’t bring myself to commit – yet. Always love being inspired ( by you!)

  16. Crystal says:

    I love both these jacket/coat patterns. The Tessuti jacket in raspberry pink is great.

  17. the minoru jacket with the high visibility trim will be very unique.

  18. Wow, I feel like I just read a post about my own heavy load of sewing projects! I’m also planning on 2 coats, the Minoru for a raincoat and McCalls 5717 (minus ruffle) for a tailored winter coat. I definitely bookmarked Sewaholic’s back stay tutorial! And then there’s the handmade Christmas gifts to start… And a holiday dress to make… And…

  19. Clare says:

    You’ve reminded me that I have that Vogue pattern – time to use it or set it free I suppose. It’ll look so elegant in the blue cashmere.

  20. Romney says:

    More inspiration for Minoru – I rather like the Brompton Oratory cycling jacket. It looks like a real men’s jacket with lots of sneaky features. If only it weren’t £250 I’d be tempted to get one…


  21. Roobeedoo says:

    hee hee! There’s something about Christmas that sends a self-stitcher into confused overdrive! I too have a gazillion new inspirations and don’t know what to do next other than panic that I have too much to do before December!

  22. Michelle says:

    I love BOTH coats. So much. And I love that you are as demented as I am about the sewing.

    Mind you. I’ve only just realised that Christmas is in xx sleeps …

  23. Pingback: Minoru for you and me « Make it 'til you fake it

  24. Jeneveve says:

    Ah, the constant battle of trying to find stylish and practical things to cycle in. Can’t wait to see what the Minoru looks like when it’s done!

  25. Lavender says:

    I LOVE the Minoru!!! And the other coat is just so classic. Can’t wait to see these :! Your sewing sounds like mine at the mo’… all over the place. But that’s how I roll, I suppose, so I’ll roll right along with you 🙂

  26. Tilly says:

    Karen, your ambition is always an inspiration and you always manage to pull it off so I don’t doubt for a second that you will produce two beautiful coats. Curious as to how much that high visibility fabric costs – keep us updated! A couple of people have been telling me recently how difficult it is to buy stylish and practical cycling gear – there’s definitely a gap in the market there if anyone would care to fill it. I get the sense that Tasia might have another practical pattern up her sleeve…? Oh and that other coat – oh my! A beauty!

  27. Amelia says:

    I have been dithering as well because I have a coat and a jacket planned too. I will be excited to see your progress, hopefully it will help fortify me to work on my own ambitious plans! We are on the same outerwear wavelength right now. I have plans for a Minorou and a coat made from a cashmere type fabric, camel hair to be exact which I also plan to incorporate tailoring elements into…and I need them both this minute which is looking highly unlikely as I keep putting myself off and finding little tasks to procrastinate with. Ya for outerwear! (Museum of Divineosity…awesome!)

  28. Hello! this is SO funny – that’s my pink coat from the Tessuti blog!
    Thankyou everyone for your sweet comments. It’s pretty hot here in Australia now, so the coat is resting til next winter. Sure the funnelneck isn’t for everyone but I love that retro look – very UFO (the Gerry Anderson series, that is!).

  29. Sophia says:

    Everything you said about the Minoru jacket were my thoughts, exactly. I’m looking forward to seeing your fabric and project.

  30. Pingback: Using The Grainline | Did You Make That?

  31. Pingback: Sewaholic Minoru Jacket | Did You Make That?

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