Fall is my absolute favourite season for fashion. Even though the days are shorter, the weather is still warm enough for a light coat. Light, drapey coats are some of my favourite pieces of clothing. They are easy to style and layer.
This fall I love pairing my homemade camel coat with embroidered Topshop shorts and these gorgeous Steve Madden over the knee boots. Black over the knee boots are warm and make any outfit sexy. As for the coat, I used a Burda pattern, it was simple and easy. Check out my camel coat: sew easy post for more details.
Enjoy the beautiful autumn weather! Til next time!
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photos: Vancouver by RY
Since I live in Raincouver, naturally I would need to sew a hooded coat sooner or later. I’m not ready yet to sew waterproof material such as Gore-Tex but a thick wool blend would do. So here it is, my first hooded coat!
After perfecting the BURDA 7184 for myself, I had planned to use it for several coat variations. I wanted to attach a hood but I was not sure what hood pattern would be suitable. I did have an idea of how I wanted it to look.Since the Burda pattern that I had is waterfall style, naturally it would be best to do a shawl collar style for the hood. Anyways, my fantastic sewing teacher, MaryAn, came to the rescue. She lent me a hood pattern for a coat that she drafted herself when she was in fashion design school.
I didn’t plan on making this coat reversible but when I saw this two tone fabric at FABRICANA, I thought hey why not make it reversible..or at least try to haha. It is quite a thick wool blend composed of two different coloured fabrics glued together. The edges do not fray and cuts nicely. However, I’m starting to notice that the two different fabrics are coming apart in some areas. So I will probably add a bias tape around the edges sometime soon.
Okay so I’m not sure if ‘reversibility’ is a proper word haha but anywayss…in order to make this coat reversible, MaryAn suggested that I flat-fell all the seams. However, this fabric is quite thick and it was really difficult to do on my basic SINGER 8280 PRELUDE so I cheated a bit. I did a ‘fake or mock flat fell’ by NOT folding over the longer seam allowance. Instead, I just sew close to the edge to give the illusion of a flat felled seam. Click on the link Mock Flat Fell by Collete to see how to do this. One problem though with flat felling this pattern is the lower arm..I think it would be best to wrap a bias tape around the seams but if you have a better idea let me know!
Basically I just needed a thread since this pattern is very simple and the fabric pretty easy to sew. And a bias tape to finish the edges. (Actually, at first I had trouble sewing this fabric on my Singer. The thread kept bunching up. After trying different types of needles and nothing solved the problem… it turns out the I just needed to oil the machine haha)
photo: Vancouver, by Alexandra Gordeyeva
I sewed a bomber jacket! I never thought its the kind of clothing item I would ever sew myself as it looks complicated with all the zippers etc. However, as I was perusing Fabricana’s patterns and saw burda young 6660 jacket pattern, I got inspired. Plus the jacket pattern was rated ‘easy’ so I was motivated to try it out.
FABRIC: light weight synthetic with slight shimmer, tubular rib knit
The burda pattern was for a sporty style jacket and it recommended using micro-fibre, jersey or sweatshirt fabric. But I wanted a classier and sleeker bomber jacket. So I opted for a super light synthetic fabric with a slight shimmer (sorry I didn’t know the name of the fabric). I did use tubular rib knit as suggested by the pattern for the sleeve cuffs and waist band. Both fabrics that I chose were olive green in colour, lighter green for the rib knit as I wasn’t able to find the exact same shade.I didn’t realize how slippery the fabric that I bought was until I started the cutting process. The fabric literally kept slipping off my desk..sigh. Then when I started sewing, I also realized how fragile it was. My regular needle snagged the fabric right away so I had to use ballpoint needle for jersey fabric to avoid damaging the fabric. I highly recommend having a ballpoint needle handy as you will also need it to sew on the tubular rib knit pieces. Additionally, the fabric frays like crazy so I definitely had to serge all the edges.NOTIONS: interfacing, a long separating zipper for the main body and two short zippers for the pocketsI’ve never sewed any project with interfacing before so I decided to just use my leftover fabric as interfacing. As for the zippers, I bought a long separating zipper in matching olive green colour for the main body. However, I skipped the pocket zippers and just made them regular pockets. I actually found two short zippers made of metal (shown in picture above) that would look amazing on the pockets but they were too heavy for my fabric and I was afraid that would cause ripples when sewn. Moreover, I still have some fear about sewing zippers and would avoid it if I could ha.PATTERN: size 8, shortened by 2 cm
The pattern that I had was sized 8-18 and semi-fitted. I knew burda sizes run big on me so I decided to cut the smallest, size 8, and shorten the torso pieces in two places (upper and lower) each by 2 cm. Also, the pattern recommended sweatshirt fabric which usually have some stretch to it but I chose a completely un-stretchable fabric…so just make sure to take that into account. I didn’t but fortunately the finished result still fit me haha..
Every time I bought a new pattern, it is always guesswork for me to decide which size to cut and how much to shorten and lengthen. I hope to improve on this and have a firmer grasp on pattern measurements and my own body size. If you have any tips/advice on this issue, please let me know! Anywhoo, after trying on the finish result, next time I would only shorten the lower torso and leave the upper torso as is, because it was difficult to guess where the bust darts would be.
Photos: Vancouver, Canada by RY
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This as my first ever self sewn coat! I have been looking for the right camel coat since last November and I was so happy to be able to sew my own instead of buying one. I truly believe a well-fitted camel coat is a basic staple in every girl’s wardrobe and boy’s too! I have already worn this coat to death that I had to re-do several of the stitches as they came apart.
I just started learning how to sew at the end of January, so I thought I’d start with a simple coat. True to the claim on the pattern package, this Burda 7184 jacket pattern was sew easy! The instructions were really clear and easy to follow, even for beginners like me.
The pattern recommended using jersey, knit fabrics or lightweight fulled fabrics but I decided to go with melton wool as I’d like to wear this coat through fall and winter. Mind you, Vancouver winter is very mild so an unlined coat like this one goes a long way.
The whole process from cutting out the fabric and sewing took me about 3-4 hours. Keep in mind that my beginner self made tons of mistakes along the way and spent a big chunk of time ripping out stitches..ugh. If I had to do this coat over again, I’m sure it will only take me 2 hours tops. Experienced seamstress should be able to finish this coat in no time.
Additionally, I spent another 1-2 hours modifying the coat to fit my frame. I was only able to purchase this pattern in sizes 10-20. I followed size 10 but the finished coat was still too oversized for my liking. So I tapered the shoulders and added vertical darts at the back.
Prior to cutting, I also lengthened the pattern about 2 inches. The only part of the coat where I had to make bigger was the wrist opening as the original pattern was super narrow! So be careful about the arm, I definitely suggest sizing up the pattern.
Moreover, as I chose to serge the edges instead of hemming, I narrowed down the front flaps quite a bit. I got rid of the seam allowance and another 2.5 inches. By the way, it was my first time using a serger machine and I loved it! Since then, I always find excuses to serge whatever projects I’m working on haha… However, as I mentioned at the start, I’ve worn this coat too many times that some parts of the serged edges are starting to fray, mostly in the corners as I didn’t serged them properly..oops! So I might cover the serged edges with bias tape sometime soon.
Finally, I added a belt using my leftover fabric because I love having the option to wrap my coat. The pattern didn’t come with a belt so I just googled how to make a simple one. Oh and since I have finally perfected this pattern to fit me, I plan to make similar coats but with a hood for Vancouver rain. Keep an eye out for them in September!
Jeans, top and accessories detailed in OUTFIT!
Photos: Gastown, Vancouver by RY