Saturday, December 30, 2017

Copy Cat Coat

I saw it in a movie. The perfect coat. The one I just had to have. It was green (My favorite color!), long, full skirted, and had the most awesome full sleeves, perfect for wearing over shirts and dresses with fun sleeves. Yes, in Cambodia I watched Age of Adeline for the first time and, while sweating in the Cambodian heat, I fell in love with Adeline's green New Year's Eve coat. I decided then and there that I would have to replicate it one day . . . eventually.

photo source
Then eventually came, and this coat got moved up in my sewing queue. While in Malaysia I found out about a challenge called "Designin' December", hosted by Linda of "Nice Dress! Thanks, I Made It! The challenge is to find a designer garment you would love to own, but can't for whatever reason, and make one like it yourself! (In the month of December). As I would actually be home and reunited with my sewing machine in December, I decided I would take part in the challenge! All I had to do was find the garment I wanted. Or so I thought.

After looking through tons of pretty designer dresses, and wishing I had time to make them all, I couldn't decide what I wanted my "Designin' December entry to be. Then I remembered this coat - could I make it as my entry? Did it count as designer made? Well, after some digging on Pinterest, I discovered that the Age of Adeline green coat was indeed designer made! Gucci, fall 2013. Thus, I had a deadline for making my coat - December 31, 2017. All that was left to do was to go home, be reunited with my sewing machine, and dig through my fabric stash for some coat weight wool.

A few weeks later I returned home and digging through my fabric stash commenced. Well, my stash appeared to be short on green coat weight wool, or any coat weight wool for that matter, but I didn't let that deter me! I figured that a mid-weight wool flat lined with a cotton flannel (found in my stash) would work just as well as a heavy weight wool for my coat, so I selected a gray wool from my bin of wool yardage and plowed forward with my coat project.

I made peace with the fact that my coat would not be green like Adeline's, but I still didn't really want a gray coat. No, my coat was going to be a pretty color. Blue to be exact, because that was the color of Rit dye I happened to find lurking in my sewing room. (I have no recollection of when I bought this dye or what I bought it for). So, one Sunday evening I dyed my gray wool blue, and I was all ready to start on my coat! Until I realized I'd forgotten to dye the 100% silk sheet (Also found in my stash)that I'd intended to use for the lining of my coat. So I had to make a trip to Hobby Lobby for a second bottle of dye. 

Once that white silk sheet was dyed a brilliant blue, I was really ready to start on my coat, but starting got delayed once again. First I had to make some Christmas dresses. Well, this delay gave me time to think about how I wanted to construct my coat, and I decided that I wanted a quilted lining for extra warmth. So, I bought some cotton quilt batting and my planned coat became 4 layers thick - wool, flatlined with cotton flannel, followed by batting quilted to a silk sheet.

This would make my coat rather bulky, but quite warm.

Finally, Christmas dresses, and everything else that needed to be finished by Christmas, were done, and I could really start on my coat! I began by quilting my lining. That step took longer than everything else I had to do on this coat put together! First I pinned the sheet to the batting,

 Then I sewed. And sewed. And sewed. While watching Harry Potter. (Something had to make sewing a bunch of straight lines less boring!) My quilting is nothing special, just a bunch of straight lines spaced 3-4 inches apart, but it does its job!

After taking up the dining room table for a day to quilt my lining, I was finally able to cut my coat out! I only had 2.5 yards of my wool, so getting all my pattern pieces out of it was tricky - but it happened! Just barely.

The collar, facings, and pocket welts were cut out of a coordinating wool blend. I acquired about 3/4 a yard of this deliciously soft, subtle, plaid fabric in Romania for about $1.25. I had no clue what I was going to do with it at the time, but I knew I had to have it! After I dyed the wool for the main body of my coat I discovered that my Romanian wool remnant would make the perfect accent piece! 

I'd intended to hodge-podge together a pattern for my coat, but it turned out I didn't have to do that! (Which shortened the time it took to make this coat considerably!) While in the midst of Christmas dress sewing, I happened upon a Vogue pattern sale, and found the perfect pattern - Vogue 8875, a 50's reprint pattern. It had just the shape I was looking for, without being a fabric hog.

All I had to do to make the pattern match my vision for my coat was extend the front coat pieces to make them cross over each other, rather than meeting in the center front, change the collar from a shawl collar to a notched collar, and slightly widen the sleeves. 

Pattern alterations made, the coat came together incredibly quickly! In what felt like no time at all, I was pinning, and then hand sewing, the facings and hems in place.

This coat is so thick the thimble had to come out for the hand sewing!

The resulting coat turned out even better than I thought it would!

It's soft, and warm, and pretty!  And it matches my original inspiration perfectly!

 Well, almost perfectly. I did make one slight change (other than the color) from the original.

Pockets. The original Gucci coat didn't have pockets. What is a coat without pockets?!?! Of course my coat needed pockets - so I added welt pockets. 

And I certainly don't regret it one bit!

My coat is exactly what I wanted it to be, and it should last me for many winters to come!

I am so glad that I actually got it made!

Now I just need to make or find gloves and a hat to go with it!

Do you have a project brewing on your mind that you can't wait to get started on? 


  1. Nicely done! and it looks warm too! Thanks for participating! Good luck!

  2. Just beautiful, looks lovely on you!

  3. I just made a list yesterday of sewing projects for the year. The two main things are shirts with a longer torso for Ethnie and jeans for me.

    1. Oh let me know how the jeans go! That is one clothing item that really intimidates me!

  4. I'm curious as to how much the coat actually cost you to make in resources other than time. It is quite beautiful.

    1. Well, most of the materials were in my stash already, but I'll tell you what I remember!
      The wool was gifted to me, so $0 (but buying new wool fabric would be around $20 a yard)
      The flannel I flatlined the wool with came from a thrift store for 50 cents a yard, so 5 yards was $2.50 (buying flannel new from the fabric store would have been around $5 per yard)
      The cotton quilt batting I had to buy new, and I spent about $17 on that
      The silk sheet I used for the lining was $2 at a thrift store (No clue what silk lining costs by the yard otherwise)
      The Rit dye cost $3
      The thread was in my stash, and I probably used about $3 worth of thread
      The pattern was $5
      The buttons were $1
      So in total I spent around $34 on this coat