Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Style Arc Grace Coat


It was 45°F when I took these pics. Perfect weather for a snuggly coat!

I decided that I wanted a new winter coat. I started with the Style Arc Grace coat, which was released last month, but I made a number of changes. For supplies, I shopped my stash. Because I didn't have enough fabric for the coat, I used another fabric for the facings. Ditto for the inside - I used two lining fabrics. Most of the fabrics came from Fabric Mart, except for the wild lining, which I found at Fabrix a couple years ago. This was a very engaging project, with lots of hand sewing. It kept me busy for awhile.

Supplies:

  • A Bensoni wool blend from FabricMart. This black and cream fabric has a weave and drape similar to a handwoven - the cream threads have loft. It is reversible, more black on one side and more cream on the other. I used both sides. The black threads are wool, the cream threads are not - they feel like a soft short staple cotton. I had only 3 yards, which is not enough, so I had to make some accommodations.
  • Black wool coating, from FabricMart. I didn't have enough of the Bensoni wool for the facings, so I used a solid black wool. At the end, I had only a small piece of the Bensoni wool left.
  • Black silk charmeuse lining backed with interfacing, also from FabricMart. Because it is backed with interfacing, it is extremely easy to cut and sew. I didn't have enough to line the entire coat, so I used it for the pocket and sleeve linings.
  • Black and cream poly charmeuse from Fabrix. I didn't have enough to line the entire coat, so I used it in the body of the coat, but not the sleeves.
  • Knit tricot fusible interfacing for the facings.
  • 2 toggle-style clasps.
  • 1" shoulder pads.
One of the two lining fabrics. Also, the contrasting solid black wool used for the facings.

Alterations and modifications:

  • FBA, adding length only. (There was enough width.)
  • Extended the closure to be asymmetric.
  • Swapped out the collar.
  • Did not want to use bindings, so added conventional hems.
  • Drafted linings and re-drafted the front facing to accommodate the asymmetric closure.
  • Converted welt pockets with flaps to curved welt pockets at the side seams. I used the curved welt pocket from the Style Arc Jacqui coat, and drafted a curved welt to replace the knit ribbing.
  • Narrowed the shoulders by 3/4". This coat is designed to be off the shoulder, but I always have to narrow the shoulder of a Style Arc pattern by 3/4", so this alteration means that the shoulders fit as the designer intended.
  • Because I was short on yardage, I shortened the jacket by 2-1/2".
  • Omitted the sleeve cuff, but intentionally left the sleeves long so I could fold them back. In fact, I lengthened the sleeves by 1-1/4", but in retrospect this was a bit too much. Drafted a sleeve facing to accommodate the fold back cuffs.
  • Instead of buttons, used two toggle-style clasps.
  • The pattern did not call for them, but I used a pair of 1" shoulder pads.
  • Used a double thickness of the selvedge to trim the right side of the coat.
The altered front pattern piece.

Details:

Asymmetric Collar

I really liked the collar used on the Vogue 8854 tunic that I made recently, so I made the coat asymmetric and drafted a similar collar.

Curved Darts

When I did the FBA, I added in length only, as there was enough width in the loose fitting coat. When I went to sew the dart, which I had placed in the side seam, I realized that sewing a straight dart would be problematic because it would end up too close to the armscye. So I sewed a curved dart. This was easy to do in this loosely woven, very malleable wool. I am very happy with this dart.

Curved Welt Pockets

Because of the curved front hem and the curved darts, I decided I wanted this coat to have curved welt pockets. I borrowed the curved welt pocket from another great Style Arc pattern, the Jacqui Sweater Coat. You can see the process I used to make those pockets here.

For the Jacqui coat, the welt was made from a rectangular piece of ribbed wool knit. For this version, I drafted a curved welt. Because the fabric is so thick, I used the lining on the back side of the welt.

Selvedge Trim

This fabric had a beautiful selvedge, so I harvested it. I layered one strip of selvedge on top of another with a slight offset - about 1/4", sewed them together, and used the resulting double selvedge as a trim for the right front of the coat and the hems of the sleeves.

Closeup of curved welt pocket, selvedge trim, and toggle clasp

Toggle Closures

As previously blogged, instead of buttons or snaps, I used two toggle-style clasps. I thought I would have to use snaps in addition to the clasps, but I found they were not needed.

Conclusion

This coat is absolutely wonderful to wear. It is loose enough and the armholes are wide enough to fit over most any garment. I love the changes I made to the collar - there are many ways I can wear it. It's a beautifully drafted pattern. It feels completely luxurious to wear and I can already tell that this will become my go-to winter coat.

Another thing I wanted to mention. I don't know if you follow Merche's blog, Aventuras de Costuras, but you should! She lives in Spain and posts in Spanish and English. I found her blog some time ago and she makes the most gorgeous clothing for herself and her children. She used my Cocoon Sweater instructions and posted (with permission) her own version, in Spanish and using metric measurements. She really rocks this design - check it out!

More Pictures

This is me, dressed for my eye appointment today. I am wearing my Style Arc Cassie pants, which I really love, and a black Sewing Workshop Salsa top, which you can't see.
Collar worn up

51 comments:

  1. Congratulations! Yours is "the amazing black & white coat" Love everything about it, the collar, the lining...you name it. And its warm too!
    I take good note of what you did with the selvedge, I learn a lot with you!
    Thanks for the link!

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  2. This is gorgeous and it looks wonderful on you. I have never seen you in colors this graphic and it looks great. More!

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  3. WOW, WOW, WOW! I love it! Such creative changes, all of which are totally successful. You have yourself a knockout coat, my friend!

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  4. I've been waiting to see this. I may have to see how I can get this in a box headed for Chicago ;) Fabulous!

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  5. Your coat is gorgeous! I like the fabric design. Wool is one of my favs for coats. It looks warm and cozy. I also really like the changes you made to the coat.

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  6. I've admired that fabric online and wondered how to use it best. Yours is an inspiration! Great job, as always.

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  7. Wow! What a fantastic coat! I've always admired your sewing ability but you've outdone yourself here! Great job!

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  8. Your coat is absolutely spectacular! Love the collar. A nice collar that wraps around your neck is the perfect way to stay cozy and warm.

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  9. What a great coat. You have done a fab job. Lovely fabric too.

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  10. Fabulous what you did with this pattern. It's so "you" and at the same time something you might see Babette SF do for their coat line. And you look great wearing it!

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  11. Such a fun and warm coat! I love the wild lining and the metal toggles. Poor you with the cold weather (we're expecting snow here) but at least you have a good excuse to wear your new creation.

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  12. Oh my. This is like the perfect winter coat. Seriously. I absolutely adore it!! That fabric is utterly gorgeous, and I really love that asymmetrical collar. So creative. Well done!

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  13. Looks so soft and cozy, shams. Beautiful coat, love the collar, love the curved welt pockets, the fun lining.

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  14. I feel like I've just spent some time with you in your sewing space! What a beautiful project! Gorgeous!
    I wouldn't mind cool weather, either, with a coat like that!

    Brenda

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  15. Fabulous coat and fabulous review Shams! Have been waiting for the reveal and the finished coat, with your creative touches, is just wonderful, stylish with a capital "S" plus it suits you so well. You are ready for Winter :)

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  16. Very nice. You thought of everything on this one, didn't you!! So inspirational.

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  17. What a super looking, comfy coat! Great eye for details, yet again - love the use of the selvedge. But forgive me if I don't get too excited over this beautiful coat...it is hitting 98.6°F (or 37°C in my language) here today and the mere thought of wrapping a wool coat (as lovely as it is) around me just isn't doing it for me....cheers! J

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  18. Gorgeous! As always, amazing and inspirational!
    Kathy

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  19. Well done, Shams! This is a beautiful coat which I'm sure you'll have for years.

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  20. absolutely love your coat, we could do with it here too.

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  21. Beautiful and really suits you. You have such a well-defined style.

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  22. I'm going to join the chorus and say that this is a fabulous coat! Great pattern, great fabric, great execution and just perfect for you.

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  23. It looks so cosy, and very smart. Some great details there!

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  24. Wow, such a unique and stylish coat. I love your extra little embellishments. Wear with pride!

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  25. perfect in every way! I love how you mixed different fabrics from your stash to create a garment that looks intentional. I love my Grace coat, too, what a nice design.
    Your curved dart & curved pocket are extra-special.
    well done shams!!

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  26. Once again, you've made a fantastic garment and thought out of the box. That coat turned out beautifully and more inventive, probably, than if you had shopped intentionally for the fabrics.

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  27. How wonderful! With all those changes, it is practically a new pattern. It is interesting to compare it with Robin's final coat on A Little Sewing. You really know your style!

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  28. Love it! I'm a big fan of a selvedge trim. Great look for you!

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  29. Shams, your coat is beautiful! You look great in it! I love the ways you personalized the pattern - it's a coat for the runway! Congratulations!

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  30. Your coat is fabulous! I love the pattern, but I love what you've done with it even more. I want your sewing skills AND your creative brain ; )

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  31. great creative touches and you know I love a good mixed up lining. just in time for our chilly weather. very sharp look.

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  32. This turned out to be absolutely beautiful!! Your changes to the pattern to adapt it for your specific purposes are wonderful and the fabric is just gorgeous. I have this pattern in the "to do" stack and, after seeing both yours and Robin's versions, it is quickly moving to the top!

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  33. Stunning... I would steal it from you in a second ... Love that u used what u had to make it work

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  34. Oh Shams, you have outdone yourself with this wonderful winter coat. It is just full of wonderful details and beautifully sewn. The best part is that you got to use lots of interesting fabrics and not make major purchases.

    Karendee

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  35. Wonderful coat, and I love the clever detailing. Not cold enough in Sydney to justify a woollen version, but I'd love to make this in a light canvass.

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  36. That looks to cosy and stylish too. You always pick the best fabrics.

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  37. Shams, another fabulous thing for your closet. I really enjoy seeing your posts, there's always something to inspire. I wonder if you would post something about how you learned to sew? I am so impressed by your skills.

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  38. That's one great coat, Shams. You rock those Style Arc patterns. I enjoyed reading about the modifications you made and about how you attached those wonderful toggle closures. Enjoy wearing your new coat!

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  39. Shams - that is one awesome coat! I love your details and how stylish it looks on you!

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  40. Spectacular in every way. Thank you for this inspirational post (again!).

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  41. Love the "Shamification" of this coat pattern! Great choice of fabric, too (as always!), and I love the sassy interior surprise of the contrast lining.

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  42. Wonderful coat Shams! i particularly like the use of that fabulous selvedge. Well done.

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  43. Hello Shams - this post is a very good example of what I love about your blog ! I've nominated you for the 'very inspiring blogger' award. If you're interested, please see :
    http://sewingplums.com/2012/12/22/an-award-as-a-gift/

    Best Wishes and thanks.

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  44. What a snuggly coat! The texture of the wool looks fabulous and I really like the different lining/facings together - all a bit of visual interest! But ack, oh how I wish I had seen your curved welt pocket post back in the middle of this year... I made a marfy coat with exactly the same style curved welts and even though I love the end result - there was a lot of head scratching and confusion whilst making them!
    This is one uber flattering garment on you.

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  45. Hello Shams! What a GREAT jacket- it looks as much a work of art as it is a coat- I love the toggle detail (and the bold b/w print)

    I've got you down on the blog roll- thanks so much for commenting!
    I'd love for you to post the blogroll widget on your sidebar if you could- let's keep this community blooming! -Bella Q

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  46. LOVE!!!! Love love!!!! OMG I LOVE it!

    Have I made myself clear? ;-D

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  47. I love this coat. It looks amazing on you! And I love the asymmetrical closing and the contrast binding. Bravo!

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