I actually made this coat in October, but somehow it's taken me nearly three months to photograph it. It's based on a coat that I bought from Jigsaw Junior several years ago (that's one of the perks of being only 5ft1). The original coat is made from a cotton drill and it's one of my favourite garments, but it's never been especially warm, and so is more suited for Spring and Autumn wear. For the last few years I've longed for a warmer winter version and, finally, here it is.
It has a small funnel collar, princess seams back and front and a double breasted fastening. It only took an afternoon to draft the pattern, as I followed the dimensions of my beloved Jigsaw coat very closely, then a day and an evening to make the coat and around two months to finish hemming the lining...how can a person lose their momentum like that?
I quibbled over what to line it with, and in the end decided to steer clear of my usual sartorial conservatism and went for a bright cornflower blue.
Here it is on Miss Evangeline - I think she wears it well. And, unlike me, she does not have to be photographed without her head for fear of revealing what very strange expressions she wears upon her chops, due to her having only a faceless stump.
To me, making a coat feels similar to learning free-motion quilting. It's been an elephant in my sewing room that I've wished to surmount (yes, there's a possibility I could end up in the loft with my head through the ceiling if we think about that too literally). I'm not sure it's possible to get rid of the elephant in its entirety, for it's always there with new challenges - and I love that - I love that one can never really master sewing, because there's always some area left in which I feel incompetant or which needs retreading in different ways (both making a coat and free-motion quilting both very definitely still needing retreading).
There's every chance that I may go around inappropriately flashing my coat lining at people now. Once you've added in a colour like that, the temptation is to wear it inside out, rather than to appreciate that a part of its loveliness comes in the not-quite-enough glimpses of it, or just knowing it's there when no one else does. But you know now too!
In retrospect, the thing that I wish that I'd done differently was to make this coat in black wool suiting, instead of navy. Almost as soon as I'd finished it (but unrelated to the finishing of it; I'm not intentionally contrary) I suddenly only wished to wear black,with a few bits of grey around the edges. In more flighty moments I've considered piling it into the washing machine with a box of black Dylon...but as this coat is dry-clean only I've refrained.
On the subject of dye and colour. I tend to re-dye my black jeans every few months (as you can see...they are ready for this). Despite washing them insideout, at 30 degrees and with non-biological detergent they still seem to lose their colour. However, this morning a link to an article showed up in my Twitter feed in which Jean Touitou (founder of APC jeans) recommends washing jeans in Woolite Extra Dark to retain the colour. Do you use this? Can it be found in England?
Wishing you a wonderful weekend. Our own will be a contrast of digging mud by day and going to a party by night. I love it when a Friday holds the promise of a weekend of good things.