Camo & Lace

The Coat

The Coat. Yes, I added lacing at the back.

I’m kinda torn. I almost don’t want to post about this at all, and wait until spring when I can get better photos. But I’m also afraid if I do that it just won’t happen. And I’m impatient. And I really, really like this jacket.



Ralph Lauren Duster

Inspiration: Ralph Lauren Duster. Don’t see the resemblance?

So, way back in the day, Lady Katza of Peanut Butter Macrame posted about this (already-not-news) “duster” coat-dress-thingy. It’s apparently Ralph Lauren. I don’t know. All I know is I agreed with her about its general fabulosity. Anyway, memory morphs, as it does, so what I remembered was a long, swingy denim coat trimmed in lace. And somehow when this drab camo twill showed up at my local Fabricland (which has been a pathetic, camo-less wasteland for over a year, I will point out), well, it seemed like the perfect riff on this idea. Especially matched with McCall’s 6800, which I have had a crush on since it came out.

McCall's 6800

McCall’s 6800

In fact, it’s pretty much everything you could want in a swishy coat pattern. Princess seams (two sets). Two-piece sleeve. Lapelled or standing collar options. Detachable hood. Detachable fur collar, if that’s your style. It even had the high-low hem option ready-made! And I will make a real wintery-coat-version someday, but it was a great starting-place for the image in my head.


Front view. Ok, I’m a little surprised at how short it ended up. The pattern photos made me think it would go from just above the knee in the front to mid-calf in the back.

Curiously, the really ugly greige-colour of cluney lace at Fabricland looked perfect with this fabric. Unfortunately, they don’t have much selection in that colour, and and this was the only one that was the right kind of edge and scale. And all they had was four metres. Which seemed like plenty at the time, but as it turned out, was just enough to go around the hem once. My dreams of lace frothing at throat and cuffs were dashed. Maybe I’ll add it in later.

back lacing

back lacing

After checking the finished measurements, I figured I’d be safe to go down a size, with the possible exception of the waist—so I made part of my usual petite alteration right at the waist, figuring that would shave off the narrowest part. Then, I figured I’d add lacing in the back, for some extra fit insurance. Because who doesn’t love lacing? And it turns out I’m glad it’s there, so I probably didn’t need to worry about the waist being too narrow. I’m glad I made my usual petite alterations, though I could’ve skipped the swayback. I think I don’t need it in full-skirted things like this, hard as that is to wrap my head around. I added 4cm length to the sleeves, divided between upper and lower (and there was a lengthen-shorten line in each! This was enough added length, but definitely not excessive. 5 cm (2″) would probably be perfect, especially in a bulkier fabric. I did find the sleeves quite full when I first tried it on. Of course, I had already topstitched the outseam, but I was able to take it in fairly satisfactorily at the under seam. By 1/2″, so a total of a full inch per sleeve. Of course, if I were making a winter-coat version, I would probably want that fullness. While I’m talking about the sleeves, I shaved down the sleeve-heads by about 1/4″ and could probably have taken off more, considering cotton doesn’t ease well. In wool, I think the amount of ease would work. The shoulders are nice and narrow, maybe because I went with the size 10. They’re perfect for this, but I wonder if they wouldn’t be a little narrow for a winter-coat version with shoulder pads (yes, you do need shoulder pads for a tailored coat. Not thick ones, but *something*)



I showed you my bound seams before, but here you can see (however blurrily) the pockets. I made a little support running between the pocket bag and the facing, so it doesn’t flap around. Speaking of the facing, that’s one of the two (maybe three?) things I didn’t like about this pattern. There is no separate piece for the facing—they just tell you to cut four of the CF pieces. Well, I did that in my Winter CoatΒ and I can’t help but suspect that it was a contributor to the mysterious front-flaring-out that almost killed the coat at the final stages—only major hand-stitching (basically padstitching the two layers together) saved it. Anyway, when I went to cut my second pair, I skipped the flare. For this topstitched design, I wasn’t concerned about turn-of-cloth allowance on the lapels, but if/when I make a proper version, I’ll be over at the RTW Tailoring Sewalong posts, where Sherry went over all the necessary changes for drafting a lining and facing properly. Such a good sewalong.


Buttons and buttonholes. If you look close, you can see where I ran out of topstitching thread SIX INCHES FROM BEING DONE!

Of course I had to use jeans buttons. Of course, I couldn’t find ANY of my handy-dandy little thingies that hold the two bits in place while you hammer, nor could I find my awl. Let me just say, those two gadgets make life a lot easier. I made the buttonholes with a vintage Singer buttonholer.

Buttonholer. First use.

Buttonholer. First use.

I should perhaps mention it was the first time using this particular buttonholer; in the past I’ve used my Greist one. I did not notice a measurable difference between the two (and they both use the same templates, which means my little extra kit that has the short keyhole template works in either). I did NOT try to use the topstitching thread for the buttonholes—I have come to the conclusion that this is just asking for trouble. They look just fine in regular, matching thread.



I used 8 buttons, which felt like quite a lot, but I like the closely-spaced look. Also, less gaping if when I lace things up really tight. And my nifty-measury-gadget only does 8 holes. Probably that’s enough for most things.


Neck yoke, with hanging loops. Also, I love binding.

There was no rear neck facing piece (another boo—basically there were no proper lining pieces, though there was a proper undercollar). So, I made my own. I’d go into my process, but a) Sherry covers it really well, and b) I totally didn’t follow her advice and just kinda laid some tracing paper over the half-finished jacket and traced out the shape. I am glad I remembered a hanging-loop, even if I didn’t think to add it until after.



So, I’m pretty happy with the outcome. And even Osiris approves, which is pretty rare, although he wondered why I didn’t use more lace. Sadly, the weather being what it is, this jacket won’t get much wear for a couple of months. What can I say? I was, ah, inspired. Which is a great feeling to follow, isn’t it?

Now I had better go be a good girl and make a onesie for Syo next…



Filed under Sewing

63 responses to “Camo & Lace

  1. I couldn’t wear this but I love it on you. I want one of those button hole measure thingys! Oh, I just made a top and ran out of the thread 10cm from the end.. frustrating!

    • I don’t really find buttonhole measuring that bad usually, but this made it effortless—plus really easy to get markings the right distance from the edge.

      Yeah, not enough thread = AAAARGH!

  2. I love it! And the boots and cool pants are great with it! It’s always nice when inspiration and motivation come and you get something made before a season change when you would actually wear it – something to look forward to and satisfaction knowing you are prepared ahead of time. =)

    I really need to pull out my old Singer buttonhole attachment and try it! I’ve never really needed to make keyhole buttonholes so I don’t really think about using it, but now I want to.

  3. Wow that is so cool!! I’m in love with the camo and lace, super good job.

  4. Very cool. Love the lacing and lace. Nicely finished.

  5. There is so much to be proud of in this coat! Great finish, great fit and great knock off! Spring awaits!

  6. Amazing coat! that shape in camo is inspired!

  7. Awesomest coat ever! I love the camo and lacr combo.

  8. I have an aversion to camo because here in the south = red neck hick. But this coat is making me totally rethink that CAUSE ITS AWESOME.

    And I still have the materials to make my version of that duster. I LOVE IT SO MUCH!

    • Haha! Ok, I guess I have an irrational soft spot for camo. It goes back to my army-surplus-wearing days. πŸ˜‰ and it is certainly a bit silly out of context. But, I find it fun, and that’s what matters, right? πŸ™‚ I still can’t wait to see your version—someday. πŸ™‚

  9. the man approves? and wants more lace??? sounds like you just got the OK to go shopping. it’s lovely & romantic with a nice hard edge, which is always the best mix, imo.

  10. Sandra

    I think this is my first time commenting on your blog. I absolutely love your coat, inside as well as outside. You did a fantastic job!

  11. This is FANTASTIC. I love the finishing.

  12. This is ubelievable! That lacing in the back is pure genius!! I have a cousin that would SO rock the camo-Lestat look; looks like she may be getting a surprise gift haha!

  13. wow, this is so fabulous! I love that super swingy hem. And, there’s my vintage button maker in action!! I can’t wait to use it for realz, and not just admire it in the box. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! One full circle of swingy hem—I was pretty surprised when I figured that out. Good luck with your buttonholer! They seem to be a fairly sturdy and not-too-fiddly bunch…

  14. I can’t believe you found lace that matched this camo, but I’m sure glad you did–it’s too awesome for words!! I mean, I knew it was going to be awesome, but I just wasn’t prepared for exactly *how* awesome it was going to be.

    • Considering I had only four colours to choose from, so was I! Although, the camo had quite a few colours in it too, I suppose. πŸ™‚ I’m sure glad they had it, anyway!

  15. Wow, this is beautifully done, and you’re totally rocking the look!

  16. This is awesome. Can’t wait to see it in person.

  17. a look i couldn’t pull off, but love on you – especially the tie up back!

  18. It is so perfectly YOU. I love it.

  19. LinB

    Oh, this is so “you!” Even though we’ve never met in person, and I really only know about you what you so generously share with the world, in your blog. Let me amend the opening statement. “Oh, this is so what I imagine a person named Tanit-Isis would like to wear!” You can always add more lace later, as and when you come across a stash of suitable lace. (Or unsuitable lace … stitcher’s choice.)

    • Hehe… I’m imagining naughty and unsuitable lace now. πŸ˜‰

      Thank you! I like to think my “blog persona” is pretty much the same as me in real life, but I guess you never really know. I’m probably nicer in print. And more interesting. πŸ˜‰

      • LinB

        As are we all nicer in print, I suspect. Much easier to edit one’s image when you type, wait a bit, and cut out the mean parts; than to open one’s mouth and let whatever is in one’s head and heart fall out before stopping to think about collateral damage. And don’t worry about sounding arrogant in your acceptance of praise: it ain’t bragging if you can back it up.

  20. Sufiya

    Yup, GREAT COAT. The combo of camo and cluny lace is PURE GENIUS.>loud applause< Too bad you can't teleport over to OUR Fabricland..TONS of Cluny lace of all kinds. and widths! I LOVE it…it dyes well, too. It's a nice lace for when you want something that's not too "lacy" and it has a nice weight to it too. I will be looking out for this pattern..I am thinking I have some 5-6 yards or so of red and gold BROCADE that was a thrift-shop score; it might look good in the form of a duster! I agree about the back lacing detail being fabulous; did you just sew some loops into the seam to make it like that? I have always wanted a duster style coat, although I like the style with a little capelet. Maybe one could be added to this pattern…

    • Thank you! My local Fabricland has lots of cluney lace, just not much in this one particular colour… I guess I could’ve gone to the one across town, but that seemed too much like work at the time. We’ll see. πŸ™‚

      Yeah, I made some skinny bias tubes with the same fabric from the seam binding and added the loops before I stitched the seams. πŸ™‚

  21. Awesome coat! I particularly love the everything-single-thing about it! πŸ˜‰

  22. Yessss I was waiting to see this coat! The bits you posted in IG were so tantalizing. If I may say so, it’s stuff like this that made me start following you in the first place; I so love a swishy full coat. Never would’ve thought to do the lace + camo thing, but it works somehow. I think my favorite bit is the back lacing…was it in the pattern? Was it hard to do?

    • It was not in the pattern but it wasn’t hard at all. I just added some little loops into the back princess seam (sometimes the princess seams are too far apart but because this pattern has two sets, the distance between the more medial princess seams was perfect.)

      YAy for swishy full coats! πŸ™‚

  23. This is just wow! I’m not sure there is enough gushing available to gush appropriately, but this is truly a masterpiece. I love the juxtaposition of camo and lace and frockcoat shape and it’s just genius all round!

  24. Wow. That turned out really cool. I don’t particularly like camo and this is adorable. I may have to try that pattern.

  25. I LUUUUUUURVE this jacket – the inspiration photo was cool, but the final project is even cooler. Camo and lace? Corset back? Awesome – it’s totally you, and I think it’s fabulous! πŸ˜€

  26. LOVE this coat…jacket…thingy…
    Beautiful work. Those seams! Gah!

  27. Pingback: Hallowe’en 2017: Interview with the Steampunker | Tanit-Isis Sews

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