Animal Print Wool-Silk Brocade Coat

silk wool brocade jacket

Here’s my trick to not totally hating the long cold winters we have here in the Northeast: Own lots of different outerwear options. Winter is yucky (in my opinion), but I can bear it a little more if I don’t have to wear the same coat or jacket day in and out. So I make a new coat every season. I think this coat here is the sixth or seventh coat I’ve made in the last five years or so, and my hall closet is busting at the seams with coats and jackets.

Why should anyone sew a coat, you ask? I’ll give you four good reasons:

– Nice coats are expensive
– Even on sale, nice coats are still expensive
– Nice coats don’t always come with nice linings, and a good lining makes all the difference in the world in terms of warmth and durability
– Coats can be surprisingly very simple to make

I made this simple little coat from an out-of-print Vogue pattern (2692, issued 2002) that has become a TNT pattern for me, this being coat #3 from it. It has a dropped-shoulder, loosely constructed feel, which matches all the big coats you see in fashion editorial these days. For fabric I chose this wool-silk animal print that’s new in our wool department at Mood NYC. I loved the subtle sheen and richness this fabric exudes, and the weight is perfect for those fall and winter days where it’s chilly but not bitterly cold. The design is roomy enough so I can slip this on over a jacket. Hard to tell from this dressform shot, but it hits me just above the knee.

silk wool brocade jacket

Above, you can see how I used the reverse of this fabric for the under collar. I toyed with making the upper collar out of black leather, but then decided it would be too much with all that the fabric has going on.  Keyhole buttonholes by Jonathan Embroidery on W. 38th Street here in NYC.

silk wool brocade jacket

Buttons found at Mood NYC. The lining is basic black in flannel-backed satin for extra warmth.

Though I really like this coat, especially the animal print fabric, I was worried that it was a little too old for me. You know, “great style at any age,” 70+ category. Yesterday I was climbing the back stairs to Mood with Denis, whom you may know as the man in the Silks department with the long silver pony tail. I think Denis has the most wonderful taste, and his long list of clients do too. I was wearing this coat and he complimented me on it. “Oh, Denis,” I said, “You don’t think it’s too Eileen Fisher for me?” Not at all, he reassured me, explaining that it has a sixties vibe that makes it youthful and on trend. Phew!

I think we still have some of this fabric available in our NYC store. If you’re interested in it, send an email to and include one of the photos here or a link to this post. Or, check out this animal print wool we currently have online.

What I’m working on now: A quilted silk brocade jacket with lots of embellishments. I keep basting it and trying it on as I go, but there’s a good chance it’s just not going to work. Don’t you hate when that happens?!



  • Carolyn
    October 23, 2012

    This is just stunning! Love your fabric and button choice!

  • Ginger
    October 23, 2012

    I LOVE this! It’s amazing, Meg! I would snap up this fabric in a heartbeat! Hmm… maybe I need to make a quick trip to Mood…

  • Erica B.
    October 23, 2012

    Too old? No way! I’d totally wear that coat with a turtleneck and cigarette pants! It’s so fabulous!

  • Cidell
    October 23, 2012

    Love. You inspire me with the outerwear. I have a few planned myself!

  • Jackie G.
    October 23, 2012

    Meg, this is stunning! What is a TNT pattern?

  • Mood Sewing Network
    October 23, 2012

    “TNT” is sewer shorthand “tried and true”

  • oonaballoona
    October 23, 2012

    I agree with Denis, it’s hot. I so want you to rock it with fuchsia tights and tall boots…

  • Amanda S.
    October 23, 2012

    What luxury to be able to have buttonholes sewn for you! My machine won’t do the really big sizes.

    Beautiful coat! To my eye it looks like the fabric pattern is perfectly matched up along the fronts. What did you use to line it?

  • Mood Sewing Network
    October 23, 2012

    Amanda, just black flannel-backed lining satin, which is nice and warm.

  • Karen Freeman-Pettis
    October 23, 2012

    Love love love your coat! It makes a statement. I look forward to cool weather just for the opportunity to wear my coats. I’m addicted. One of my favorites was made in 1995 and I pull it out every year along with the more recent ones.. Now…I want yours

  • Sarah Gunn
    October 24, 2012

    Absolutely gorgeous.

  • Marla
    October 24, 2012

    Nice coat. Like the wool print fabric.

  • Renee
    October 25, 2012

    What an amazing coat!!!!! Beautiful

  • Laura
    October 31, 2012

    This coat looks like a million $$…Love your philosophy regarding coats and seasons……dying to make a coat….have ordered a pattern….from Style Arc….can’t live without it. Yes, cigarette pants. suede booties….and come late to the party, everyone will stop just to see you…….