Fuchsia Bouclé Coat!

Hi, guys! I hope that you’re all well and enjoying the holiday season! I’m really excited to share this garment with you today. I worked on it for a really long time, so I’m very happy to be wearing it finally!

I knew that I wanted to try a coat in this silhouette when I first saw one about a year ago. The cocoon-y shape paired with dropped shoulders makes for a really interesting and fun look. I’d planned to make one last spring, but couldn’t quite get things together, so I was determined to make one this fall. Well, I ALMOST made my deadline!

After choosing the style, I had the hardest time deciding on a fabric! You spend so much time in a coat that you want to be sure you like the fabric before committing to it! Finally I settled on this fuchsia bouclé from my stash. I bought it at Mood Fabrics NYC wayyyyyyy back in March when Clare was visiting and we had a big group of sewers gathered together at the store. In the spirit of full disclosure, I should mention that I was WAY overcaffeinated and overexcited that day, so when I saw this bouclé with neon pink running through it, I lost my mind completely and bought three yards of it without even the slightest idea what I would do with it. Tarek did a burn test for me and determined that the fabric was a cotton/nylon blend. Interesting! (Note: check out Mood’s selection of bouclés here! There’s even a hot pink one!)

I knew that this fabric would be a bit tricky to work with based on the fiber content, but I thought it would be OK since I didn’t have to press any darts or anything like that. I had to keep the iron heat pretty low and use a press cloth to avoid melting, but I was able to underline all the shell pieces with fusible interfacing to give them more stability since this is such a loosely-woven fabric. I also serged each pattern piece as soon as I cut and fused it to limit fraying. Another thing that helped me get better results was catch-stitching all of the seam allowances open. Since the fabric wasn’t happy being pressed, the seams needed a little help staying flat, so the catch stitching was a good solution. On the plus side, when you’re using a loose weave like this, all your hand stitches hide in the fabric, which is nice.

Inside the coat, there’s a lot going on! Since I already had the main fabric in my stash, I used my monthly allowance to purchase lining and interlining fabric. I chose a Theory wool-blend flannel (here’s a similar one, but with a bit of stretch) for interlining, and I’m really happy with that choice. It makes for a warm jacket, but maintains a softness and drape that’s nice in a coat. The lining is a stretch charmeuse, not what I would ordinarily gravitate towards, but it’s such a perfect match to the shell fabric that I had to have it (here is stretch charmeuse in about 100 colors)! I chalked in lines parallel to the grainline, 2″ apart, and quilted along them. I’m not normally one to put this much effort into a project, but I love the feel and effect of the quilted lining, so I’m sure I’ll do it again!

wool flannel interlining, quilted to stretch charmeuse

I used a medium-weight weft interfacing for the collar, facings, and lower sleeve pieces (in addition to the lightweight that I used everywhere). And I added a back stay cut from a small piece of leftover cotton shirting. Hopefully this will help keep things looking good! I also taped the roll line using twill tape catch-stitched to the jacket front. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go crazy steaming the collar and lapels, so I figured that taping the roll line would help everything roll over nicely.

Ordinarily I would like to have slash/welt pockets in a coat, but I was afraid it would look too plain, so I kept the patch pockets from the original pattern just to add a little visual interest. The pockets are lined with the stretch charmeuse, but if I had thought about it more, i would have used the wool flannel instead as that would have been cozier.

The pattern is République du Chiffon‘s Gerard coat, and I sewed up a straight size small without any changes. I kind of wish I’d gone up a size so I’d have a bit more ease, but this is fine and totally wearable. The pattern makes for a cute garment, but the instructions are minimal (and aren’t fully translated from the French) and I needed to look up how to do things elsewhere, so I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners. The PDF was also a pain in the neck to put together as it didn’t fit together perfectly and it needed to be traced and have seam allowances added to it after taping it together… so much work! But it was exactly the look I was going for, and it wasn’t very expensive, so it was worth the hassle of figuring out what I needed to do.

The whole time I was sewing this, I really wasn’t sure how it would look when it was finished. But at the very end, I really liked it! It’s just such a happy color! There’s a chance that I’ll scare people on the subway who aren’t used to seeing colors this bright, but hey, not every New Yorker wants to wear black all the time!

Alright, now tell me about your experiences sewing outerwear! Do you have any favorite coat projects? Do you have any tips for working with bouclé (or for protecting it from getting snagged by pug claws)? What’s on your sewing table?

 

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Comments


  • Lauren
    December 16, 2014

    Ahahaha I remember when you bought this fabric! Holy crap, the resulting coat turned out sooo nice, though! I would have pegged you for this style, but not the color – but now I can’t see you in anything *but* neon fuchsia boucle! Pretty sure the lining is my favorite part; it’s like a party inside your coat (and, mmm silk charmeuse is sooo nice as a lining, isn’t it?) :)

    • Ginger
      December 16, 2014

      I don’t know why I picked this pink! It’s so strange! But it’s such a happy color and I’m really, really loving it!

  • Elle
    December 16, 2014

    A wonderful coat, well worth all your efforts. Love the shape, and the color and boucle weave look so cozy and cheerful.

    • Ginger
      December 16, 2014

      Thank you, Elle! It’s fun to wear an exaggerated shape!

  • Amy
    December 16, 2014

    So fun! And, I love the lining! It’s a perfect surprise inside that coat. I now desperately want to see a close up of that fabric!

    • Ginger
      December 16, 2014

      I’ll put a closeup of the fabric on my blog! It’s hard to capture just how bright that pink is… it’s really a neon pink!

  • Mary Danielson
    December 16, 2014

    Whoa. WHOA. This is one gorgeous coat! Not only is the color completely gorgeous on you, but the workmanship is brilliant. That quilted lining! I’m seriously swooning over here.

    Love, love, love it!

    • Ginger
      December 16, 2014

      Thank you, Mary! I’d suggest that you try a quilted lining if you didn’t live in Texas… I’m guessing it never gets cold enough!

  • Sarah C
    December 16, 2014

    The coat looks great on you! I love the lining!

    • Ginger
      December 16, 2014

      Thank you so much, Sarah!

  • Sarah - Fabric Tragic
    December 17, 2014

    Looks fantastic. I think the pink is a great colour as its a rather unisex style, the fabric adds a lovely femininity to it. All your handiwork sounds amazing.

    • Ginger
      December 18, 2014

      I had a brown tweed in my stash that I briefly considered for this, but I thought it might look like I’d stolen my granddad’s coat! :)

  • Fiona
    December 17, 2014

    The lining is such a perfect match for the boucle! I love the idea of quilting it to the flannel too, great tip. You did a wonderful job

    • Ginger
      December 18, 2014

      Thanks, Fiona! It really makes for a toasty coat! You should try it sometime!

  • Sandi
    December 17, 2014

    What a beautiful coat! I love it all, the colour, the fabric, the LINING!!! and all the handsewing that you did to give it that beautiful couture look!.
    Although this might not have been your usual colour choice (and I dont’ know that for sure) it is definitely a great choice for you.
    The coat is looks wonderful and it looks fabulous on you!
    I am definitely inspired and somewhat in awe of your skills. I will definitely start following your blog.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Ginger
      December 18, 2014

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Sandi! :)

  • sallie
    December 17, 2014

    HOLY BANANAS!! Way to knock it out of the park!!! I’m really having trouble restraining myself from high-five-ing my computer screen! This looks AHmazing! I love that bright fuchsia boucle on you, and you’re right, it’s such a nice change from the ubiquitous black outerwear. You’re also really working that exaggerated shape. Awesome job on all the innards, quilted silk charmeuse lining sounds so dreamy, and all your attention to the fabric and picking and choosing your tailoring techniques really really paid off.

    • Ginger
      December 18, 2014

      Thanks, girl! I was planning to do my usual grey (it seems like all I wear in the winter!), but I’m really glad I didn’t as that would’ve been pretty boring.

  • Lori
    December 17, 2014

    I love your coat, the color is fabulous and so perfect for dreary winter days. Also, amazing job conquering the French pattern, very impressive.

    • Ginger
      December 18, 2014

      Thank you, Lori! Any bit of color helps in the winter… it’s already looking really ugly outside and it will be months before we see any green, sad!

  • liza jane
    December 17, 2014

    I love the pink! Fun coat!

    • Ginger
      December 18, 2014

      Thank you, lady!