Tuesday, 14 September 2010

The coat chronicles continued .....

A big thank you to everyone who commented on my dithering over the Lady Grey coat pattern in my last post. Your extremely astute opinions helped me clarify what I really felt about my dilemma. The overwhelming consensus was, at the very least, proceed with caution! Some said don’t do it at all. Whilst I am not saying that I’m never going to make it, I have decided that I am definitely not going to make it now. I shall, however, be following the Sew-Along with keen interest and envious admiration.

I do love the pattern but, as I am small, top heavy, short-waisted and not particularly thin, I really don’t think this is the style for me. I have to confess, however, that I don’t always follow the ‘rules’ when it comes to determining what I might look good in and what I want to make. For instance, it is often advised that small ladies should avoid full length dresses and large prints, yet one of my favourite dresses is my maxi dress, made from Simplicity 3503 (blogged about here and here). It’s long and the print is huge. I totally agree with the advice that The Slapdash Sewist offered me: “if you're comfortable in what you're wearing, you'll look good. So just *decide* it's going to flatter you and it will”. I think that is very true of my maxi dress – it doesn’t really matter whether it actually flatters me or not because every time I put it on it makes me feel cool and carefree and makes me smile!

So I don’t mind taking risks when deciding what to sew but I’m not in the mood to do it with a coat. A coat is a lot of work and takes up a lot of space in the wardrobe so I want a coat that I am going to be able to wear often and always feel good in. Lindsay T commented that she felt I would “look better in a more streamlined and classic style”. As soon as I read that I thought YES, that’s what I really want – streamlined and classic is what my wardrobe needs. So I have been looking through pattern catalogues and my collection of Burda magazines to find something that fits the bill and have found some promising contenders.

Still obsessed with the idea of my coat being camel, I set off for the Goldhawk Road to do some research on cost and availability of camel coloured coating. I went into most of the stores before finding exactly what I wanted. My credit card came out and what was supposed to be a research mission turned into a buying trip. Here it is, pictured with the reference books I have been studying in preparation for the task!

It’s 100% wool, beautifully soft and is a delicious melted toffee shade. It cost £12 per metre.

So, last week I had a coat pattern but no fabric. Now I have the fabric but no coat pattern!

I have to tell you that I am quite exhausted by this coat before I have even begun so, for now, I am going to turn my energy to making a few less demanding items of clothing to get my autumn wardrobe going. After all, I am going to be needing something to wear underneath this coat, when it finally gets made!

In the meantime, what about you - do you know what ‘the rules’ for your particular body shape are? Do you care?


  1. Oooh, I do like your fabric! £12/m sounds like a good deal to me.

    I tend to gravitate towards more tailored stuff. I think it makes me feel "safe." For me this is probably all more psychological, than any firm analysis of my body shape, etc.

  2. I think a classic coat will look wonderful on you! I don't know any "rules" for my body type... I just do it based on what looks good to me. For instance, I would never where tapered pants because I have big thighs and I wouldn't want to accentuate them... so I tend to lean towards wide leg or bootcut pants.

  3. I agree that rules are meant to be broken and that you should wear what you feel comfortable in. I thought you looked stunning in your Simplicity maxi dress and I know you'll look equally as stunning in your new sleek coat because you have a good handle on what you can and can't wear, regardless of rules made by others.


  4. I think you need to know the rules of your body type to be able to break them. I made a coat last year that I was told not to make because it didn't flatter my body type. Well I said Boo and made it anyways. I love it and wore the heck out of it. Of course we want to flatter our figures but I would be bored stiff with my wardrobe if I only stayed in that window of things I was "supposed" to wear. Then again, I like to break rules!

    I'm planning on sewing a coat myself and have been seriously considering Vogue 8626. It's trendy, yet simply lined. I'm thinking about View C with the collar. I bought some olive green camel hair.

  5. I like your fabric, happy your research trip turned into a buying trip. I think your plan of sewing other garments for a bit is a good one. You will be energized to start the coat again soon.

  6. E - are you describing my body? :o) I tend to like more classic / streamlined looks on me but then again breaking the rules can be fun.

    I agree that rules can and should be broken at times. You also have to feel comfortable with what you are wearing and that usually shows through. I'm still flipping and flopping as to pattern let alone fabric.

  7. Eugenia, I have no doubt that you will run into the perfect coat pattern and things will fall into place. You picked up some great books and at least you have the fabric which is half the battle. It will all come together! As far as rules go---I've finally gotten to the place where I no longer ignore them for my body type. Since I don't like too many wadders, I've taken note that my 5'9", short waisted, 34 inseam, narrow shoulder frame likewise looks better in fitted and sculpted clothing. I'm not allowed to wear to many dresses that have a waistline which will highlight my short waist. There are a few more rules but I don't want to bore you. The rules are good of course, because they always put us on the better path of finding what accentuates our figures. So I'm ok with the sewing rules for my body! Good question!

  8. I love the fabric you chose Eugenia! I'm sure you will make a coat that will look fabulous, and last you many years.

    As far as rules go, I am pear-shaped, and I tend to accentuate my upper body and dress my lower body in solids. This is mostly so I look my best. Every now and then I'll go outside the box if I find a style worth it.

  9. Obviously I don't since I seem to always make something that makes others gasp at the idea until they see the finished product!

    ...and I've met you...there's nuthin' fat about you! *smile*

  10. I think you are right to steer away from the Lady Grey coat. I don't think it flatters all figures. Have a look at the beautiful coat that Sigrid is making at http://sigridsewingprojects.blogspot.com/2010/09/getting-somewhere.html
    It might be the inspiration you need.

  11. There is a wonderful tailored coat pattern in the new Ottobre Woman magazine, check it out you might like it.

  12. I don't think I could write down what the rules are for my body type. But I do seem to know what looks good. So I agree with you, I make what I think I will feel good in. Most of the time it works out. Sometimes I just want to try a new style/pattern for the experience and to see if it will look good. If we stick too close to any rules, we might just miss out on something fabulous! Can't wait to see what you come up with for fall!

  13. Wow, somebody actually listened to me! I hope you know I didn't mean "streamlined and classic" as in "dull." To me, streamlined and classic can be very sexy too. And youthful. But I think you make excellent clothing choices even without our advice.

  14. I too love the Lady Gray coat but think it would be a poor choice for my figure. Since having a baby, my waist has gone missing and I think you really need to have a waist to make that silhouette work. That pattern is just not for everyone no matter how well drafted it is.

  15. I think it is a good decision. There is so much work in a coat, and it should be a coat you really love.

    I found it a bit amusing, that so many commented on the Lady Gray coat not being good for small women. I had discussed the pattern with a friend and my conclusion was that it was definitely not for tall women. I am 5 ft 9, so I am not that tall, but I still try to avoid clothes that make me look bigger. Not bigger in the sense of heavier, but just bigger in the sense of looking large next to my petite friends. With the big collar, the wide sleeves and the overall proportions, the lady Grey pattern is the exactly the kind of "make-me-big" design that I would usually try to avoid.

    Still, if you wanted to make the pattern to be able to join the sew-along, I think it would be easy to make the proportions suit you better, if you made the collar a bit smaller and made the coat longer and perhaps a bit narrower.

  16. Oh, that fabric is lovely! I'm excited to see what you choose for your new fall coat. :)


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