Returning to a sewing pattern you’ve worked with before is like turning to an old friend for advice and reassurance – you’re assured of the fit, the skills needed and prepped for pitfalls along the way. Mostly!
And if like me, you paid a pretty penny for the pattern, you’ll get immense satisfaction from apportioning the cost. I won Butterick 547 fair and square by charging straight in to this crazy bid war! So now the pattern only cost £25 for each coat which sits marginally better, lol!
I made the first version in 2014, truly believing it would be my forever coat – my dreamcoat – but sadly there was an issue with the fabric that I didn’t foresee. So I had to make another in something more stable.
I found the ideal fabric at The Great British Sewing Bee Live show a couple of years back. Pretty sure the seller was M Rosenburg and Son . It’s a fabulous giant dogtooth with teal metallic highlights. It’s got a great weight and a great drape, and it’s stable weave means no stretching or kinking at the hemline.
I just adore the fit – snug to the waist and lapping round my legs – the silhouette is truly 50s. Four buttons to the waist allows for the lower ‘skirt’ to separate as I walk along and a flash of the blue lining does everything to attract attention and some lovely comments.
Sewing the shell pieces was a breeze but I stalled when it came to the welt pockets and the button holes. They call for a little more concentration and I had to psyche myself up before cracking on with that stage. But I practised on scrap pieces to remind myself of the process. The main thing that worried me was the fraying of the fabric and those tiny welts for such thick fabric. But I remembered seeing how some bloggers employ the help of Prym Fray Check and it definitely helped. In fact ended up using it on all the inside seams too. I know the seams are all ultimately hidden by the lining but sealing those edges just reassured me that it will hold together over time. Nothing to do with an unthreadded overlocker and a dose of lazyitis, I assure you! I also invested in a Clover buttonhole cutter to cut the reverse of the bound buttonholes. I can’t tell you how satisfying that little crunch feels when it bites through the coating to create a perfectly straight line. No faffy snipping with pointy scissors any more!
I don’t usually go to that much effort for many of the garments I make but I have to say, it’s always worth it. Buttoning up this coat becomes quite the ceremony. Especially with those heavy vintage buttons … feels so good!
So actually, all the tricky bits were a breeze. But I shouldn’t have been so smug so soon as I had a minor meltdown about the sleeves. (Fat lot of good my old friend is!) I’d shortened them at least an inch too much the first time round and forgot to unfold that pleat in the pattern pieces for this time round. But I was inspired to use the leftover fur for some cuffs. I sewed them on with half the hem allowance and folded them back with an inch of the fluff to the inside (if that makes sense) and voila – the perfect length and actually a stylish feature to compliment the furry lapel. I can also fold them down to extend beyond my fingertips if I forget my gloves!
Most of all I loved all the hand-stitching on this coat. Sewing on the buttons. Sewing down the welt edges, sewing in the lining and catch-stitching the hem. I found it really satisfying and very relaxing. I just took my time and relished each stitch, very aware at how far I’ve come with finer stitches over the years. A marked difference from the whinges about it being such a chore the first time round.
I love that most people have no idea that this is sewn from a vintage pattern. Which verifies it’s classic style. It really is timeless and classy and at some point I will make it simply in black for a more formal occasion. And then I can apportion that pattern cost further!
I’m so glad I made it in time for the cold snap. I really hate the cold so much and yet I’ve never got enough of the right clothes. Mainly because I am now completely allergic to buying RTW and I’d sooner sew than knit. But hey, the only numb part of me on the day we shot this coat was my toes!
And I have to address the photos of course, taken by my wonderful hubby – mostly known for his rock and roll bass playing but also a superstar behind the lens. You can see more of his photos at Daniel James Photographic. He was keen as mustard to get up and out before 6 in the morning, taking the bus to Kensington Gardens and walking to Hyde park before the sun rose. And it was glorious. So pretty and quite breathtaking as the mist rolled in from the Serpentine as the swans and the Mandarin ducks preened themselves in the golden rays. So magical.
I’ve had a Google to see if anyone else has made this coat up but so far have drawn a blank. Surely I can’t be the only one? Maybe that’s why I ended up paying the earth!
Thanks as always for popping by. Hope you’ve got some lovely plans lined up for the weekend. And I’ll look forward to bumping into some of you at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show next week… eeek!
13 Replies to “Vintage Butterick coat with added sparkle!”
Oh lordy! I love this sooo much!
But can I just backtrack…. £50 for the pattern?? Totally worth it …lol! I would have done the same.
At least as you say, you’ve now halved the cost of it, but seriously, your coat would cost £100’s in the shops, so it’s a win in my eyes.
PS…can I please borrow your husband for some blog photos? 🙂
Thanks so much, Diane. This much is true! And yes, indeed, Dan will be well up for doing a shoot for you!
OMG!!!! All the heart eyes for this coat, it’s a-maz-ing!!! You did a brilliant job, and I absolutely love that gorgeous fabric, and contrasting cuffs and collar. And the lining is perfect. Happy wearing!! Eyes are kinda watering at the price of the pattern, but as it was THE coat pattern, then it was worth every penny, and aren’t there a lot worse things to spend 50 quid on??!!
Thank you, Lynne. Haha, I always justify my fabric/pattern spends with that line!
Phwoar that’s a corker!!! And so YOU. I love it so much more than the first one and I loved that one too. I love the triumph over adversity story of the sleeves- so relatable.
Now, knowing how much you love slow sewing (i want to call it sewing porn) have you seen this? Kat and I at work watched t over and over at work making ooh and aah noises.
Thank you MrsC. I think I love it more than the first one too. And wow, thanks for sending that video. I sat wide eyed throughout and forgot to breathe! Just divine. I want to make another now!!
What a beautiful coat! The fit and construction are just fabulous. Well worth the price of the pattern. I so want to try making a coat along these lines, but just haven’t gotten up the nerve to take one on…so you are an inspiration! As was the Dior video!!
What ever you paid for that gorgeous pattern, it was worth it. This coat is a winner through and through. I love everything about it and you fabulous in it. Hurray for winter!
So much fabulous – the pattern, fabric, buttons, trim, styling and photos are all so perfect ;o)
Such a gorgeous coat, well worth all the effort and pattern cost!
So beautiful! The work is immaculate!
Your coat is so lovely! May I ask what kind of shoes you are wearing too. They are a great match.
I cannot begin to imagine just how many people will be lusting after this coat. It’s to die for, many congratulations on such a glorious a make.