I made a coat. A real, proper, grown up coat. So naturally all of a sudden the temperature rises and it almost feels like Spring around here, typical!
When I first spied the Sapporo pattern by New Zealand independent company Papercut Patterns I really liked the style, but assumed as I was out of their size range I would just have to keep admiring all the lovely versions I was seeing on
the Time Sucking Vampire Pintrest. As a first time coat maker I feared for Auckland’s Chardonnay stocks should I attempt to grade up a coat pattern…
But after reading the experiences of other makers, I realized just how much ease is built into the pattern. I had purchased some seriously delicious wool coating from Miss Maude a few months ago, and , after much prevaricating, put my big girl pants on & steeled myself to cut into it!
The pattern comes in three sizes, XXS/XS S/M & L/XL. My measurements put me just over the XL size so I made L/XL. As you can see, there is PLENTY of ease. At one point I was concerned I’d look like I was wearing an oversize blanket, but the cocoon shape becomes more obvious once the lining is attached & the hem turned up.
I have only attempted lining once, and it was a disaster , so I was really pleased this one came off! I used a pretty Japanese lawn, because the coat has no fastenings I think the lining is more visible than in other styles, so it had to be worth seeing. I love an unexpected lining. I used to work with an Insurance broker who had a bespoke suit maker for a client. His suits were always lined with the most amazing fabrics, beautiful bold colours & prints. So you can imagine how disappointing it was when he turned up on casual Friday in Dad jeans & running shoes…!
I’m particularly proud of the fact that although I ran out of wool fabric when cutting my last two sleeve pieces (I know, how do I do these things??), I didn’t immediately give up & reach for the Gin bottle. Instead, after much rumination (basically missing the entire plot of a movie I had paid good money to see) I came up with a solution. I cut two facing pieces for the sleeves, and lined the rest in my lawn, it worked a treat , no tonic required.
Rather like my Ngaio blouse, with its lovely drape around the bust, this is one of those garments that looks much more complicated to achieve than it actually is. The instructions are clear, and there a several tutorials on the Papercut website to help. I also found this tutorial really helpful (because this was my first coat, and the fabric was rather precious I looked for multiple instruction sources, anyone who had previously made a coat would find this pattern a breeze). The in seam pockets are just lovely, so chic!
The lining was very quick to insert…although I did completely forget to sew up the gap you leave to pull the outer fabric through once its attached…!
The curved seams are so striking, but not difficult to achieve at all. It is like wearing a blanket…just not on the couch with a Netflix marathon thank you. It’s much cooler than that. Or warmer, as the case may be.
I think this style of coat works best with a slimmer pant, I tried it on over a dress & looked like Mrs Tubby, but it could work if the hem of the coat and the dress were the same length?
I wouldn’t normally wear black pants with a black top, but I wanted the coat to be the “star of the dish” (sorry, too many cooking shows ), so I kept it simple. To break up the block colours, a pretty silk scarf from Pearson & Brown , this one is “beehives” on the road from Oxford along the foothills of the Southern Alps. It was a birthday gift from the whanau a couple of years ago, I love the mix of colour.
In all, I’m super pleased with my first coat. I love the shape, I’m really happy with the fabric choices and the finish (well, when I finish it eh!). I’m already thinking of one in a lighter fabric for Spring. We went on a cruise last year and one night at dinner we sat next to a lovely lady from Savannah (her manners! her accent!), she was wearing the most divine teal silk evening coat, which was very Sapporo in shape. My first thought when I saw her? “I want to be like that when I grow up..”
Coat making? Do it.