An Italian Wool Draped Coat

Yes I’m a crazy Australian sewing a wool jacket in spring… it’s for my ‘cold-break’ summer holiday in January.

It’s one of those fabrics when you see it – you just need to own it. Well, that’s how it was for me anyway.

My Mood Fabrics Make that I've nicknamed the Coat of Many Bloggers - in honour of the amazing community of people that searched for the pattern, encouraged me and helped me translate the pattern!

My Mood Fabric Make that I’ve nicknamed the Coat of Many Bloggers – in honour of the amazing community of people that searched for the pattern, encouraged me and helped me translate the pattern!

I loved this Italian Carolina Herrera Black/White/Blended Blue Plaid Suiting from Mood Fabrics as soon as I saw it. I’m a complete sucker for anything blue.

Italian Carolina Herrera Black/White/Blended Blue Plaid Suiting from Mood Fabrics

Italian Carolina Herrera Black/White/Blended Blue Plaid Suiting from Mood Fabrics

I adored how the weave of this plaid produces almost a holographic look and graduates softly between black/white/blue. It’s not a harsh plaid with solid lines.

It is lovely to sew with and not too heavy to cut – this wasn’t the type of fabric where my hands ached after a cutting session. It is a medium weight and could be used to sew a wide range of garments, it would make a lovely suit.

It ironed easily and well. Took a hefty whack of steam and never complained. Wool does like to stretch I discovered. So handle with care and consider stabilising your seams or stay stitching.

I had originally intended to sew a more traditional coat but keep coming back to the idea of a waterfall/draped long-line loose jacket. I’ve always found it best to go with the heart when you sew. If you look at a fabric and immediately imagine it made up as a certain item of clothing… then go with that. The only problem was most draped jacket patterns seemed to be designed for knit fabrics. Then low-and-behold French designer Vanessa Pouzet released a new jacket design called Eagle.

This pattern is in French, it has diagrams but they don’t convey the full construction process – and no I can’t speak French. Google Translate provided limited meaningful assistance. The construction is slightly unusual. I haven’t sewn too many jackets but I have never sewn a lined jacket with this order of construction. However I’m not here to talk about the pattern, there will be more about that on my blog soon about that!

Strangely I like plaids, checks and ginghams if they are slightly messed up when sewn up. I like the juxtaposition of the order of the fabric pattern set with a design which throws out the regularity of the fabric print/weave. This is completely a rather odd personal preference – I think I like a bit of chaos.

If you are nervous about plaids and all that pattern matching. Don’t be. Look for simple patterns or patterns where you can play with the plaid rather than be hemmed in by its rigid nature.

Italian Carolina Herrera Black/White/Blended Blue Plaid Suiting from Mood Fabrics.  Vanessa Pouzet Eagle pattern. Sewn by Sew Busy Lizzy

The Eagle Jacket – side view. When you move the fabric seems to play tricks on your eyes. It’s quite unusual.

While this pattern may be draped, there was still some plaid matching to be done. To match the plaid, I decided to cut the pieces out flat rather than on the fold. I created a full pattern piece for the back and two of the front piece so I could laying them flat and double check that all the plaid would intersect correctly at the side and front seams.

To match the sleeves, I cut these out last – after I had constructed the body of the jacket. I often work that way with pattern matching if I know I have plenty of fabric to play with – I cut out a piece at a time as I sew. I put the sleeveless jacket on my dressmaking form, held the paper pattern pieces up to the armhole and marked where the black plaids on the armhole were meeting the sleeve and marked this on the pattern piece. I then laid the marked pattern pieces on the fabric, matching up the plaid and the pattern marks and then cut out the sleeves. Due to the leather shoulder pieces it was impossible to match the back and the front. So I elected the match the front piece and front sleeve.

The shoulder features are leather – cut from a piece gifted to me by my lovely friend Susan from her stash. The shoulders also mean that there are a few less seams to pattern match. You can focus on matching the side seams and the fronts.

This fabric has enough drape to fall into a single fold when left unbelted.

This fabric has enough drape to fall into a single fold when left unbelted.

I think the full flare of this coat unbelted, it’s massive and swingy – perhaps swamping me a little but I love coats and tops that billow about. There is something fun and dramatic as they swing around your legs and body as you walk (particularly if you walk as fast as I do!).

Unbelted, the fabric is soft enough to fall into nice folds

Unbelted, the fabric is soft enough to fall into nice folds

Wearing it unbelted, the jacket fronts hang with a single fold, when I belted it I folded them back to get a ‘plaid origami’ look. I also love how it transforms from a freeform coat into quite a soft feminine shape with a belt. I also love how the plaid meets and moves away from itself in the folds of the jacket. I’m rather pleased how the fabric and pattern came together with this make – I confess I was terrified of disaster but decided to go with my heart and give it a try anyway. Sometimes a bit of bravery and a lot of faith goes a long way when you sew.

I can't help myself - I always push up my sleeves unless it is bitterly cold.

I can’t help myself – I always push up my sleeves unless it is bitterly cold.

And now I have a big snuggly jacket for my cold climate summer holiday!

Fabric: Italian Carolina Herrera Black/White/Blended Blue Plaid Suiting
Pattern: Eagle by Vanessa Pouzet (French, untranslated)

19

Comments


  • Sallieoh
    October 30, 2014

    Gorgeous work Lizzy!! I love freeform, waterfall silhouettes like this for jackets – and this beautiful plaid really does wonderful things with all the drapes and folds! You look so lovely in blue, too!

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      October 30, 2014

      Blue seems to be one of those colours when people tell me how ‘well’ I look. I spent so long thinking about what to do with the plaid that I almost forgot to sew! I also love waterfall jackets, they are so easy to throw on over things.

  • Peter
    October 30, 2014

    Splendid — great fabric choice. I’m partial to the loose-and-swingy look but I think it’s stunning belted to. Superb job!

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      October 30, 2014

      Thanks Peter! I was so happy when this pattern popped up in my twitter feed, it’s a magic combination of full and flared – or shaped with a belt. Lots of fun to wear.

  • Michelle
    October 30, 2014

    OH. OH. OH! IT’s gorgeous! I love the fabric, and you found the perfect pattern to sew with! I love the shape of that jacket!!! It’s full-on jacket weather here, so I might need a few varieties of this pattern in my closet!

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      October 30, 2014

      Thanks Michelle I searched high and lo for a pattern and then a fellow blogger saw this and tweeted it to me. I did struggle with the instructions and illustrations but it made sense as I sewed – I just had to take a leap of faith and puzzle it out as I went. A fun challenge. Now I’ve made it once it would be quite easy, it was just very different from all my other jackets which threw me.

  • Amanda S.
    October 30, 2014

    It’s swingy but still fitted, which I think is very flattering to your figure. I love it!

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      October 30, 2014

      I spent a long time looking at the pattern as I was concerned about the volume and decided that the fit across my shoulders would be OK so it was more about getting used to a lot of volume towards the hem.

  • carolyn roemer
    October 30, 2014

    Just beautiful. What do I like best about the coat-jacket? Everything. The pattern, the fabric, and the description are all very informative and fun….. Thank you.

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      October 30, 2014

      Thank you Carolyn! I will write a lot more on my blog in the next few days about the pattern – it would have been too long here! It’s not a hard coat to make but the construction was quite different to anything I had made before – and with French instructions it was challenging!

  • Debbie Iles
    October 30, 2014

    Love this! Such a great shape and looks super comfy too. I was really looking forward to seeing what you would put together for this coat – especially after seeing you work through your pattern choice on instagram. Fab end result!

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      October 30, 2014

      LOL I was almost embarrassed with the amount of agonising over the pattern but I just couldn’t settle on anything in particular. I’d still love to make the Japanese coat at some point. It looks amazing too.

  • Rosie
    October 30, 2014

    Very well done! Great fabric to pattern matching, gold star.

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      October 30, 2014

      Thanks Rosie – i confess I expelled the children, dogs and husband from the house so I could cut out the fabric! Sometimes you need headspace as much as physical space when you sew!

  • Sarah Gunn
    October 31, 2014

    Absolutely lovely, Lizzy! Anything CH is a favorite of mine 🙂

  • Sew Well
    October 31, 2014

    What a lovely fabric! And, you’ve done it such justice in this jacket, especially with all the care you took to get the plaid just right!

  • Lori
    November 1, 2014

    Lizzy, your coat is spectacular. I love how it looks unbelted and belted, so versatile and fun. Thanks for the tip on sewing some of the garment then how to match the plaids on the sleeves, I will use that tip in the future. Fantastic coat!

  • Ginger
    November 1, 2014

    This is such a lovely coat and looks so fun to wear! Beautiful work!

  • Vanessa | Pouzet
    November 19, 2014

    Congratulations Lizzy, it’s an amazing version of the Eagle !!
    I’m very pleased you liked the pattern. You did a wonderfull job despite the pattern french explanations.
    I’m currently working on an english version of the pattern with translators. As soon as it is ready I’ll send it to you so that you can follow english indications the next time you will make an Eagle.
    Cheers
    Vanessa