My first project of 2020 is to remake the last winter coat I made back in 2018. I intend to shorten it to car coat length so that I will actually wear it, as it has only been worn twice since it was finished. There are several things that just bug me about the coat:
- It is a BIG COAT, which is what I was going for in the first place, but I really hated my slap-dash-use-whatever-I-have-lying-around-the-house-that’s-the-right-tone lining (drapery silk shantung that had been washed in hot water and put through a hot dryer cycle with tennis and dryer balls to soften up the hand) because it just made it so…. so…. ridiculous to wear, I guess. I really wanted a different lining – a softer, lighter lining; lighter than flannel-backed satin or kasha lining, typically used in winter coats.
- The original Burda pattern is a tall pattern, and I didn’t bother to place the pockets accurately, so they sit about 10cm lower than they should on me. I want to move the pocket up to where they will be useful and easy to access with my not-tall arms.
- The R front facing and front edge bugs me. It’s a grain thing, and I hate wearing it because of this. I intend to straighten it out and do it properly.
- It’s just too long and dramatic to get worn much, and I have other fabric for other dramatic coats in my stash that I hope to make up soon.
- The contrast band of linen velvet is nice in a dramatic coat, but I do actually want to wear this coat, and the current length makes it rather a process to get in and out of the car.
- It’s too wide. I hate coats that fit small, and I was very enthusiastic in adding ease to my original iteration of this coat, so each side seam will be reduced by 4cm, for a total width reduction of 16cm.
I’ve re-cut the lining from a lightweight satin-backed crepe fabric from my local Fabricland that was actually marketed as drapery fabric (???). I laundered it to get that horrid polyester chemical smell out of it before cutting it out. I used the old lining as a pattern, after making forward-sloping shoulder alterations and taking in the sides by a total of 16cm.
So far I have completed the following alterations:
- removed the lining
- moved the pockets up 10cm
- taken the side seams in 16cm
- straightened the grain across the upper chest by doing a forward-sloping shoulder adjustment (Why didn’t I do this the first time around?!)
- removed the lower velvet band
- redid the facings, which, in combination with the shoulder adjustments, has made the fronts hang straight. Happy day!
All that is left is to put the lining back in after deciding on the length I want.
More importantly than my news about remaking my coat, I want to thank each and every one of you for all your comments and kind words on my last post. It may be cliché, but your wishes and encouragement meant so much, and on hard days, I go back and re-read them.
19 thoughts on “remake & re-fashion”
Good for you to just get stuck in and do what needed to be done. I have had projects like that too and ended up adding so many labor hours to the finished garment BUT…the big BUT, You get a perfect coat that you will WANT to wear…and then you can share new photos with us!!!
Wow, Wow, WOW! Kudos for going back in to make it work! It’s gorgeous fabric and a beautiful coat so I’m glad it’s going to be salvageable into something more wearable for you.
Thank you! I am looking forward to getting more wear out of it.
I love the color of that coat on you. I think thatks one more reason that makes it worth all the work you’re putting in this second time around. I think i’m going to be envious when i see your final results. My current coat is pilling a lot and I’m in dire need of a new one…
Coats are long arduous projects, and I have several in my imaginary closet, sewn and ready to wear!
That is some gorgeous fabric, it will be so worth the redo! It sounds like you are already much more pleased with this coat and will be wearing it more often in the future. I have relined coats, and once I get over the grumbling it usually goes more quickly than I expected. Your tweaks to the coat itself were the most difficult, and those are done, so clear sailing ahead! Glad you’ve got a “file ” of encouragement to go back to on the days it’s needed, continued prayers for you!
The fabric is the show, I agree! And you couldn’t have said it better re: getting over the grumbling and just working at it!
I am so impressed that you are going to the huge effort of reworking as garment. Well done you!
That fabric is well deserving of the re-do! It’s always hard to face pulling something apart, but this will be so worth it in the end! Looking forward to the result!! This is the part when I admit I have a coat hanging in the wardrobe for 10 years now, waiting for me to shorten it, add pockets and change the leg-o-mutton sleeves to something more wearable…
It’s bizarre, but I often find it easier to remake something than cut and begin a new project.
That’s almost as much work as making a whole new coat! Sounds like you’re going to end up with a coat you really love though so totally worth it. It’s interesting that the stash lining fabric didn’t work out. I’m starting to think it’s better not to compromise in fabric because you are more likely to wear the end result if it’s right. Mind you I’m about to do the exact same thing and use long-stashed lining for my next coat so I’m really hoping it works out. I’m justifying it by the fashion fabric being so much of a splurge that I can’t buy new lining for this one too. And it’s a good colour and weight…fingers crossed.
I can’t wait to see your coat! And I couldn’t agree more about fabric compromise: I always regret it.
It will be wonderful wearing that coat (once finished) knowing that it’s exactly what you want. How nice will it be to have that gorgeous garment in regular rotation? I appreciate the amount of work needed to get there but it will be well worth it 🙂
My thoughts exactly!
Congratulations on making these alterations, which are quite substantial. So much more tempting to start something new but in the end you will have something you use rather than something that niggles you. It looks like you have done a beautiful job.
I think going back to redo something you’ve already put a lot of time into, is one of the most difficult undertakings. Kudos to you for doing this! The coat warrants it (great color for you!), and you will be so happy with it – very soon!
I think I dreaded having it hang unworn in my closet and finished ‘badly’ more than the work to make it wearable!
It’s so much work re-making especially a coat. Good thing it is in seam pockets that are easy to move up. Too low pockets would be so annoying.
I have a re-make addiction. I think it’s a horror of waste and a perfectionist streak that just will not leave me in peace for some projects/pieces of fabric.