I’d like to share with you a pretty typical conversation that ensues each time I break out something new that I’ve made for myself.
Me: What do you think of my new coat? (pre-empting some inevitable design confusion) It’s a drop shoulder design. It’s supposed to be unfitted.
Husband: It’s interesting. I like it. (moving closer to inspect my stitching and style lines better) It’s really good. But it’s a bit big for you. Look at the shoulders.
Me: It’s the design. That’s why they’re called drop shoulders.
Husband: It’s a bit big at the back too. It looks a bit masculine.
Me: Yeeeeeesss (my speech slows and perhaps my eyes begin to roll a little). It’s the design. It’s a boxy, oversize, drop shoulder style of coat.
Husband: You know, it would look great if you cinched in the waist with a really wide belt.
Me: Yes. It. Would.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen the original coat that caught my eye and that ended up becoming my design inspiration. I also shared a few sketches of my own coat in the early planning stages. I’m pretty useless at drawing, but Fashionary is a great way for me to get my ideas down on paper, so that I can solidify a design in my head, and then have something to refer back to when I’m playing around with the actual pattern pieces.
For this coat, I started with Butterick 6900, but I made a lot of modifications:
- Lengthened the shoulder seams and dropped the armscye to achieve the oversized, drop shoulder look, rather than a coat that just looks too big (Husband you know nothing!)
- Sharpened the collar to a point
- drafted a lining to include the existing facing pieces
- shortened View B by 4″
- changed the position of the welt pockets and slimmed them down
- lengthened the sleeves
- added a front and back yoke to accommodate and suit the size of leather I had to work with
- added shaped panels to the sleeves in contrast wool and lambskin
- top-stitched some contrast lambskin and cowhide to the bottom of the coat
Even though I didn’t make the most of both sides of this great fabric, I still found it useful in reducing the bulk in my coat. I only used one layer of the wool fabric for the collar underside since the leather was so bulky. I also carefully separated and cut away the grey seam allowance when preparing the facing to attach to the bulky leather at the front of the coat.
I preferred the plain grey for the outer of this particular coat and I only used the plaid for the front facing, but if I had a limitless budget, I would definitely buy more of this great double faced wool and make it up quite simply and unmodified in and unlined coat like Vogue 8930.
In terms of construction, I underlined both the front and back leather yokes with hair canvas.
The lining I used for my coat was a sleek Ralph Lauren polka dot silk CDC. I also used a bit of blue lambskin for the contrast panels and pocket welts.
I am so pleased with how this coat turned out. It isn’t perfect. I had a lot of trouble top-stitching through the thickness of the cowhide in many places. However, with a little handstitching and compromise, I don’t think that this is too noticeable. I also haven’t decided on front closures. I quite like the clean, no-closure look. I could have used magnets, but the coat keeps closed well enough on it’s own because of it’s roomy nature. I’m also considering buttonholes, via an embroidery house or by hand. I love my Pfaff, but I think coat buttonholes need a bit of extra special treatment to look professional. I’ve also thought about leather buckle/toggles, but I’m quite happy with the coat as it is right now.