Sunday, 30 January 2011

Lady Grey in Brown velvet. Would you take this pattern?

I have finished the second, and final Lady Grey coat. It has taken me all of January, because I did a lot of hand tailoring. This was probably unwise, seeing that cotton velvet is not particularly amenable to tailoring techniques, but I had fun trying. Putting it off until January also allows me to submit it to
Gigi's JAM (jacket a month) challenge at Stitchers' Guild. Procrastination can be a good thing.
See this thread for the pros and cons of hand tailoring cotton velvet.
See these bad, blurry photos.

These are all you are getting. It is far too hot to put on a coat like this at the moment. Only the very windy day allowed these photographs to be taken early this morning (note, I do not plan to wear this coat over a sundress in normal circumstances - the shoes however, I think are perfect with the coat).
I like this coat more than my linen version. I took a lot more trouble with it. There are still some very annoying issues, but I am not beating myself up about them. I have not sewn with this fabric before, nor have I hand tailored a coat before.
I particularly liked using Kenneth King's Cool Couture book in the making of this coat. The aspects I have not yet posted about include:
1.the internal, ribbon welt pocket
(the placement of this allows items in the pocket to sit just above the waist, not over the bust, but meant I had to sew the internal buttons on through only the inside of the pocket, sort of fiddly)
2: The no-pad shoulder pads, made from layers of hair canvas.
This may have been my favourite part of making the coat. They curve so nicely all by themselves!
3. The hem interfaced with a bias strip of wool melton.
I was quite pleased with how I gently gathered the hem using the melton bias,until I saw how puffy the hem was. I assume Kenneth King is talking about this effect when he describes "thickness" and "soft fold". I am not sure if I like it, or maybe I have just stuffed it up - quite likely really.
4. The use of bias cut wool to gather the sleeve head - extra wide in Kenneth King's variation to help pad out the top of the sleeve.

Other things I really enjoy are the sand washed silk lining, the hand dyed cotton lace trim for the lining (cherries and a tea bag in boiling water, I felt most clever), and the secret embroidery on the inside.
The butterfly is reinforcing the back pleat, and the flower is disguising the part where I cleverly clipped a hole in the fabric instead of the seam.
If I wear this coat, it will be a bonus.

I have finished with Lady Grey now. The pattern is lightly used (I traced it and folded it back up with the original folds as best I could).
lady grey pattern As it is rather a pricey pattern, I hate to see it just sitting around. It has already come across the Pacific by airmail, so if anyone in Australia or New Zealand could use it, I would be very happy to pass it on. If you would like it leave me a comment and an email or blog contact so that I can collect your address.

Edited to fix links


Handmade said...

Smashing coat - you have put a huge amount of effort into this - so many details and fiddly bits. It looks great and I love the shoes. I'm not interested in the pattern myself - but it's nice of you to give it away.

KID, MD said...

It's so beautiful! You did lovely work. Thanks for letting us peek under the lining. :)

Faye Lewis said...

Your velvet Lady Gray certainly deserves a WOW! Its beautiful.

wendy said...

that ribbon welt pocket is the coolest ever. :-)

this is so gorgeous- i love, love love all the details & how wonderful it looks!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful coat. I love the unpadded shoulder pads. Seeing them was sort of a lightbulb moment for me, as I always feel that my un-shoulder-padded jackets need something there. I also love the secret embroideries.

One question -- In the photo of the shoulder pad set on the coat, there appear to be buttons on the edges of the pad. What is that about?

Debbie Cook said...

Lovely coat. Beautiful little details throughout. You'll enjoy this a lot, when the temps cooperate. Thanks for braving the heat for the photographs for us. :-)

lizajane said...

Beautiful! You have really nice details in this coat. I'm so intrigued by the no-pad shoulder pads.

gMarie said...

Amazing coat. You will certainly enjoy it this winter. Love the inside pocket and the secret embroideries. g

Anonymous said...

Never mind about my earlier comment. The buttons are pinheads. Duh.

Mary Nanna said...

Wow - so much work, so many clever details, I hope you get to wear it LOTS and LOTS. The first time I sewed with velour I learned a lot about it as well - especially important to press on a towel and clip seams every inch to prevent puckers. Unfortunately I found out about the last one after I had finished it and it was too late - but a good press put paid to the worst of them. The colour and style is very fetching on you, well done for giving it a second crack, and congratulations for succeeding with such temperamental fabric.

katherine h said...

There are beautiful details in that coat. It looks like you got a lot of pleasure out of sewing it...I hope you get just as much fun out of wearing it.

Carol said...

Incredible work. I am fascinated that we women who live in hot climates seem to keep making winter coats. I love the shoes and I love the windswept photo, it reminds me of a photo I saw in a documentary about women spitfire pilots on SBS last night.

Sharon said...

Love your coat and the details you have put into it are stunning. The shoes goe with it beautifully. I'm also not interested in the pattern, but it is lovely that you are offering it to others.

Imaan said...

Beautiful coat, and if no one else is interested, I'd like to have a look at the pattern, since I have heard good things about Collette patterns, but never tried one. If anyone more dedicated to the coat than me is interested, please, give it to them!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful garment, and very impressive tailoring! You look great in it.
It is very generous of you to offer the pattern to us Aussies and Kiwis, but I'm not brave enough to attempt the Lady Grey... yet!

Carolyn said...

You've done an absolutely beautiful job withthis coat! Lovely! The inside is as beautiful as the outside, and I love the shade of the lining. It is pale pink, right?
The shoulder pads are a really great idea. Thank you for sharing these.

kbenco said...

Thank you. (blush) The lining is pink, much more pink than shows on my monitor. I am very fond of pink, but it makes me look a little boiled if I wear it on the outside - that used-to-be-a-redhead skin :(. This coat is a nice excuse to wear lots of it!

Joy said...

Such a lovely coat - It's great the velvet. The details are so interesting to see, especially the shoulder pad construction.

Sigrid said...

Absolutely beautiful, love all the details on the inside. It looks wonderful on you! Your hard work certainly paid off.

Gail said...

You've created an heirloom coat. It is so hot here today, I can't imagine how you could put it on if Queensland is experiencing similar conditions.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

So many beautiful details! I love your secret embroideries. Having done hand-gathered cotton velveteen ruffles for my recent coat, i cannot imagine doing an entire coat out of it with hand tailoring! Impressive.

Ruthie said...

Oh Karen it is absolutely beautiful! Hope someone enjoys the pattern after you. I'd put my hand up but it'd be daft to send it to the UK from Australia!

MareeAlison said...

Wow, that's a fantastic coat and you look amazing in it - though a trifle hot!

I'm in awe of your ability. Well done.