Rain rain, come my way

4.11.15


It´s not very often I find myself completely obsessed with a project. Usually, I take my time, even if with lots of interruptions, but the promess this fabric translated into was just too good to ignore. I buy a lot of remnants at a ridiculous low price, partely fault of my local shop but also I see sewing for myself as a way to save some money. Yes, that´s a "said no one ever" sentence, but it applies here. I do save money by sewing rather than buying RTW. The remnants there are sold between 1,95€ and 5,95€, the first beeing for knits, for example, and I do find very good ones. Also, the fact that I don´t actually need a lot of fabric to do something for myself or the kids is a huge incentive. Most clothes I make for myself I spend about 5€ on average, using fabrics like rayon challis, good Ponte or knits. Sharing a secret: you can find very similar fabrics and even better at The Sweet Mercerie, they´re providing the sewing community with the best that´s made in Portugal.
I found this very light gabardine in a pale beige/pink, grabbed it, put it back thinking I didn´t have a pattern for it, but in the end it called me so I brought two remnant pieces (around 2,4 m) for 8€. I already had a light burgundy coloured satin I bought for pyjamas, but they matched so well and I´m always too cold at night anyway.
Then, the pattern. I wanted a trench coat and the lovely Isla seemed the most appropriate but I always have to alter something in their patterns, namely because their smallest size is big on me, and I didn´t feel like altering a huge number of pieces. Also, traditional stand up collars don´t usually look good on me, so I decided to work with what I had.
The Brenna coat, from Califaye collection, I had already made here and it fits like a glove. In fact, all her patterns fit me perfectly so it gave me a good starting point not having to worry about size issues. I did a half muslin with my collar alterations: I imagined the front pieces rising and embracing the neckline, creating some sort of a continuum stand up folded collar. Inspiration comes from everywhere and after I saw this tutorial I imagined doing something similar to recreate the trench coat flaps. I drafted directly on my muslin, assembled it, tried it and marked some alterations. After that, unpicked it all and drafted the pieces and altered the pattern itself.


I reduced the width of the front panels and lenghtened them upwards in order to have the same measurement as the back neckline. The collar itself works and wraps nicely around the neck, but the back neckline should have been adapted, raisened and straightened. That back neck curve makes sense when you don´t have a collar, like the original pattern.
For the remaining pieces I wanted to add, such as the traditional trench coat flaps, I drafted the front ones from a RTW I had. For the back flap, I altered the back piece just by slash and spread at the center and curved a little at the bottom, making it end just a few cm below the underarm so it would join with the front flaps at the underarms.



Please bare in mind that I really know nothing about pattern alterations, rather than the bits and pieces I read here and there, and these were made based on intuition and tested with a muslin. Some things I´ve already realised needed to be made differently and I´m sorry if you´re a professional and you find some attrocity here that makes you say "what have you done!?". Trying out ideas and working with what I already know is just the way I like to do things, making errors and realising what to correct next time. It gives me confidence rather than frustrating me for not getting it perfect.









One of the things that needs to be altered when adding that much around the sleeve is, well, the sleeve itself and the sleeve curve. There are just too many layers added there: the front and back flap, which are both lined, add 4 extra layers to the sleeve. A very quick alteration would be sewing the shoulder sleeve like a dart, starting at the correct SA next to the neckline, let´s say 1cm, and then decrease it towards the shoulder point, making it 0,5cm: that´s just a minor alteration I think won´t bring any fit issues at that area and will allow a little more ease for all the extra fabric that will be sewn there. Again, that´s how I would make it to avoid redrafting the pattern itself.

















The fabric was, as this past Halloween weekend suggested, a nightmare to sew. It slipped more than all the viscose I´ve sewn before and made my poor machine jam so much I swear I heard it cry. Neverthless, I´m always amazed with what this little thing can do, if I control her right.
The fact that I made a non traditional collar for a trench coat just makes me love it more; I can totally imagine something like this in a Uterque collection and feeling sorry for myself I couldn´t afford to buy it. A little pat on the back for me and for feeling like I´m a parisienne when I wear it. Touché!

13 comentários

  1. Again, this is you in your awesomeness! <3 Love everything about this project and I'm beyond happy that you share all the making off details. Also you're gorgeous and that trench is beautiful and suits you perfectly, and I want one hahah and I could go forever! ;) Great Job! POW

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    1. Thaaaank you! <3 How could I not share, I´m super glad I did it, I only hope someone feels inspired enough to turn crazy like me and make one! <3

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  2. WOOOOOW!!! This is incredible!! I didn't remember seeing a trench coat from Cali Faye so I clicked over and I was shocked to see the original. You did AMAZING with your alterations! Next time extend your lining 1-2 cm so it doesn't pull the outer fabric. And I'm not saying that to be mean but because I think you would like to know (I hope!?!) Everything else is perfection and I'm blown away by your close up photos! Stunning work!!!

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    1. My dear Mie, YOU were the "if there are any professionals reading..." I was talking about! Your tips and knowledge are most welcome, please continue doing that always! Yes, the lining is actually designed like that in the original pattern, but it was bothering me because on both versions I felt something was not quite right but I couldn´t point what! Thank you! <3

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    2. Hahaha, that was just for me!!?! Well, I'm always happy to help those who are interested. You are now on my list of eager students hahaha. Xoxo

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  3. I'm impressed! This is the most amazing coat I've ever seen! Imensa classe! Adoro e quero um (nao a pattern, o casco mesmo! Sou demasiado preguiçosa para fazer casacos LOL). Nao paras de surpreender neste mundo da costura... You rock!

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    1. Thank you my dear friend Rita! I KNOW you can do something like this, c´mon, don´t use that lazy as an excuse! If you take me to Paris in your luggage you can have it! hahaha! <3

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  4. Ooohhh lá lá! Trés chic! Adorei! Fica-te super bem e está tão bem feito!!! Ainda não tenho coragem para fazer casacos, mas ver este dá-me imensa vontade enorme de meter "mãos à obra".

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  5. Brilliant!! This trench coat is amazing! Love the collar so much, for its originality!

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  6. Linda! You did an amazing job and it really is something to be very proud off. Adoro, fica-te tão bem, super bem, fantasticamente bem! ah ah ah estou para aqui a pensar em adjectivos e superlativos melhores mas só me saem estes <3 <3 <3

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  7. Oh Andreia!!! You have outdone yourself <3 <3 <3 I keep going back to admire your beautiful beautiful coat -- and now I will be placing an order for one!! And don't even think I'm kidding, ha ha ha!! Seriously, you are amazing. All the heart eyes!

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  8. It's stunning!! Really really love it! I wish I can do something like that one day haha very impressed!!

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  9. I love your coat. Great job.

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