Monday 25 October 2010

The Red Coat Came...

Here's a photo of my cat Frisbee moleing, without much success, or if you like, the Last Rose of Summer over there on the right, or me setting off in my new red coat, Vogue's OOP classic trenchcoat 2449, to see the Metropolitan Opera's live HD broadcast of Boris Godunov last Saturday. The funny thing was, all the bad guys guarding the Russian Czar were dressed in—this very coat! In the last scene, everybody wearing a red coat was dragged in front of the peasant mob and beaten to a pulp. Live in HD. And my favourite bass, Rene Pape, was in top form for it all. The whole production was styled in red and gold. Anytime you fear you're overdressing, go to a lavish opera. There were 600 costumes, according to the intermission interviewer. Keep sewing til you'll still never catch up with the MET costume department.

Now to sewing. The toughest part of this coat was sewing the welt pockets, an important feature of my target MaxMara design, below. Like many people, I hate welts and took my time. I actually didn't quite follow the lower placed cutting lines as I wasn't sure the welt would actually cover the cut once flipped to the back. I was cautious, and right to be so. Do watch how you cut that corner at the lower back, and test the welt position to make sure you don't have an ugly bit of lining and cutting showing.

As this was an old Vogue pattern, the two collar pieces were designed to be cut separately, so that turning and steaming the collar into shape over the collar stand was more Vogue's achievement than mine. I'm not sure I'm confident enough to reshape the upper collar piece myself, Burda style, over a ham or my hand.
Here's a better view of the welt pockets. Because the trench style asked for double top-stitching and I didn't want that effect, I ended up topstitching the pocket welt once, and then stitching it down to the coat body again, stitch-in-the-ditch style at the upper and lower ends.
Unlike the camel coat, this coat wasn't interlined.  In the end, the camel coat, with its chambray muslin underlining, stands up to the darkest Swiss snowy nights, but weighs a ton.



  1. Beautiful coat! Very stunning in red..great job.

  2. Your coat looks fantastic! I only hope the coat I'm sewing now turns out half as well.

  3. Stunning coat, you did a fabulous job. Love the colour. It's a wonderful antidote to a winter of practical neutrals.

    P.S. Thoroughly enjoyed your book, which I tracked down on Lots of chuckles and interesting historical tidbits. So glad I ran across you on PR.