Monday, September 5, 2011

StyleArc - Jacqui Sweater Coat

More pics

Labor Day weekend is almost over. I used it to make a Style Arc coat. Yes, it was fun. :) I'd hoped to get more done this weekend, but shopping with daughter, and napping also occurred. Who says my life isn't full? :)

I bought this wool sweater knit from Fashion Fabric Club last winter. This fabric is interesting. If you look at one of the closeup pics, you will see little "white" patches. You can actually see through those areas if you hold the fabric up. In the "non-white" areas, it's pretty beefy. The knit is stable, but I knew this was one I didn't want to preshrink by tossing into the washing machine (I could tell it would felt like crazy), so I took it to my local dry cleaner to have it steamed.

Has your dry cleaner ever argued with you that it was pointless to get wool steamed? That it would "do nothing", not even shrink it? Mine did. Her English is poor, so I didn't belabor the point, other than to say that I wanted them to use LOTS of steam and for it to be single layer - no creases. I didn't measure it beforehand, but I do think it shrunk; the texture felt different afterwards. She charged me $10 for the 4 yards. Lazy me felt it was totally worth it.

I wanted wool ribbing for this coat, which, as you know, it harder than heck to find as yardage. I went to Thrift Town to see what I could find ready-made. Wow, too many people are upcycling these days, because I could find almost no wool sweaters of any kind. I looked in both the men's and women's sections and they were almost picked clean. All I could find was a black sweater and this red 100% cashmere turtleneck in a women's medium for $10. I was plenty grateful, believe me.

I mail ordered the zipper and the Bemberg lining. Sometimes it takes awhile to collect the things you need for a project.


  • 100% Wool Sweatering from Fashion Fabric Club (no longer available).
  • Black Angel Weft fusible interfacing from Apple Annie's for the front and neck facings, and for the hem.
  • Red 100% cashmere sweater from Thrift Town ($10). I harvested the ribbing from the sweater for the neck, wrists, and pockets. The sweater tag indicated that it was a Bloomingdale's brand.

  • YKK #5, 30" black, antique brass, two-way, separating zipper from ZipperStop. (I bought the 36" and had them customize it to 30" for $1.) I don't like an overly long zipper.

    Bottom of separating zipper

  • Black Ambiance Bemberg lining from Vogue Fabrics.

Alterations and Modifications:

  • I started with a size 18.
  • 3" FBA (into raglan seam) in both the front and the front lining pattern pieces. Also lengthened the front facing to match.
  • I did not use any of the ribbing pattern pieces, which are intended to be doubled. I used the single thickness ribbing from the sweater. The dimensions of my ribbing (both width and length) weren't exactly the same as the pattern.

    The collar, in process

  • Shortened the sleeves by 2".
  • Moved the shoulder "bump" at the top of the raglan sleeve inwards. The pattern is drafted for a wider shoulder than mine.
  • I tapered the side seams in about a 1/2" at the high waist. I could have fitted it even more, but I wanted this coat to have a relaxed fit.
  • Once again, I used Marcy Tilton's video instructions for inserting a separating zipper that is featured on her Inspiration Paris CD.
  • The instructions tell you to bag the lining, but I am not a fan of the bagged lining. I sewed mine in by hand.
  • I was a bit confused, at first, by the instructions for constructing the curved pocket. I took a few pictures and created a tutorial. Once I figured it out, it was not at all hard.


I really like this coat! It's not too heavy, and it will be perfect for chilly San Francisco. The fabric is a bit scratchy, so it's perfect with the lining and the cashmere at the neck and wrists. Yummmm...

Once again I am impressed by Chloe's attention to detail when she drafts her patterns.

When I went shopping with DD1 at the Thrift Store on Saturday (she needs clothes for her new job), I found this great gathered red scarf. It still had the brand-new Limited Edition tags but I got it for $13. Shams likes. :)

(In these pics, I am wearing my favorite pair of Au Bonheur pants.)

More Pictures

Partially zipped

Fully zipped


  1. Nice! It's good to see another Style Arc pattern made up. Everytime I think I'm getting to the point of owning all the Style Arc patterns I want, another goes on the list. :)

  2. Well I'm glad that you took your time not only gathering the materials but making up the jacket because this is freakin' awesome!

    I'm always in awe of how you look at a piece of material and come up with a garment because your thought process is so different from mine...and each and every one of your garments is a work of art! Seriously!

  3. I love this coat! I just read today that the ONE thing you should have in your fall wardrobe this year is a great coat!!! You have yours!

  4. Wowza - you are one hot lookin' babe in that first pic! The cashmere sweater & that scarf were fabulous finds to pair with your fabric...yet another major winner from you!

  5. Way cool coat! Love how you found a cashmere ribbed sweater in the perfect shade of red. Can't wait to see what you do with the remainder of the sweater. I'm seeing it felted and used for trim on something...
    Glad you had a productive sewing weekend, even with the breaks. Don't know how you finish garments so quickly!

    PS The word verification for this post was "prousl". I wonder what Marcel Proust would have to say about your coat? Let's's a quote from a web search:
    "A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves." ;)

  6. Fantastic Shams, StyleArc is certainly your style!

  7. I really like your coat, especially the use of the cashmere sweater accent. Gives me an idea, mind if I copy?

    My local Thrift Store seems to have very little of interest for me.....only leather garments for trims, purse handle etc.

  8. This is gorgeous and stylish! It looks very comfortable, too. ~ Peggy

  9. Love the coat...and the scarf! You are really owning these SA your boots, too...whose?


  10. Thanks for the compliments, everyone!

    Margy, those boots are several years old. I just tried to find identifying marks on them and could not. What I love about them is that they are basically a shoe with rib knit attached. They are knee-high and hug the calf since they are mostly a rib knit. Though they have a heel, they are super comfy.

  11. Beautiful! You are a wonderful ambassador for Style Arc!
    And I'm curious, were the remains of the cashmere jumper salvagable? I'm guessing that even with the cowl neck and sleeve cuffs cut off, the raw edges could be stitched down to the inside and you could still have a little cashmere jumper...

  12. lol. Thanks, Carolyn, but it's a size medium. I would need a much larger size. I will probably felt the remaining amount and use it for another project. But for now I'll just stick it in with my other feltable wools.

  13. I am really impressed by the coat and the ingenious solution to finding a good quality matching rib knit.

    Finding good quality rib knit here is a bit of a chancey thing too - there's quite a bit of it in the clearance shop at the moment because spring is coming and noone is doing any more winter sewing.

  14. And I thought I was the only one cutting up old sweaters for coat trims! Seriously great sewing.

  15. Love it! Your choice of materials really make the coat for sure. I once took wool to the drycleaners for a steam, but they wouldn't do it because "it will shrink". Lol, she just couldn't understand that is what I wanted so I gave up and did it myself:)

  16. In reply to your comment, shams, that little Pattern Magic 2 cardi is comfy to wear, although I say again to check your forearm measurement. I cut mIne to be about 22cm when sewn up, and was still a tad snug to start with, over the course of the day it happily stretched out and is now perfect...

  17. This is great, Shams, and using the goodies from the cashmere sweater make it so professional looking. Great job!

  18. Wow, I had been eyeing this pattern but wondering where I would get the ribbing. You are so smart. And so is this coat, Your wardrobe is awesome.

  19. What a great idea to mine a sweater for the ribbing. We all know how hard(read impossible)to find wool ribbing. But cashmere? Fantastic. I can't believe you lucked out with a perfect match. The coat looks wonderful. Did you add a dart with your fba?

  20. You picked the perfect pattern to highlight the unique wool fabric and it made a wonderful coat. I am a big thrift store fan too

  21. I continue to be impressed with your skill and creativity. Thanks for sharing!

  22. What can I say? You've worked your magic Love LOVE!

  23. That's a terrific coat. Perfect for a crisp, fall day and a walk in the park. Or fabric shopping. I like the red details, and what a good way to get yardage.

  24. What a fantastic coat!! Ingenious re-use of the sweater, too - it's so much easier to find nice ribbing this way than the stuff actually sold as "ribbing"!

  25. You coat is just gorgeous! I love your design and color choices also. It looks great on you!

  26. Sharon, you absolutely make the most wonderful clothes ever, and your new coat is no exception.The cashmere collar/cuff/pocket details and new scarf really detail the coat perfectly. Great, great trendy look on you.

    Karen aka Karendee

  27. It is a terrific coat, such nice details with the thrifted ribbing, the made to measure antique brass zipper, the utterly fabulous ruffly scarf- it is no wonder your garments look so amazing, you go to a lot of trouble!

  28. As usual - absolutely fabulous! You rock girlfriend.

  29. You are so clever! I love this idea of re-purposing knit trim from a sweater for cuffs... this is inspiring.