Winter blues coat header image

Winter Blues

November 13, 2013 · 99 comments

I tend to plan most of my sewing projects before buying the fabric for them. This allows me to co- ordinate the garments I make into a cohesive wardrobe (or at least that’s the intention!) It also means I can calculate the amount of fabric I need and write a list of all the notions I need to pick up, which makes thing more efficient. Occasionally, however, a fabric is so irresistible that I simply have to nab it there and then and worry later about what it is destined to become. That was the case with this duck-egg blue coating. It had me at the colour.

It is actually a duffel wool and incredibly thick with a short velvety pile in a herringbone pattern and apparently the exact wool that Burberry have previously used to make their duffel coats ( ooo how fancy! hehe). I was happy the coating was so thick as it meant I didn’t need to worry about underlining it (I like my coats super-duper cosy so any regular coating gets an extra layer) this meant less construction time and less expense, splendid! However it is pretty bulky and dense and so I knew I would have to be a bit careful about the design of coat I chose. The thickness couldn’t really cope with any fullness or any fussy details, layers translated instantly to lumps.

Eryn Coat Kate Spade

I loved this coat from Kate Spade and I knew I definitely wanted full length sleeves for a change and some lovely big lapels. I like the slight 1940’s charm that big lapels give a jacket and I just felt like they would work particularly well with this colour especially after I discovered the beautiful Chloe wool coat below.

 Chloe wool coat

With these elements in mind I had a browse through some patterns to see if there were any that would be a good fit and I found Simplicity 2311 which fitted the bill perfectly! The only thing I wasn’t keen on were the one piece sleeves- I wanted a proper tailored two piece sleeve so I redrafted them and I nipped the waist in a little more. I would have liked to add the belt but it looked terrible in the fabric- far too bulky- so I left it plain and actually like the simplicity of it without.

Winter Blues Coat Front

Winter Blues Coat Shoes

Although I could predict the outcome I forced myself to do a bound buttonhole sample just to be sure. Having established that they were definitely not an option I decided to go for giant snaps. I have seen them on lots of the current coats about and although I usually avoid anything that is trending like this when making a key piece as I like to keep big items like coats as classic and timeless as possible, I think they are really cute (I have always loved little poppers) and couldn’t find any buttons that went with the colour of the wool anyway.

Winter Blues Snaps

I chose the gold- tone ones as I liked the contrast of the gold against the blue but once the coat was constructed the solid gold colour was quite bold and so I thought I would tone them down by adding a splash of duck-egg blue enamel model paint. In the end I had to mix three colours to get a good match but I am so chuffed with the more subtle appearance and the durability of the paint that it was totally worth the effort!

Winter Blues Warm

Winter Blues Coat Back

The coat is so so warm it definitely stacks up against my interlined camel hair coat which I have been wearing sooo much this autumn / winter. I still love the colour so much and it actually ties in really well with lots of my wardrobe. Plus it’s such a treat to have something pastel to wear in the winter. The next coat I plan to tackle is a beautiful vintage style beige faux fur. Oh how I love the winter!

Have you made a coat yet this season?

(The images from third party sites remain property of their owners.)

{ 99 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole November 13, 2013 at 10:04 pm

What a beautiful coat. You must be so proud of it. I can’t imagine making anything so difficult. Love the enamel detail on the buttons too.

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Thank you Nicole! I was so pleased when the enamel idea worked- will def use it again :)
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Rosie Wednesday November 13, 2013 at 10:28 pm

This is gorgeous!! I like the snaps.
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Thanks Rosie!:) Loved your Rosie the Riveter overalls! (dungarees to me) May have to add that wearing history pattern to my list :)
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Rosie Wednesday November 18, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Oh thank you, Ami! I find I’m wearing them most weekends these days. It’s a really fun pattern.
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Aleksandra November 13, 2013 at 10:50 pm

This is so pretty! I love the giant snaps and the clean uninterrupted look they give the front of your garment. Well done!
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Thanks Aleksandra! Yep I am super pleased with the snaps and happy to have them in my repertoire for future garments :) Sometimes finding a good button match seems impossible!
You looked gorgeous in your B5748 blue dress- love the shape of that dress. So classic and 50s looking :)
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Aleksandra November 18, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Aw, thanks! That’s sweet of you to say. It’s a great pattern! :)
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Katy November 13, 2013 at 10:51 pm

I love this coat, its such a lovely colour! Your work is very inspirational, after following your blog im hoping to do a clothes making course next year :) x

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Ah thanks so much Katy! You absolutely should :)
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Tina November 13, 2013 at 10:52 pm

So beautiful! Amazing colour. Looks great on you. Snaps were a great idea. Congratulations! Greetings from Portugal

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Thank you Tina! :)
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molly November 13, 2013 at 10:57 pm

What a tremendous success, Amy!
I’m so impressed and inspired by your work.
It looks so impeccable and not in that store bought way but in the – a real person made this really really well way!
Pastels are pretty in winter!

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Ah that’s so nice Molly, thanks so much! Yep so nice to have some pretty pastels to wear in Winter :)
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Bec November 13, 2013 at 11:01 pm

So Beautiful! I love all your shoes! Esp the yellow ones..where do you get them?:)
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Thanks Bec! I love you recent Anna dress- so pretty :)
My shoes in this post are Agnes and Norman Gracie shoes in peach I think you can still get them here: http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/partners/agnesandnorman/products
And my yellow ones were from Dune a couple of summers ago- may be worth a look on eBay? :)
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Kaitlyn November 13, 2013 at 11:33 pm

This is such a beautiful coat, the idea of pastels in winter is so lovely. My winter wardrobe is predominately teal green and purple, so next season I think I might have to try some more pastels

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Thanks Kaitlyn! They can be a bit tricky in the winter but I think as long as the fabric looks cosy enough they tend to work :)
Love the look of your 2444 dresses- look forward to seeing them all worn- particular love the one with the longer sleeves- perfect all year dress :)
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Kaitlyn November 17, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Thanks! Now I’m doing my own sewing i can shake things up a bit!
Thanks, they’ve been all sitting half made on the lounge taunting me as I finish all my university essays for the year. A few more hours, and then I’m done for three months!They’re will be more progress updates very soon

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Meigan November 14, 2013 at 1:26 am

Beautiful, beautiful coat. I think I would have bought that fabric without a plan as well. I love that you used snaps. They are much less scary than cutting buttonholes into a labor of love. :)
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Thanks Meigan! Yes I was so happy when I realised there would be no unpleasant buttonhole cutting phase to do! :)
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Ps- hope you had a fun wine tasting weekend in Virginia and that you got the denim dress sorted?
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Ginger November 14, 2013 at 2:35 am

This is absolutely gorgeous! Stellar job!!!!! It’s so you!
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Aw thanks Ginger! :)
I love your new papercut blouse- I wear denim shirts alot and also find it annoying that I can’t wear them with my jeans- I don’t care if its ‘cool’ now, I just can’t bring myself to do the double denim thing! I found that black or coloured jeans were a good option.
Think that blouse would be super AMAZING in the peach voile you had in mind :)
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erin November 14, 2013 at 4:55 am

It’s the perfect coat! The design is classic and elegant. The pastel blue looks great on you and complements your skintone and hair colour. And it’s such a clever idea to paint the snaps blue!
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Thanks Erin! I love the look of your cape! AND of that lilac mohair- both are such pretty colours! :)
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LadyxBec November 14, 2013 at 5:02 am

Adorable coat, I love the big lapels!
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Thanks so much! I love big lapels :)
Your 2444 is amazing- that has to be one of the best Liberty prints I have ever seen! So quirky and pretty! And can I just say that was the coolest theme for a hen do ever- what a fantastic excuse to be Betty Draper for an evening! :)
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egwene November 14, 2013 at 6:20 am

Lovely coat, and the idea with the snaps is great. I am just in the process of underlining my coat, it is a rather thin black alpaka wool. I hope I will get it finished before winter really starts.

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Ah I hope so too, they are definitely a labour of love aren’t they- esp if they involve interlining! Happy (quick!) sewing :)
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Katalin November 14, 2013 at 7:02 am

Absolutely beautiful! Love it!

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Thanks Katalin! :)
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F. K. November 14, 2013 at 7:13 am

That is such a precious coat!!
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Ah thank you!
Amazing self- portraits! I particularly love the profile- so clever :)
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F. K. November 18, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Thank you! Haha I felt I needed the practice because my self portraits were bad, but I haven’t had just a horrible one yet. I guess they weren’t as bad as I thought, and I also improved a little as well!
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Debi November 14, 2013 at 7:34 am

This is such an amazing coat! I love it!! I’ve got a piece of wool this colour in my stash and you are inspiring me to make it into some type of coat or suit!!

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Ah thanks Debi- you definitely should :) It’s such a nice feeling using up something from your stash too isn’t it!
Btw I am a fellow What Katie Did fan :)
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Poppy November 14, 2013 at 7:42 am

Fabulous coat, the fabric is perfect and the snaps are an inspired idea!

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Thank you Poppy! :)
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Lynne November 14, 2013 at 7:53 am

This is absolutely gorgeous! I love the big collar and the snaps, I thought they were buttons at first. Happy wearing!
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Ah thanks Lynne- I think it may well be happy wearing if the weather man is right and we are about to get a big cold snap :)
Gorgeous flouncey skirt in your last post! :)
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Clare November 14, 2013 at 8:01 am

FABULOUS coat! Absolutely brilliant. I always do enjoy reading your posts, as i find they are the perfect mix of lovely images and design/construction information. The snaps work great, and even before i read all the text, i was wondering how on an earth you found some to match the colour of the coat exactly! Perfectionism is a wonderful thing!

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Ah thanks Clare- although opposite of what you will be needing at this time of year in Melbourne tho I guess!
That powder blue 1950s style vanity table in your latest blog post is one of the cutest things ever! I LOVE that kind of décor! :)
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Heather November 14, 2013 at 8:52 am

So beautiful! I can’t believe how talented you are – great job.

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Ah thanks Heather! :)
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Louise - There She Sews November 14, 2013 at 9:08 am

It looks fabulous and really warm. I’ve made coats for the girls but still haven’t bit the bullet with one for myself. Althoug Colette’s new pattern looks tempting for my husband and maybe for me too. That said I’m in full on handmade Christmas mode so I need to try very hard not to deviate from plan!!
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Thanks Louise! :) Yep I’m supposed to be on Christmas mode too- can you believe I have actually started knitting a Christmas jumper- not sure who I’m kidding with that one, so not going to be ready in time! Hehe.
Good luck with the Christmas projects, and yep I had my eye on the new Colette for the hubby too- and the bag! The list keeps growing…!
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Suzie November 14, 2013 at 9:53 am

Oh, another beautiful make from you – I am always blown away by the gorgeous clothes you sew! I was in awe at the matching snaps and wondering how on earth you found some to match so perfectly…what a clever idea to paint them!!!

And your make-up is always so perfect. I know it’s a total deviation from your blogs focus, but I would love to find out what products you use!
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Ah thanks so much Suzie!!
Oh I could happily chat about make-up all day! This was my staple everyday makeup so I will be sure to include it in my next post :)
Your latest post was so interesting, sewing is definitely no longer the ‘cheap’ option- but sooooo much more rewarding than shopping!:)
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Fiona November 14, 2013 at 9:55 am

Wow Ami, just wow! Your sewing skills are awesome! The coat looks so gorgeously warm and the blue is a perfect colour for you, no wonder you couldn’t resist it!
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Ah thanks Fiona! :) I just love your recent Anna dress!
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Tamara Epps November 14, 2013 at 12:35 pm

So jealous of your sewing skills right now.
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Ah thanks Tamara!
I may have to try out that Ruby Gloom with my nephews, looks so cute :)
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Emi November 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Fabulous blog, I am an avid reader. I too would LOVE to know what make up you wear as you always look beautiful and utterly flawless!
Emi x

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Ah thanks Emi! I am going to include my everyday makeup in an upcoming post :)Your evening at the shard looked amazing :)
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Amy November 14, 2013 at 2:27 pm

The coat looks great! I thought the snaps came in a perfect match blue – so you did great painting them :) I have a couple coats planned and will hopefully start them tomorrow.

Btw, the pale blue looks gorgeous on your skin tone and with your hair <3
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Ah thanks Amy! I hope your coat sewing goes well :)
I love your recent black and white Minerva dress!- and the matching pooch neck tie is the cutest thing ever! hehe
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Amy November 18, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Thanks so much! My dog loves to dress up :) (Or, he tolerates it LOL)
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Victoria Peat November 14, 2013 at 2:32 pm

What a fabulous coat and such a great find on the fabric front. I am making a coat this winter…but it’s for my 5 year old daughter. I found some fabulous double sided grey and cream spotty wool/cashmere. I’ve just got the hemming on the body and sleeves and the button holes…although I like your giant snaps. I always find button holes so tricky on bulkier fabrics

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 8:51 pm

That fabric sounds delicious! Bet that will make her the cutest (and cosiest) little coat! Great superhero costume by the way! So clever!
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Danielle D. November 14, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Soooo CUTE :) Good job!

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Thank you Danielle! :)
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Karen Helm November 14, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Oh, it is simply gorgeous! The style is a perfect choice for the fabric -and that blue is so lov ely – no wonder you had to have it! One can never have enough coats – I love them and am hoping to make one, starting in January (after some other projects are hopefully finished!)
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Ah thanks Karen! After your last post I spent a while looking online for the vintage 9227 pattern- such a beautiful pattern, I am going to attempt to patterncut my own version. It reminds me of one Anne wears in Glorious 39 :)
Look forward to seeing your pink blouse – always good to recreate something you have worn lots! Happy sewing :)
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Rebecca London November 14, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Beautiful coat! So much nicer than the Chloe store bought. The color is perfect for you.

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Wow thanks Rebecca- what a compliment! :)
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Debby November 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm

What a fabulous coat, gorgeous colour and looks fab on you. Where did you get that gorgeous fabric?
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Hi Debby, thanks so much! :)
I actually got the fabric from a trade suppliers called Crescent Trading over in Spitalfields that I went to while looking for some fabric for a recent commission. Usually they only sell fabric by the bolt or sample cut lengths to students but they may well make an exception :)
I did also spot it in a new shop over in the Berwick Street area- they had it in lots of colours there too but it was much much pricier :(
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Ruth November 14, 2013 at 7:26 pm

It’s such a lovely coat – you’ve done a great job. And I can see why you had to buy the fabric when you saw it, it’s a gorgeous colour!
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Thanks Ruth! I really love your Laurel dress! Such pretty needle-cord fabric, is it a Liberty one?
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Ruth November 18, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Thank you! I wish it were Liberty, but sadly not – it is really pretty though. I’m not sure what make it is, but you can get it from Stone Fabrics :-)
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nicole November 14, 2013 at 9:14 pm

I have serious coat envy! You always make the most beautiful coats, this colour is gorgeous!

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Thanks Nicole! :)
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Wendy November 14, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Hi anyone know where can I buy the fabric please or any very simular , I love your blog for inspiration which I seem to lack :-)

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Hi Wendy- I just sent you an email :)
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Roxanne November 14, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Ooh, that looks so ladylike! I love the colored coat trend: it brightens up a dull winter and looks so cool. Love the construction: every little details makes it a winner.

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Thanks Roxanne. I am happy to have just found your blog! I am now following you on bloglovin! I couldn’t believe it when I read that you are French- your English is fantastic! :)
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Roxanne November 18, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Yep! I’m french-canadian, actually! Thanks for following my blog: I absolutely love yours! You have such good taste and clearly the gods have bestowed a talent for picking colors. I haven’t read all the past posts, but just looking at that blue floral retro butterick dress and the divine Pin up party dress, I can see I have enough good reading for a few evenings.
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Sarah November 15, 2013 at 9:42 am

such a beautiful coat! You’re so talented.

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Ah thanks Sarah! :)
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Ah thanks Sarah! :)
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Ann Sinclair November 15, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Your coat is beautiful and the colour suits your colouring so well. The fabric looks so cosy. Again every detail is so perfectly executed. Absolutely Perfect!!!!

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Ah thanks Ann! :)
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Danielle November 16, 2013 at 8:50 am

It’s just so lovely; colour, fabric, fit – everything! I love your idea for colouring the snaps too. Must remember that!
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Wow Danielle- I just popped over to your blog and saw your wedding dress/ bridesmaid dresses post! Unbelievable work- so so beautiful! That lace work is so fiddly!
I LOVE the pastel bridesmaids! So gorgeous! I am your newest follower :)
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Michelle November 17, 2013 at 12:05 am

I actually love the snaps with this classic coat! They’re clean, unfussy, and don’t detract from the tailoring or lovely color. With such a nice construction choice you can always choose to change the look by adding buttons at a later time, but with such a beautiful result, I doubt it will ever be necessary!
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Thanks Michelle! Yep I am really pleased with the snaps now and I think I will try and use the technique again- it was even fun painting them! :)
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Gaild November 17, 2013 at 2:03 am

Gorgeous, as always! I can see why you fell for this fabric! I am planning on making a coat this winter, so I’m eagerly reading all coat posts!

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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Thanks Gail! Good luck with your coat planning! :)
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Lorelei November 17, 2013 at 11:38 am

I absolutely love this coat, do you sell them? hehe ;D
The blue pastel colour is so, so beautiful; why can’t we have a little more pastel in our everyday life?
I’ve been wanting to make myself a coat for a while but coming up with a fit i like and finding the right fabric seems to be impossible :/
After your coat though i think is should go an try to find a fabric and pattern ASAP. :))
i’m really impressed by your talent.

Greetings, Lorelei
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Ah thanks Lorelai!
Yep you should- its such a satisfying thing to make and you can make them sooo much warmer than you can buy them by underlining them :)
LOVE the red shoes in your recent pinterest blog post! And that midi dress! So pretty :)
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Foam of days November 17, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Oh, I love that! The colour, the cosy-ness of the fabric, the style.. Gorgeous!
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amelialowden November 17, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Ah thank you! :) Love your recent evening dress! So stunning :)
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caroline November 18, 2013 at 5:26 am

Hi Ami,
The coat is fabulous, mine is coming along too. I was wondering if you did pad stitching / roll line, hair canvas etc.. on this coat – or does the plushness of the fabric make that unnecessary? What do you underline with? Lambswool? Do you ever use fusible interfacing on outerwear? Lots of questions i know! But you seem to know what you are doing ;-).
Your work is truly and inspiration!
C
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amelialowden November 20, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Hi Caroline!
Oooh I’m excited to see your coat- your inspiration is amazing, I am a Megan fan too- didn’t realise anyone wasn’t!
On this coat I used hair canvas on the whole front panel and collar and used twill tape on the roll line and pad stitching on the collar and lapel. Due to the thickness of the fabric I didn’t use any interfacing on the hem which I may well have done normally.
I didn’t need to underline this fabric but whenever I have previously it has always been with cotton flannel although wool would be even warmer so could be a good choice on a lighter weight coating fabric.
I have used fusible interfacing on outerwear yes- my little black jacket which you can find on my portfolio page is done entirely with speed tailoring, I would always use the fusible cotton where possible as the composite style ones have a tendency to disintegrate over time. I think fusible is fine on softer jacket styles, but obviously just never gives the same structure to a garment as traditional tailoring methods. I never fuse it into the seam allowances either and this helps to maintain the crisp edges on the garment.
I hope some of that helps! Any more questions just ask :)
Good luck with the rest of your coat!
:)
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Kristina November 21, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Just wonderful, simple, like paradise. Hi from Serbia!

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ersan November 22, 2013 at 4:06 pm

beautiful coat. nice colour. the style works perfect with the fabric and the colour. excellent.well done

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Erin January 8, 2014 at 2:20 pm

So so beautiful! What an amazing job, you’ve inspired me to try a coat like this! The baby blue is the perfect colour choice too:)

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Elizabeth February 17, 2014 at 10:19 pm

I really love this coat and the color suits you so well! I have never really sewed anything but I’m really eager to learn. I just have a normal sewing machine which I bought a little while ago from the sales (I promise, it was a bargain!). Could you recommend something easy enough for me to make as my first project? I really want to learn to sew and in some point make a coat like this but in baby pink… :)

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