Fuschia pink Andy cocoon coat

It's cold in London and these days I think only about warm things: hot tea, mulled wine, a warm coat...


This coat is based on one of the Named patterns', Andy coat, which I won in Starcross Sewing blog's giveaway in September. I won't hide from you that as much as I like Named patterns' designs, I don't like to work with their patterns. All of the pattern pieces are overlaid and you have to trace them on separate pattern paper. It's probably not a big deal when you work with simple garments like skirts, because they have very few pattern pieces. But when I taped and looked at the Andy coat, I felt sea-sick.


I also decided to modify the pattern a little bit and to create a cocoon shape because this is the trend of this season. Besides, the word "cocoon" sound very funny to my foreign ears :)

Another modification to the pattern was the creation of the back darts to accommodate my rounded shoulders.

The fabric came all the way from Australia. I bought three metres of this cashmere wool, called Rosewater coating, from Tessuti Fabrics but used only 2.5 metres for the coat. For the lining, I used a piece of polyester bought from JoAnn's last year. Do I have to tell you how happy I was to use fabric from my stash?



An interesting point about this coat is that I used five different types of interfacing: horse hair canvas for the inner front panels, fusible interfacing for the outer front and back, and three types of tape interfacing for the armscyes, neck and shoulder seams. At the same time as learning how to sew coats, I leant why we use so many different types of interfacing :)

Brand new me-made scarf
Last but not least, a story about buttonholes. I had finished the coat before my move to London. My old sewing machine was not known to make the best buttonholes in the world, and I did not want to compromise the look of the coat with average-looking buttonholes. Although I bought a new sewing machine in London, I still was not sure whether I should make buttonholes by myself and for the first two weeks here I wore the coat without buttons, holding it closed with one hand. I felt grumpy to make bound or hand-sewn buttonholes and so in then end I outsourced the work to DM Buttonholes, located in the heart of London near Oxford Circus.


All seven buttonholes look great and very neat. I would definitely recommend them if you would like to get a clean, professional look for your outerwear!


Overall, my first experience with sewing a coat was so rewarding: I ended up with the brightest coat in London. Believe it or not, most people here wear black, grey or brown and my coat clearly stands out in the crowd. So when I meet with friends, they don't miss me ;-)

Needless to say that I enjoyed working with wool: this fabric is the most stable and nicest to work with.  Now I'd love to sew more outerwear!

What about your experience of sewing outerwear? Have you tried it? Do you like it?


Comments

  1. This is GORGEOUS! The color is so happy and lovely! i just finished a cocoon coat/cardigan thingy, but it's not nearly as successful as yours (I'm still undecided if I'm going to try to change the shape, but it's reallllllly slouchy and kind of makes me look like a hobo). The buttonholes are beautiful-- what a pleasant, painless way to get them done!

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  2. You look so warm and cosy. Great coat and the scarf looks fab too.

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  3. House Of Pinheiro24 November 2013 at 20:19

    The coat look beautiful in person and when I saw the buttons I though you tried your new machine ..

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  4. This looks just so cool Inna! I love this on you - especially the colour. It's great to be a pop of colour in a sea of grey and black. You are so right about that pattern making you feel sea sick. At least with the Japanese patterns it's just a sea of lines :) Oh and I must find a button person in Australia - or buy a new machine as that is the thing that ruins my garments - the button holes.

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  5. I love your coat. The colour is fantastic and the cocoon shape is spot on. I bought some beautiful rust coloured wool-cashmere blend fabric a while ago, coincidentally also to make a cocoon coat! But before I start I was wondering if I should pre-treat the wool in any way. Did you pre-treat yours?

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  6. Sonja, show your cocoon thingy off! RE: Buttonholes - I think I'd do it again.

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  7. Thanks, Vicki -(๑☆‿ ☆#)ᕗ

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  8. Sorry to disappoint with buttonholes.... I'll make some myself for the next project!

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  9. When searching for a new sewing machine I realized that it needs to have only two functions: even straight line with god tension and the buttonhole function. Other bells and whistles are not important - =͟͟͞͞ ( ꒪౪꒪)ฅ✧

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  10. I used a very simple method in order to pre-treat the fabric: I ironed it twice using lots of steam. The whole process takes some time, but you can watch a movie or listen to some nice music while you are ironing ( ⋂‿⋂’)

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  11. Gorgeous fabric and gorgeous coat! Minimalistic design works so well with this bright fabric. Great job!

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  12. It's a fabulous coat! LOVE LOVE it! The buttonholes are gorgeous, wish I could find a place here that would do buttonholes like that :)

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  13. Maider....Masustak25 November 2013 at 08:25

    Love your coat!!! I sewn a coat with the same colour last winter :-) I have the same problem with may sewing machine, the buttonholes. It turned out fabulous, it looks great on you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  14. I love nothing more than wearing a brightly hued coat whilst everyone else looks drab. This is awesome! And what gorgeous button holes... definitely worth outsource :) Looking great! I won't even mention the hot mess that is that pattern sheet...

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  15. Hi Kirsty, Tessuti blog has a post on Quick Buttonhole Service in Alexandria Sydney. I have been wanting to try them.

    http://tessuti.blogspot.com.au/2009/01/quick-buttonhole-service-in-alexandria.html

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  16. Brilliant! Thanks so much Emma. Will bookmark this!

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  17. If you need to make some buttonholes, send your garment here!

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  18. Yes, I remember your beautiful coat! Let's organize a "Pink-coat-meet-up!"

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  19. Melanie, I wish I was as brave as you to make the handmade buttonholes. Your blue jacket is such an inspiration!

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  20. I love bright winter coats too! :) And yours is lovely. How did you cocoon-it? Did you just take it in at the bottom sides? Thanks for the buttonholes tip. They are not expensive and I hate buttonholes, so I'll deffinitely use their services from now on.

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  21. Beautiful cheery coat! I hear ya on the buttonhole dilemma. How lucky to be able to have them done professionally. I would do that in a heartbeat if I could but there is no service like that where I live.

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  22. I cocooned it by rounding the sides a little bit more and narrowing towards the bottom. It's really not such a difficult exercise!
    The DM Buttonholes are great: neat work and good price! I paid £4.60 for 7 huge buttonholes. The only problem is their opening hours: 7:30am to 3:00pm from Monday to Friday.
    Also, if you are in the area go Yumchaa . They serve wonderful teas!

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  23. Oh and a huge yikes on tracing on overlapping patterns. I cannot do that. I do hope they change that.

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  24. Silvia - Sewing Princess25 November 2013 at 14:22

    You're so trendy Inna! Pink is the color of the year in the Uk it seems! Love the buttons and buttonholes...I have recently finished a woolen jacket and I agree sewing with wool is great. I resorted to bound buttonholes to avoid making them (it's hard on thick wool) The only issue I had was that I fitted the jacket and didn't realize the lining would not stretch as much...so it feels a bit tight.
    Should have added the darts as you did...but was lazy and didn't even move the shoulder seam for rounded back...somehow with shoulder pads you don't notice it as much.
    From picture 2, I was thinking perhaps you could add a tiny shoulder pad. I know it's a matter of preference though or maybe it's just that you were looking down.

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  25. My office is really close, so the opening hours work for me, yay! I can go there during lunch and have a tea at Yumchaa.

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  26. Beautiful beautiful coat. Love the shape and the colour. Very trendy!

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  27. Gorgeous coat and love the strong colour. Agree about buttonholes for special projects. My outerwear was a trench coat in rain coat fabric, it had its challenges but love the outcome!

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  28. What a fabulous coat - such a fun colour to wear during the darker months of winter. Love, love, love.

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  29. Your coat is really beautiful. One question: Did you lengthen it or is this the original length? May I ask you, how big you are?

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  30. When you go, give me a buzz, I would like to join! I am not working until the end of the year :)

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  31. I also hope they will change it soon!
    RE: buttonholes. Feel free to send me your garments and I'll bring them to the buttonholes man :)

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  32. I wish there were more pinks in the crowd! Shoulder pads are not really my thing, although some garments would look much better with them (0-0)

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  33. Thank you! I did lengthen it by maybe 3-5cm. And I am 177cm tall :-)

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  34. Wow, looks amazing! But I'm a sucker for both pink and coats so it was a given I would love it! The fabric looks really luxurious and that hot pink is soooooooooo great! Exactly what I would have imagined you wearing in greyish London :)

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  35. I love your coat, the colour is great!

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  36. Just, so many different kinds of love for this post. Love the colour, love your hair, love the location (love that you're in London. I will visit you when I'm there, all the more reason for me to visit now.), love that you outsourced the buttonhole making (hahaha, excellent! I looked up doing that myself once, the only thing that stopped me was the price!). Totally agree with you on the irritation of tracing pdf patterns. WTH? The whole point of print patterns is to not have to trace the ruddy thing. I bought the large format version and didn't even check so image my irrits on getting home from the printer and seeing overlapping pattern pieces. GD! Love the coat though. Obviously worth the effort and it's great you can pair different scarves with it to boost the collarless effect.

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  37. I don't believe you for a second! Or have you already forgot the pink Dior coat? :)

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  38. Aww thanks for the lovely comment. Life has been a bitch since I moved to London and this coat for me is the only ray of light in the craziness around me… A few weeks ago Named sent out a survey where they asked tons of questions about their patterns. Fingers crossed they'll improve! And please do come visit! Hopefully by this time i'll have my own apartment and you and your darling can stay as long as you like!

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  39. Wow! The coat is absolutely fabulous! I LOVE everything about it!

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  40. Thanks a lot, Olga! Since I've made this coat in the end of November, I wear it most of the times.

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  41. Margaret Postings18 May 2015 at 22:42

    I love your coat!!! The colour is fab. I'm using the Andy pattern at the moment. I agree with you about the pattern - when I taped the pieces together 'OH MY GAWD' but I'm glad I carried on. I'm using a waterproof linen to make a raincoat I've nearly finished, it went together really well and I'm very pleased. Did you find the sleeves a bit tight , next time (and I will use it again) I'll add to the sleeve seams. Love your idea about the cocoon coat I might make it like that for the winter. How did you alter the pattern. Would I be right in thinking you narrowed it towards the hem.
    Love it!!
    Margaret

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  42. Hi Margaret! Thanks for your lovely comment! The coat would definitely look more 'cooconey' if you narrow it towards the hem (this was my main alteration). My other alteration was adding back shoulder darts, because my I have protruding shoulder blades, or wings, as I call them. No, I did not find the sleeves too tight and I usually wear thick cardigans during winter.

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