Yes, that is what you think it is.
It’s what, until a few hours ago, was 5 m of 60″ wide “unknow fibre” coating. Yup, this stuff.
This is Progress On The Winter Coat. The project that, really, started it all.
I might just pass out with excitement. Or is it exhaustion?
I’ve probably rambled about this before, but not in a few months, so here it goes:
I wear long winter coats. Now, I live in Canada. The climate I grew up with is very similar to the climate of Siberia. The area I live in now is somewhat more moderate, but still, a nice warm winter coat is a must.
A nice, stylish winter coat, on the other hand, is almost impossible to find. Those which are warm enough are mostly down-filled parkas with all the flair and panache of the Marshmallow Man, and those with an ounce of style are never, ever, ever warm enough.
All right. I admit—I have not worn a full-length fur coat out in real cold. It’s possible that would be warm enough, and still stylish, depending on how much you wish to enrage the PETAns. But even this delightful, and very Canadian, Hudson’s Bay Blanket coat I had in University wasn’t really warm enough. Shortly after I
tearfully acknowledged that I had worn it to death, my mom scrounged the coat to the left out of a duffel bag found in an alley. Thrifting at its best, right?
It’s lovely. (Well, it was, except for the sleeves being too short). I would call it a fall weight, however; it’s a single layer of medium-weight wool coating and a thin lining. No tag indicating fibre content, but it certainly feels like wool. Made in Belarus, if that’s of interest. I’ve worn it for the last four or
five years, through two sets of buttons and some serious pocket surgery. I got through winter by the practical but not overly stylish method of layering two to three hooded sweaters underneath it, at least one as long as the coat itself, depending on the temperature. By this past spring, however, the back was getting… a little worn out. I won’t even show you the lining.
But—I had a plan. After Christmas, when I was searching out patterns for my girls’ coats, I had also stumbled upon this:
Butterick 5425. Everything I could possibly want, as far as I could tell, in a winter coat. I was going to make my own! It would be lined, underlined, interlined, and super-duper warm! It would be classy and stylish! It would have long enough sleeves! And really, considering that the kind of coats I like really cost hundreds of dollars, and still wouldn’t be warm enough and would have too-short sleeves, I could spend an awful lot of money on fabric and still come in cheaper.
Now, I will make a confession: if I were picking a pattern now, I might not choose this one. I’ve seen a lot more patterns for coats now, and having made the muslin I’m not totally thrilled with the armscye of this one. But I still love the princess seams and the full, long skirt and the pattern was almost twenty bucks, so I’m going with it. I made some alterations to the upper bodice (shortened the whole thing a touch) and I’m going with a different, two-piece sleeve. With any luck this will fix my dislikes, although given my recent track-record with jackets I’m not feeling as optimistic as I was a few months ago.
This spring, in the depths of the spring clearance at fabricland, I found my fabric. Like the pattern, it’s probably not perfect—I don’t think it’s pure wool, for one thing—but it will do. At least for this first coat. More recently, I finally got my other materials together. So for the last month or so I’ve been dodging around actually starting the damn thing.
But—as of today—it’s cut. Progress! I actually gave up on tracing the pattern, as that step was blocking me too much. Yes, I confess, I cut a pattern. I’m disappointed, too; I’m sure I’ll regret it later. I’d like to have it finished by the end of September, so I’ll be able to devote my full attention to the Lady Grey Coat Sew-Along!
(I know, a little weird to be making the winter coat before the fall one. Sorry, can’t be helped.)
All right… that was a lot of words for not a lot of actual progress. But it is progress, nonetheless.