A Red Wool Designer Coat
When Vogue Patterns originally released V1419, a coat designed by Ralph Rucci, I’ll admit – my first impression was to hate it. It wasn’t until I went to NYC at the end of this summer and actually tried on the designer original at the McCall Pattern Company offices (wind machine was an added bonus!) that I realized the coat was actually pretty awesome and I needed a version for myself. That’s when the watercolor painting started…
… which in turn meant that a coat was bound to happen sooner or later!
My coat is the result of an intense sewalong that I cohosted along with the McCall Pattern Company. I won’t be going over the sewalong in this post, but if you’d like more information – you can view the posts on my blog and the McCall blog, as well as our Pinterest board and Flickr group. If you ever decide to sew this pattern and need some assistance, the sewalong is a great resource to have!
For my coat, I enlisted the help of the wonderful and knowledgeable staff at the Mood Fabrics flagship store in NYC. I couldn’t find anything suitable online that matched my vision, so I chatted with the staff, gave them some ideas of what I wanted in terms of fiber, color, drape and price range, and ended up with a whole mess of swatches to choose from. This bright red virgin wool was exactly what I had in mind – it’s fairly thick, with a lovely, stiff drape (very much needed for this particular style of coat), but the wool was malleable enough to manage all the crazy seaming that this coat demands. The pattern itself is unlined (with all seams bound for a gorgeous and clean finish), so I underlinined my entire coat with a bright red silk taffeta, to allow for ease of wearing and an extra layer of warmth. The bound seams and contrast detail on the outside of the coat are also of silk taffeta, in a darker shade of red that matches the wool. I love the contrast of textures between the two; I think the coat looks very luxe!
Here are some detail shots so you can really see what makes this coat so special:
The making of this coat was a very long, very involved process. There was a fair amount of hand-basting involved, as well as a lot of beating the crap out of my seams with my wooden clapper to get them to lie flat (and you thought sewing was a peaceful hobby? Ha!). It was absolutely worth all the trouble, though – I think my finished coat turned out pretty fabulous, and yes, I’m totally tooting my own horn right now. Toot toot. Wouldn’t you?
I also have to give some mad credit to my friend Alnnah Arnold, for shooting these amazing photos of my finished coat! So much better than some boring pictures of me standing in front of my shed, yeah?
I think the best part about this project is how little it cost vs the rumored price of the designer original – mine was well under $200, whereas the Ralph Rucci couture version has been rumored to cost closer to $10,000! If that’s not a case of sewing saving one some serious bank, I don’t know what is