Completion of My “Accidental” Winter Coat
I just completed my “accidental” winter coat. I will try to explain why it is an accidental coat. Each year the Lansing Chapter American Sewing Guild has a sewing challenge for the members. This year the challenge was to sew something that we were inspired to make from a guild monthly presentation, a guild sponsored class, or a neighbor group. The Sew Stylin’ Neighborhood Group worked on making coats, so I decided I would make a raincoat for my challenge. The members will bring their challenge items to the October meeting and everyone with a completed article is entered into drawings for prizes. Most of us try to complete an article for the challenge because the prizes are usually very good and who doesn’t like to win a prize!
The pattern I chose for my raincoat was Vogue pattern V8884. As usual, my first job was to try to fit the pattern to me. I planned to sew the coat at the guild’s sewing retreat which was held in Shipshewana, Indiana in August. I was anxious to fit the pattern and get it cut so I could work on it at the retreat. I traced the pattern on pattern paper and used muslin to make my first test garment. Although a test garment is usually made from muslin, it can be made from any inexpensive fabric.
I basted the main pieces of the fabric together so I could try it on and make any needed adjustments. It was so large, I decided I should just start over with a smaller size. I made some adjustments to the pattern before I cut it. I raised the left shoulder and increased the bust just a little.
I had only a little muslin left in my stash, so I decided to look for some other fabric for my second attempt at getting this coat to fit me. I found some home decorating fabric I purchased from an auction many years ago. It was just taking up space in my closet. I knew it was too heavy for a raincoat, but it could be used for a winter coat. I decided the pattern (Vogue V8884) could be used to make a winter coat just as well as a raincoat. My other problem was I didn’t know how this fabric would look as a coat. The pattern on the fabric was big and bold! I really didn’t think the pattern would fit, so I decided to make it anyway. If it didn’t fit, I would just throw it away and I would have some extra space in my closet with the fabric gone. On the other hand, if it fit I would have another winter coat. I decided to take the risk and make the coat!
I basted the main pieces of the pattern together so I could try it on to check the fit. Although it fit, I still wasn’t sure I liked the bold print, so I took it to my Wednesday sewing group and tried it on for my sewing friends. To my surprise, they liked the fabric. Bev reminded me of an article in a recent edition of Threads magazine entitled “Fall Looks”. The article by Erica Redfern was a fashion forecast of patterns and fabrics for Fall sewing. Ms. Redfern stated “Don’t be afraid to stand out with loud prints or eye-catching details. It’s about being unique and embracing your personal style.”
If bold prints are predicted to be a fashion statement for the Fall by Threads, this coat should really make a statement! I like things that are a little bit different and I think this coat could be described as different. I decided maybe I actually like this accidental coat. Although the coat was originally intended to be only a muslin to check the fit of the pattern, I think it will serve me well as winter coat.
Pictures of the coat, a close-up of one of the buttons and pattern envelope are shown below. I included the button because the buttons can't be seen in the picture of the coat. It is a double-breasted coat, so it has eight buttons. Also, the front yoke can't be seen because of the pattern in the fabric.
I can still use the pattern to make a raincoat. I already have the water repellent fabric I purchased from Field’s Fabric. Now I can cut the fabric and know the pattern will fit. I will post a picture of the raincoat when it is completed.
I hope you will get busy making your Fall and Winter sewing projects. You will need them soon!