The Cocktail Hour Sewalong – V1537

vogue 1537 did you make that

How long does it take to sew a coat from scratch? Three weeks. What’s the best fabric to use? Keep reading…

When it comes to sewalongs, The Cocktail Hour is a marathon not a sprint. In aid of The Eve Appeal, it features 26 bloggers, highlights 20 Vogue patterns and runs for a massive eight months. Phewee!

This is my contribution.

I chose to sew the coat from V1537. I loved the Jackie Kennedy vibe, but promptly forgot the cocktail theme of this sewalong. If I was going to invest this amount of time into a make, I wanted a day wear friendly item.

The fashion fabric is – wait for it – IKEA curtain fabric, retailing at £4 a metre. As soon as I handled the cotton, I knew it was right. I wasn’t wrong.

In the extreme yin and yang of sewing, the lining is Liberty of London tana lawn bought from the ever inspiring Fabric Godmother.

v1537 liberty lining

Not even gonna lie, this was quite the make. Many, many techniques went into this. Every piece of fashion fabric had weft fusible interfacing added. The pattern instructions included four bound button holes (though I used my own ebook to carry out this technique) and top stitching. I added extra techniques of prick stitching the collar and pockets, adding shoulder pads, sleeve head rolls and a back stay.

prick stitching

I’ll blog separately about these construction details. For now, let’s enjoy the finished object.

V1537 coat collar detail

The pattern itself is great. I went down a size from the recommended size but other than that made not a single modification. I love the oversized patch pockets, the collar and the bracelet length sleeves with tabs. This is a real cutie.

V1537 button details

I bought six buttons for an incredible £2.50 here.

As always with these more ambitious projects, the sewing slows right down towards the end. At least five hours’ of hand sewing. If you can’t take a deep breath, let your heartbeat slow and sit with the tip of your nose millimetres away from the glint of a needle, you’d better not sew a coat.

But trust me. It’s worth it.

V1537 coat

cocktail hour - eve appeal

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50 Responses to The Cocktail Hour Sewalong – V1537

  1. Melody A. says:

    Gorgeous work and a wonderful coat to wear for many occasions !!! You look beautiful in it!! take care from Iowa, USA

  2. Helena says:

    Wow fab coat Karen, such a great shape, beautifully made and what a colour!

  3. Jacana says:

    Beautiful coat Karen, the lining alone elevates it to ‘Cocktail’ wear for me. Looking forward to hearing about the construction.

  4. Justine says:

    Such a gorgeous coat! And really lovely photos – looks fab over your Charlie

  5. Liane says:

    Gorgeous coat.

  6. Debby58 says:

    Its an amazing coat and i will definitely be looking at that red fabric from ikea.😍😍

  7. What a delightful coat and I love the fact the outer is an Ikea curtain but the lining is a luxurious Liberty cotton! What a beauty!

  8. Kitkatkrispie says:

    Wow! The coat is fabulous and hangs beautifully due to your attention to detail. The shade of red definitely suits you. Now, here is the rub, you have to make the cocktail dress to complete the outfit!!!

  9. Lysis says:

    Outstanding and inspiring- love the colour- love the lining

  10. Karen MacDonald says:

    Beautiful. ❤️X

  11. Lucy says:

    Such a beautiful coat Karen. The lining is stunning and I couldn’t agree more about slowing down and doing things properly. I’m hoping to make my first ever coat this year and your post has confirmed what I thought. It will require a lot of time and effort, but will be totally worth it in the end. Thanks for the inspo as always!

  12. Yvette Warren says:


  13. Well done, it’s absolutely gorgeous!

  14. Wis says:

    Wow! Such a beautiful coat. You look stunning!

  15. Colleen says:

    It’s so beautiful on you (and off, I’m sure). That color! Thanks, as always, for inspiring me to look beyond the fancy coatings. I’m going to IKEA soon for some cubbies and I’m definitely going to check out their fabric — I have two coat patterns I’m really hankering to make (actually, I have about five but I’m checking myself here).

  16. Kathy says:

    You have much to be proud of. Gorgeous!!

  17. Beth Duffus says:

    Excellent piece of sewing. Well done. It looks great. Love, love, love that you made it from IKEA curtain fabric. I have taken note!

  18. Absolutely stunning, such beautiful work.

  19. brendamarksstudio says:

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing, and I look forward to reading details.

  20. PsychicSewerKathleen says:

    Ikea? That was INSPIRED! Love the brilliant colour and all those lovely seam details. Gorgeous.

  21. Sarah says:

    Stunning absolutely stunning coat, I love it! You inspire me to try more complicated sewing you really do.

  22. G.O.R.G.EO.U.S The coat and the dame wearing it!

  23. Megan says:

    You look fabulous! Congratulations.

  24. Kathy Z. says:

    The coat is stunning, but the photography!!! Outstanding; the background, the colors, and you yourself look like a Rembrandt painting. Well done!

  25. I can’t even.Your coat is just too lovely for me to find the words. Beautiful make Karen!

  26. DebJules says:

    It really was worth it. What a beautiful coat!

  27. shellystorey says:

    Who’d have thought curtain fabric would make such a fabulous coat. 😊 I love it and the colour is superb! 💓

  28. Mary says:

    Absolutely fabulous coat which really suits you. Love the colour and a great choice of sewing pattern.

  29. where2wearit says:

    To arrive in style you surely need a ‘cocktail’ coat to wear over your ‘cocktail’ dress and that one is a stunner1

  30. It’s incredible! I love the colour, and the lining goes so well. I’m in awe!

  31. AnnieS says:

    Fabulous! A beautiful coat-you should feel very proud of yourself. Well done!

  32. Beautiful coat, I feel so inspired to try and make my own winter coat. I’m a beginner when it comes to using a sewing machine but determined to make it my best friend. What kinds of fabric would you recommend for making a winter coat?

  33. Caro says:

    I’ve been itching to see what you were working on with your tantalising posts – well worth the wait. Its beautiful. Will be fascinating to learn more about the work you put in to it.

  34. Jay says:

    Awesome photos of you and fab coat!

  35. Jo says:

    I had a similar coat experience last year and it took me a month of all of my sewing time but I sure did enjoy it. Your coat is fabulous. Jo x

  36. Catherine says:

    The coat is fab and the pictures really show it off. A shout out to you and your photographer.

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  38. You’ve done such a beautiful job here Karen, I love it! Especially the red. I really liked the experience of making this pattern but boy o boy do I remember all that hand sewing…the end never seemed to come!

  39. redsilvia says:

    OMG! Love your Scarlett O’Hara coat! Red curtain fabric with Liberty lining, girl you’re crazy good!

    It’s very beautiful and the color is perfect on you, The sleeve band detail is making me squeal. You’ve inspired me to make a coat.

  40. Sule says:

    Admiring both the talent and the beauty, sending love from Canada!

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  42. ooobop says:

    Such a beautiful coat. I have faith though, that at some point you WILL be wearing it with cocktail in hand! x

  43. Chris Butler says:

    WOW – What a fabulous make Karen – gorgeous colour and I LOVE the lining. You continue to inspire us all!

  44. Ann Starks says:

    You won’t believe this, but I’ve made the same coat…. IN IKEA CURTAIN FABRIC! My ‘finish’ isn’t as professional as yours, mainly because I was (as usual) in a Big Rush but I’m really pleased with it.

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