You've all heard of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, right? Well this is the first part of my story about my Monochrome Dream Coat.
As soon as I saw the photo of this coat a year or more ago I wanted it. Like really, really wanted it.
That particular coat would never be in my possession though, for one thing it's a Vivienne Westwood coat, and for another, I don't think was still available even if I could afford it.
I dreamed about it for ages, I think I even wrote about it here, and then at the Knitting and Stitching Show last October I bought some fabric to make it. The Simply Fabrics stall had this black and white polka dot coat weight fabric that seemed too good a match to turn down, so I bought 4 metres.
And the fabric sat in the cupboard for a year while I searched for a pattern to use as a starting point and generally procrastinated. I'm very good at procrastinating.
Then, this weekend I decided to make a start. I didn't have a current project underway and I wanted something I could get my teeth into. I dug Vogue 8505 out of my stash and decided to go with that. It's a 1990's pattern, but has pretty much the basic shape I want.
My copy of course is one size too small for me, and this is also a dress pattern, not a coat pattern, so my first step was to trace the pattern, enlarge it slightly and then make a straight toile without any design alterations.
This is my initial toile.
As you can see from all the pins it needs quite a few adjustments. It's too wide on the shoulders - I thought it would be - and I gave myself a little too much extra room in the waist. I want to be able to wear a sweater under the coat, but I still want a fitted look. I don't wear hugely thick sweaters anyway, I prefer a few thinner layers.
The whole coat also needs lengthening about 4 inches, but I had already taken two out of the bodice length before I cut the toile out so I anticipated needing to add length back at the hem.
I then moved onto the collar, using the collar pattern piece from a Burdastyle coat as the basis, mainly because it was to hand.
I started off with this one, and thought it was pretty good.
But then when I looked at my inspiration photo this morning I realised that the collar wraps right over on the right front, so I redrafted it and replaced it with this.
I'm pretty happy with this one. I just need to try it on myself - rather than on Rosie - to make sure it's not going to choke me.
My next step is to work out the drape on the side of the skirt. I've already marked an area I'm going to cut away from the original shape (you can see that in the photo of the full toile above) and then I'm going to try my hand at draping a new piece to go in it's place. I'm not going to add the flap at the top of the hip, I have enough bulk there myself without adding to it!
Once I've got that right I need to pre-treat my fabric, order some interfacing and lining and get started!
I'm not sure of the best way to pre-treat the fabric (I'm not actually sure of the fibre content - the price I paid leads me to believe it's probably mostly synthetic). For the last coat I made I steamed the fabric first, so I'll probably do that, but if anyone has any other suggestions please let me know.