Wednesday 24 October 2012

Things To Make & Do - Winter Coat

It's certainly getting chillier around these parts and that has reminded me that I to get a good winter coat sorted as soon as possible. I have spent so many years now trying to find the perfect coat, and so far nothing has hit the spot, so as I do every year I turned to the good old interweb, for inspiration.

Well rather than just looking for inspiration, I got a bit carried away and spent some of my money on some bits from Etsy (so much more civilised than the old Bay of e) I shall duly be showing them all off over the next few weeks (weather permitting, they are quite summery), but as it's coats I'm talking about today, I wanted to introduce you to my favourite purchase of the lot.
The lady who originally owned it bought it in 1947 she only got to wear it a few times, before having children and so it's been in storage ever since.
I absolutely fell in love with it the moment I saw it and the fact that it might actually fit was too much for me to resist. I am not normally one for buying 'real' vintage items from this era, but it was so so lovely I knew I would regret not buying it!

It came from the very lovely Vintage Chrissy on Etsy who has some seriously gorgeous items in stock- I also bought a beautiful 60's dress which I am saving to show off at Christmas, it's very fancy and totally a Sunday Best contender!
I just love the drape of the pockets and the woven buttons
Anyhow, as lovely as this coat is it's not going to be warm enough for bus stop waiting in depths of winter and far too precious a thing to wear every day. So I have decided that 2012 is the year that I finally get around to making myself that perfect vintage coat I've been dreaming about for soo long. As it turns out I could not have picked a better time to try, as there are two contenders, both from Butterick which I think would do the job wonderfully.

The first pattern is Butterick 5425 a modern pattern with a 1940s flair!
Butterick 5425
In the shorter length, with the collars as on the white version, it's looking very 1940s to me!
It has the classic princess seam of all good 1940s coats, shoulder pads, slightly puffed sleeves (boy do I love a puffed sleeve) and the classic 'Fit n Flare' shape (nipped in waist and fuller skirt) which is what draws me to these styles in the first place, elegant and practical, warm but yet fitted.

The day after I bought my 5425 pattern, the fabulous Gertie announced a sew-along on her newest Butterick pattern, this gorgeous 1950s creation.

Butterick 5824
I want one in blue, red, black...
It's based on the Princess coats of the 50s and again it has the 'Fit n Flare' shape but with a much fuller bias cut skirt, a large draping collar and wonderfully roomy 'batwing' style sleeves, which are cut in one piece with the bodice, so no pesky sleeve fitting. Ingenious!

"Ooh count me in" I replied no one can have too many coats! So I set about finding the right fabric for these dream patterns and this is where I have hit a hurdle. I have really struggled to find suitable wool fabric online or in the shops. I have no problem spending a fair amount on good quality fabric (well I do, but for a staple like a coat I can justify it, sort of) but the colours are quite dull and unless I order a swatch I have no way of knowing that my £19.00 p/m is going to be worth it, oh and did I mention both these coats need about seven meters each! Eeek!

So anyway after my, what seems like fiftieth eBay search, and out of desperation, I decided to work on the Gertie coat first and use this fabric.

It's a short pile fur fabric which, from a distance looks like Astrakhan (a very 50s coat fabric) and is medium in weight £5.99 p/m.

As of last night, I have cut out all my outer fabric (my word the fluff gets everywhere) and I am patiently awaiting the arrival of my lining and interfacing before cracking on with the next step. I'm really hoping it will look great, though I have been getting pangs of terror every now and then, as I am aware that it could be an utter furry disaster, but whatever it looks like it's certainly going to be warm. I guess we'll just have to wait and see!

Wendy x


  1. What a gorgeous coat.
    Julie xxxxxxxx

  2. What a beautiful coat, you look stunning in it x

  3. That coat is gorgeous and it fits you beautifully! x

  4. I cant wait to see photos of your gerties coat! Its a little out of my skills but have been reading along and look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with:)

    Jess x

    1. Honestly the Gertie coat is very easy, especially as Gertie is doing the sew along with extra explanation of the trickier bits, I have sewed the top together and am going to crack on with the rest this weekend, I am desperate to get it finished so I can flounce around in it! x

  5. I love that coat, the shape of the pockets makes me really happy. The two modern patterns you found are wonderful, I can't wait to see both coats when they're finished, that astrkhan-ish material will look great

    1. Thank you, I know they don't make em like that anymore! x

  6. What a wonderful idea to make the Gertie coat into a furry number! You will look ever so glamorous in it!! Can't wait to see it when it's done....also swooning for the 1940s fabulous Butterick is so so pretty! I can just imagine you wearing it and having a beautiful are just so talented with the needle!
    Glad to be back and catch up with your lovely blog.....I've missed blogging whilst being away!
    May xx

  7. Thank you my lovely! Glad to have you back xx

  8. Ooh, very exciting, can't wait to see how you progress. I've stupidly agreed to make two coats but for other people, so I shall be looking forward to any tips you can throw my way!

  9. Nice post and really an awesome coat! you can also find best quality winter jackets in variety of colors and styles!

  10. I've only just come across your blog and I wonder how this coat turned out when you finished it? I'm interested in making one for next winter and like the look of this pattern. Thanks!