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Outerwear

Slow Fashion Army: Pauline Alice Quart Coat

December 7, 2016
Pauline Alice Quart Coat

Pauline Alice Quart CoatPauline Alice Quart CoatQuart Coat Insideimg_5650 img_5654 Pauline Alice Quart Coat 3Second up in my series of coats is the Pauline Alice Quart Coat. This coat is far more tailored in both style and construction than my Cascade Duffle Coat. This dramatic coat features many design elements, including princess seams, epaulettes, pleats and exposed zippers on the sleeves. I used a black Melton wool and Kasha (a double-faced satin/flannel fabric) for the lining.

I learned many new techniques for this project. There is so much interfacing in this coat (you can see more behind-the-scenes on my Instagram) and I certainly appreciated the extra effort once it all came together. I ended up adding even more interfacing to the collar and tacked down the side pleats because they were giving a fluting effect to the bottom of the coat that I wasn’t keen on. This was the first time I’ve put exposed zippers on a sleeve and also the first time I’ve MADE BOUND BUTTONHOLES! They aren’t easily visible in a photograph of a black coat, but they are there and they are glorious. I used the Sewaholic tutorial for reference and just took it step by step. Like everything in sewing, it wasn’t nearly as complicated or scary as I expected it to be.

I did have a little trouble with the instructions though. There are multiple steps in text followed by several illustrations in a row and I had to really focus to stay on track. The instruction booklet comes in three languages, so I can understand that a more detailed layout would result in something the length of a textbook. There is also a pdf “sewalong” and I found myself using that more often.

I am very proud of this garment. It’s a great coat – maybe even too great. It doesn’t look homemade, so no one (who didn’t already know that I was working on it) has asked me if it’s my own work. It feels like a secret I am bursting to casually drop into the conversation:

“I made this.”

Project: Pauline Alice Quart Coat

Hours to complete: 45

Total Cost $208.49

Pattern: $19.99

Fabric: $157 for outer and lining fabric

Notions (buttons, zippers, thread, shoulder pads etc.): $31.50

Fit: Straight size 40. I could have used a small swayback adjustment in the back.

Techniques: Bound buttonholes, shoulder caps and pads pleating, hand sewing.

What to work on: More scary things! Bring on the bras!

Burberry, by Me: The Cascade Duffle Coat

November 22, 2016
Cascade Duffle Coat

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All images by North by North Photography

While I am passionate about mindful consumption, there is one category of clothing that I have decided not to place any restrictions on: outerwear. In previous years, I would only have one cold-weather coat, which I wore day after day after day, after day, after day. I live on the East Coast of Canada (we are basically North Maine), where snow is a usual occurrence from November well into May, with more than our share of storms thrown in for good measure. It is a very long season and I am often feeling as frayed at the edges as my sad coat by about February. So, in the interest of mental health, I hereby declare this the Year of the Coat!

First up in my series of outerwear is an item that I am so proud of, the Cascade Duffle Coat from Grainline Studios. I have been hoarding this beautiful Burberry fabric (bought online at Mood Fabrics) for over a year. I must have ordered exactly as much as I needed for my size (straight size 10) because I had just enough. It was scary to finally cut into it after all this time. I’m unsure of the fiber content, but it is so soft and warm. The only way I think of to describe it is sumptuous. I used Kasha for the lining (a fabric that is satin on one side and flannel on the other) and the coat feels cozy and substantial. It’s the nicest winter coat I’ve had in years and I finished it without a moment to spare – I saw my first snowflakes today.

As other sewists have pointed out, there are indeed 40 pieces to this pattern and the construction took me several 8 hour days and then some. I dyed the cording for the toggles with tea in order to tone down the original brilliant white colour. I love them, but I’m not sure how long they will hold up under bags and scarves and general winter weather. I may change them out for some made with twill tape instead. The coat itself is long, but I will take all the winter protection I can get! The pattern offers either a cropped or a long version, but I think I would like to try something that’s in-between as well.

When I told Alexa and Luke from North by North Photography that I wanted to have an outdoorsy shoot, they immediately suggested a trail that I’ve never been to and I’m so glad they did. Not only did I get some fantastic photos, but I also had a great morning hiking around the woods with them.

 

Project: Burberry Cascade Duffle Coat

Total Cost:$264 CAD

Pattern:$22

Fabric: $220 (including the coating, lining and interfacing)

Notions: $22

Fit: No alterations.

Techniques: Bagging a lining

What to work on: Gathering all my supplies in one go. I wish I had picked out fancier toggle buttons in the year I’ve had the fabric. I was all set to go with this project and then realised that I wouldn’t be able to get any toggles other than these locally.