When I signed up for The Fold Line's amazing online Sewing Weekender event I knew I wanted to utilise the rare occasion of a whole weekend dedicated sewing time to one large project I have wanted to complete for ages.
Despite having a large UFO to finish ( The Wardrobe By Me Cocoon Coat - more on that later! ) I went with the Sapporo Coat by Papercut Patters because I literally have SO many of these saved from instagram for inspiration and I knew I would love it as a garment, especially as a throw over in the transition seasons.
I had in my mind a bright mustard yellow one and hunted and hunted for the right, affordable fabric (tricky when coating is so pricey). I found this fab one from Minerva but when it came it was much more ochre in tone and i have to say I was a bit disappointed when it arrived.
The Sapporo Coat is a total legend on the indie sewing scene and I was keen to see if it live up the hype... I was not disappointed! It was my first foray into coat making for myself having only ever done some soft tailoring for clients during my bridal days, and I learnt quite a bit, the bagging out of a lining is totally magic!
Getting started was hard in itself because the boucle weave is so loose the fabric was horribly unstable. I ended up taping a bed sheet to my cutting table so that I could increase friction and stop the slipping about which worked quite well. I cut a size 2 which was a size smaller than my measurements ( UK 10 - 12 ) and the fit in the end was wonderful. The amazing lining you can see below was a bargain at £5 a metre from Fabworks Mill Shop
The fray factor was a HUGE concern when it came to removing pattern pieces and stitching so in the end I heavily pinned all the pieces and then carefully removed the pins one edge at a time while pressing on iron on interfacing onto each seam. I did this with scraps I had left over from scrubs making so it is not a pretty effort but it did the trick when it came to assembling. You can see from the seams how serious the fray situation was!
Assembly wise there was nothing that was tricky or hard to understand, and you can see from the birdseye view how the assembled coat looked on the inside with all the interfaced edges.
It's really worth thinking out of the box with fabrics if they present you with a challenge - these tools are in our arsenal for a reason. My problem: unstable fabric - my solution: stabilise it - my tool: fusible stable interfacing. It worked a treat and the finish is clean and crisp and lovely!
Christo and I did a proper shoot for this coat and the huge number of other garments I've made since Feb one very windy day last month, and I'll share the pics for that in another post but here's a teaser - I feel so glamorous and snug in this coat and I literally want to make a thousand more to accompany the many Zadie Jumpsuits I have in my head
At the start of this year I committed to not buying any new clothes year if I could possibly make them myself. I wanted to use my sewing skills to be more intentional in my wardrobe, being aware that if I was spending money on fabric and pattern and then spending significant time on creating the garment, then the investment would be bigger and therefore the hope would be that what I make would last longer.
I made a holiday wardrobe in a very short space of time before my trip to Marrakesh in February ( just pre Pandemic mayhem ) and then Covid hit, and I got consumed by Cornwall Scrubs and somehow blogging about it all just wasn't on my radar.
But here we are 5 months later, and I'm starting to think about what i have achieved this year as we make our way to Autumn and a wardrobe transition once again.
By far and away my most favourite pattern of my holiday wardrobe was the Zadie Jumpsuit by Paper Theory which I made in a heavyish weight denim which I found very cheaply on Ebay, many moons ago.
I read so many reviews about this as I didn't have time to make a muslin first and in general I decided I needed to lengthen the bodice by two inches and reduce the rise by one and on the whole I am just so thrilled with this make. I feel amazing in it, and always get compliments and the Zadie Love has spread like wildfire through the sewists in my lovely sewing community Kernow Sewcial ( come join us it's free and so much fun!! ) and I even made one in Ankara as part of the August Get Set Sew Challenge for my little girls 2nd Birthday. Which I will share in a blog post another day!
The only thing I would change for next time is the leg length... I would like this to be more wearable in the winter and I hope to make one in Corduroy for the colder months once I have got through the massive backlog of sewing I am looking at as I type! Oh and there is an odd bump on the wrap point that I think needs grading out.
I sized down by two sizes I think as it is very loose fitting in terms of ease, and I also took an extra 2 inches out of each leg to reduce the fullness as I wanted the legs to be slightly more streamlined
I would recommend this pattern for anyone - it's clearly illustrated and the instructions are great and the fit is spot on. It is such a flattering and comfy garment and totally feels like pyjamas disguised as clothes!
Sewing. pattern cutting, teaching, tea and Jelly Babies!