The Treasure Hunt Coat

My first project of 2019, is one that was on my mind for the majority of 2018!  For me, sewing is as much about the hunt for the components of any project, as it is about the process of putting it all together.  I found this fabric last March, so I've been hunting for the rest of the components for several months before I cut into it.  I love searching through both old and new patterns, online fabric stores for new fabrics, thrift stores for old fabrics, and antique stores for notions.   When I have all of the components, then I will often go to consignment shops for the perfect purse, necklace or footwear to make the whole outfit.   I especially love it when I can find the components second hand because I know that there is a history behind them, and I imagine who the previous owner was and what they were thinking of making.

I found this blue wool plaid last March at our Idea Store- a reuse recycle store that I wrote about here.  It was a large piece, and I suspected that it was handwoven because at the end of the piece, it had some pink yarns.  We have a group of spinners and weavers in our community, and they make some amazingly beautiful pieces.  Then, when I was cutting it, I found a hand-written note, confirming my suspicions that it was made by a person, not a mill!  The note said "Coat Length", so I was glad to know that the original maker had intended it would end up being a coat.  I felt a bit humbled, and thought- "Whoa- this is an amazing piece of fabric, and I better not mess it up!" What an honor to make something from a piece of cloth that someone else had put a lot of time and undoubtedly love into creating it!  So, I did my best to do justice to the piece, taking my time to make it.

At some point, I also picked up this pattern, Butterick 3260 at the IDEA store, and decided it would be a good choice with the simple lines, making the plaids easy to match.  This said the copyright was 2001, so it had sufficiently aged.  I did a full bust adjustment so that the coat wouldn't hike up in the front.  And then I lengthened the body by 3" and also lengthened the pockets by 3", as I wanted them to be able to hold a lot!