25 minute coat and the rest of the wedding outfit.

A few weeks ago me and my hubby were invited to a wedding. It has been quite a while since we went to a wedding so I needed something to wear!

As it was in March the weather can be a bit unpredictable and usually fairly cool so the outfit needed to include a coat. Ever since the arrival of my selection of boiled wool for my online shop I’ve been itching to make something with it. I thought the powder blue was a good choice for a wedding. I had in mind a waterfall front coat and decided to draft a pattern for the idea in my head. I wanted 3/4 sleeves a wide waterfall effect that dipped at the front. Volume shapes are quite on trend at the moment so I kept the overall shape quite wide, tapering towards the hem. I made three toiles before I was happy with the shape. All of which I made in a quite stiff calico, not really the best representation of the final cloth! I felt I was slightly taking a risk cutting into this expensive fabric without making a toile in something closer in texture to the boiled wool. Time was running out so I decided to go for it.

I had my whole outfit cut and prepared when suddenly I found myself with a week to the wedding and not a stitch sewn! I grabbed every spare minute to sew a few stitches.

One afternoon at 2.15 I started making the coat. With 30 minutes before the school run, I hoped to get a good chunk of it made. The beautiful thing about boiled wool is that there is no need to finish the edges. The internal edges or the external edges. In fact, I deliberately designed this coat to take advantage of this special quality. The collar is slightly built up at the back neck but other than this the coat consists of six seams. I completed the whole coat by 2.40! Even leaving enough time to try it on. My aim was to create something simple and understated that would show off the fabric’s beautiful natural qualities, as soon as I tried it on the fabric just molded and draped in its own special way. I was very happy to have such a quick and good result.

The dress is pattern Vogue 1422 I made my first version of this for Halloween last year in a spooky print and planned to keep the altered pattern for a time when I needed to call on a  style like this. This was indeed an ideal time to rustle up another in a more appropriate print. I used Art gallery Bougainvillea evergreen cotton. The dress is fully lined and has an integrated organza skirt.

I made some amendments to the bodice because I felt the bust dart was a little high on my first version of this dress. However, I still don’t feel it is right. I think if I make this again I will need to re-toile. I think it’s always important to wear the same bra when working on a fitted bodice, something I don’t think I did on this which perhaps hasn’t helped.

The thing that surprised me most about this dress when I made it the first time was the organza underskirt. The outer skirt is fairly full but the organza underskirt is a full circle. Because it’s made in organza I thought it would make the skirt stand out and seem more like a 50’s skirt, which although looks great was not something I wanted for this dress. I think Vogue patterns are really well designed so I decided to trust the pattern and made it as it was designed. The effect is actually much softer than I thought, the organza just gives the right amount of body to the skirt and emphasizes the natural skirt shape.

A little time-saving trick I used on this and my first dress was to use the bodice pattern as the bodice lining pattern. It saves making a new pattern (once the toile is fitted) for the facing pieces. I wouldn’t always recommend this but on stable medium weight fabrics like woven craft weight cotton, I think it works really well. I always understitch the neck edge when using this method.

The finishing touch was a simple clutch bag. I found some faux pink leather on eBay and made a very simple oversized clutch bag shape, to compliment the overall silhouette. I lined the bag with leftover fabric from the dress to tie it all together.

Please follow and like us:

Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.