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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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?!