Winter Blues

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.)

101 responses to “Winter Blues”

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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

    • 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 🙂

      • 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

  5. 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. 🙂

    • 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 🙂

  6. 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!

    • 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! 🙂

  7. 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.

  8. 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!!

    • 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! 🙂

  9. 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!

    • 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! 🙂

  10. 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!!

    • 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…!

  11. 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!

    • 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!:)

  12. 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!

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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!)

    • 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 🙂

    • 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 🙁

  17. 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!

  18. 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 🙂

  19. 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.

    • 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! 🙂

      • 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.

  20. 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!!!!

    • 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 🙂

  21. 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!

  22. 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!

  23. 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

    • 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 🙂

  24. 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!

    • 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!

  25. 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:)

  26. 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… 🙂

  27. Ami,
    This is a fabulous blog! It’s so inspiring! I must say that your workmanship is beautiful. Your clothes are so nicely finished. This coat in particular is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Hi Ami,
    love your blog and designs.
    Where did you get the lovely blue fabric for your blue coat please?
    I always struggle trying to find nice coating or wool fabric.



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