February 16, 2010

Raindrop Coat on a Lady Grey Day

"Tut tut, it looks like rain." ~ Winnie the Pooh

It's raining outside. That really gentle kind of rain when it's so pleasant to wrap up in a favorite coat and drink warm tea.

I was a tester for the Lady Grey Coat for Colette Patterns this last time around. Need I say that Sarai is so wonderful to work with and her patterns are quite fabulous and so easy to understand and use. If you are interested in being a pattern tester for her company, sign up here. When I initially "tested" the pattern I sewed it up in muslin. This is my typical routine for testing any pattern, just because I've ruined so much fabric by not getting the fit right the first time. After I'd finished the muslin, I put the pattern and the muslin away thinking that later I would make the coat out of something brilliant and fabulous. This last New Year's one of my resolutions was to finish all unfinished sewing projects and I felt that this fell into that category.

Even though I had the "testing instructions," they were a dream and a breeze to follow. As many others can vouch for, all of the Colette Patterns are built this way. The Lady Grey Coat is labeled advanced, but really the pattern instructions make you feel like they are written for a beginner. They are so concise and easy to understand. I highly, highly recommend any of these patterns to any sewist with an eye for beautiful fit and fabulous style.

I made this coat from a cotton fabric which much resembles the weave and texture of burlap. It's really heavy and I was actually, going to interline it but in the end decided not to.The coat would have been way too heavy if I had. I lined the coat in Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks Voile and it is so soft to the touch and feels perfect against my skin. The voile isn't as slippery as a mainstream lining but, being as I'm planning to wear this as a coat top and not just a coat it's the perfect complement. I sewed this pattern up in my true size and would recommend that if you are going to actually wear this number as a coat that you sew it up in a size larger than you. That way you have a little extra room for heavier tops that could go underneath. Mine is a little snug when I wear a long sleeve sweater. I topstitched the coat in a contrasting turquoise silk thread, which was rather hard to get perfectly straight. The lapels aren't the prettiest, but oh well! so much learned for the next time.

When I mocked this up in muslin the sleeve was too large for the armhole and so I fixed that. However I didn't mark my pattern after doing this and so I just cut away into my fabric not giving it a second thought. I was too lazy to fix it after topstitching and all that so I just gathered the sleeve at the top. You can barely even see it because of the luscious collar but there you have it. The sleeves in general were a little large-ish and I have fairly thin arms (but a very strapping broad shoulder line, go figure) so I gave the sleeve a pleat at the elbow and topstitched it by hand, giving it a little imperfect look.

Overall, I'm totally in love with this romantic coat. It's the perfect color, which I'm convinced I love because I have watched way too many BBC Dramas as of late. It's the perfect weight, the perfect shape, which I was worried about because when I emphasize my shoulder area aka the collar, I tend to look football playerish. However, I think the flared waist to hip area compensates for this and it ends up perfecting the balance. My inner pattern designer thinks this is pretty ingenious!

Alright, now that you've had your fill, go and buy the Lady Grey Coat pattern right up and dream of the perfect rainy day to wear it on.
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