Last week, my oldest daughter came over and saw this coat nearly completed on my dress form. She said "Wow, that was fast!". What she didn't know was that I had started this project back in December of 2015, when Pantone announced that their 2016 Color of the Year was actually two colors- Serenity Blue and Rose Quartz. I was so excited because I had the perfect fabric- this pink and blue plaid coating. I remember getting this wool coating for $1.99/yd from Fabric.com when they still had great sales. Oh, those were the days....sigh...
When Pantone announced the 2016 two color winner,they explained it with this:
Ahhh. Such good intentions. Maybe had we all joined forces and wore these two colors together, 2016 might have been better! I was going to do my part after all. I got my coat cut out in December of 2015, got the interfacing fused, and then the unthinkable happened- carpal tunnel struck! To someone who loves to do things with her hands, carpal tunnel is a nightmare. Now, looking back, I can see where I was getting some signals from my body that I ignored. But when it really hit, it was like a lightning bolt, and I couldn't do anything with both hands without extreme pain for several months.
I did get better by summer 2016, but by then I had completely forgotten about winter and coats, and even the color of the year that I so desperately wanted to make something from. It wasn't until I saw a gorgeous version of Vogue 1479 on EliCat's blog, that I was reminded- "Hey! You've got this pattern too, and you even have it all cut out!"
So, here is the Vogue cover:
I really liked the oversized stadium look of it, and could see wearing big chunky sweaters under it. Of course, this was in 2015, when we still had real winters. Lately, it's been so warm, that I think I'm going to give all of my big sweaters away. It was almost 70 degrees last week in Illinois!
Well, I'm digressing here, back to this coat- I call this my "coat of many pockets", and I love it. I love every single pocket of the 7, yes, that's right, 7 glorious pockets. How can that be? Well there are two welt pockets, 1 inside pocket, and then the patch pockets are actually two in one- you can put your hands in the side or from the top.
Here is the inside pocket. I used a hot pink grosgrain ribbon for it, and the finish between the facings and lining.
I even put in a hang chain and label! There's a story behind these labels, but I won't go into it here. The hang chain is vintage and so are the buttons.
I found these leather buttons on Etsy at kabooco.com. They are vintage Japanese buttons and were very reasonably priced for leather buttons. They came wrapped in a beautiful handkerchief along with a small assortment of other interesting buttons. I highly recommend checking this source out if you are in need of interesting buttons!
I won't lie, this was a complicated project! And one that I would not recommend for beginners. A few sections had me scratching my head. They used very, very small illustrations of very complicated steps! I know that I did the inside pocket wrong, but hey, it works, which is all that matters. I did take photos of the patch double pocket construction, so I'll share those with you.
First, the gray lining, is piece #4, the Lower Pocket Lining. You sew this to the pocket, but leave an opening for turning, shown by the chopstick in the photo below. The black lining is piece #5, Lower Pocket Facing. (I ran out of lining fabric, so didn't intentionally choose different colors, but it may help in visualizing how to do this step). You pin the WRONG side of the facing to the RIGHT side of the Lower Pocket and baste.
Next, you fold down the lower pocket lining to cover the lover pocket facing and stitch. (The wrong side of my gray lining is darker, so don't get this confused with the black facing piece. What you are seeing is the wrong side of piece #4.)
Then you turn this right side out, through the opening. Give it a good pressing, and this is what it will look like. You are seeing the wrong side of piece #5 on top here.
Now, you need to go in and handstitch the opening closed.
Then you place it on the coat. and slipstitch the wrong side of piece #5 to the coat. Now here is something very important that I messed up- the "placement line" on the coat, is actually for the top of piece #5, not the top of the pocket! There are circles that are for placing the top of the pocket. Then you stitch around the pocket, leaving an opening on the outer sides. This is what allows it to be a double pocket. SO clever!
When I first put the top of the pocket on the placement line, my plaids didn't match. I was so bummed, but then I thought, "Oh well, I guess I didn't have enough fabric to match the plaids". After all, it had been over a year since I cut this thing out! So I sewed them in place and completed the rest of the coat anyway. It wasn't until several days later, that I pulled out the instructions and realized my error. Then I had to undo the lining, take off the pockets, and move them up to the correct position. Duh! But thank goodness, the plaids matched, which would have eventually driven me crazy if they didn't.
The back of the coat is rather plain, although there are two piece sleeves. EliCat added a back belt with buttons that jazzed hers up nicely. But after repositioning the pockets and sewing up the lining again, I didn't have the energy to add any extras. You can see the dropped shoulders clearly here.
I cut the medium, which is plenty big. I did add about 1-1/2" to the length on the body and sleeves.
If you enjoy a challenging project, I really recommend this pattern. Just be patient, get all of the pocket pieces straight in your mind, and allow yourself plenty of time. Even if it takes over a year, like mine!