Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Leopard Brocade Coat




Hey! It's Shams from Communing with Fabric with a project made from a stunning Britex fabric. For this project I selected a fabric from the Novelty category, Smoke Striped Leopard Smooth Brocade:


This reversible brocade leopard print from Italy is truly a stunning fabric. I wanted to make a coat and quickly settled on Butterick 6385, a Lisette pattern. I made this coat once before for my Paris wardrobe and I have loved wearing that coat.

Besides the beautiful brocade, the coat is lined with black stretch silk charmeuse, and the edges are bound with black stretch silk twill. It closes with covered snaps, though the outer coat features decorative Britex buttons.


In late October, I was headed off to a creative sewing retreat organized by Diane Ericson, Design Outside the Lines. The fall retreat that I attended, held in Ashland, featured coats as a theme. The guest co-teacher was Kathryn Brenne, who designs patterns for Vogue and has her own couture sewing school.

Kathryn encouraged me to use a variety of couture techniques, some that I hadn't used since taking tailoring back in the 80s, and some that were new to me. For example, I made shoulder pads and sleeve heads using wool fleece, used Kathryn's no-bulk side seam pockets, and made covered snaps (the snaps on the coat are covered with the brocade, and the snaps on the facing are covered with silk twill). I set the lining by hand, and finished the bias trim by hand.

Kathryn demonstrating her no-bulk side seam pocket using my coat.

Britex button on the left and a covered snap on the right.

Kathryn setting my sleeve or, as she calls it, "introducing the sleeve to the coat" on the mannequin...

...and on me

In my size, this coat calls for 3-1/8 yards of fabric and that doesn't inlude extra for pattern matching. I had 3 yards and wanted to use the print symmetrically. I was able to squeeze it out by cutting each pattern piece singly—no cutting while doubled. I used both sides of the gorgeous fabric—most of the coat uses the darker side of the fabric, while the inner and outer collars, the front facings, and the back yoke use the more silvery side.



Thanks to Britex for the beautiful brocade. I purchased all other supplies.


I just returned from Japan earlier today. One of my more notable souvenirs from the trip, two shattered finger tips with a deep cut to the bone through one fingernail, makes typing a challenge. After hours in a Tokyo ER, an orthopedic surgeon stitched up my fingernail and the nail bed (where the nail is missing) using a mallet and lots of local anesthesia. Nevertheless, I made many posts to Instagram and Facebook. I probably won't repost them here, though I may create a list of links to the relevant posts on Instagram.

Despite my mishap within one hour of landing in Japan, it was the trip of a lifetime—a complete dream. But I don't know how soon I will be able to sew again or, indeed, type normally. (I use my right hand as normal, but I have to hunt and peck with the ring finger of my left hand.)

I am left handed, so this is particularly challenging.

I return to work tomorrow. Have a great week!

Join me on Not Dead Yet's Visible Monday!

65 comments:

  1. Your coat is just stunning! Japan looked so fabulous. It was wonderful to see it from your vantage point. Hope your fingers heal quickly and you are back to your normal activities ASAP.

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  2. Thanks so much for an amazing travelog. I looked forward every day to your adventures. Happy that you are home safely. Best wishes for continued success with the healing process.

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  3. The coat is gorgeous!
    Hope that your hand is soon healed 100%!

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  4. Ouch! Not quite the souvenir you wanted I'm sure. Wonderful coat!

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  5. Gorgeous coat you used the fabric so well. I looked at pics on Instagram, it must have been a wonderful trip.

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  6. The coat is gorgeous!!! It was great to follow your dream trip to Japan. I'm so glad you enjoyed it despite the accident!

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  7. Coat: BEAUTIFUL! Finger: OUCH! Hope it mends soon!

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  8. I've been following every step of your journey, your injury... all of it. It has been wildly fascinating. Thanks for "bringing us along"!

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  9. Gorgeous coat, fabulous trip...you could have a new career as travelogue writer and photographer. Shams the Amazing,

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  10. I love your coat! It is just stunning- the print so beautifully placed. I hope that your finger heals quickly!

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  11. I loved following your trip to Japan. On my two trips, I had visited some of the places you went (including the tiny needle shop in Kyoto), but other places were new to me. I'll make a list for the next trip. And what a gorgeous coat!

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    1. Thanks, Lynn! I didn't get to everything I wanted to see and am already planning to return.

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  12. Simply a gorgeous coat! I especially loved your use of the reversible fabric. So sorry to hear about your accident. Karen

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  13. gorgeous coat, and hope your fingers are healing soon and you can get back to using all those new techniques you learned at the workshop. loved your Japan posts on IG super interesting and great photos.

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  14. Love your coat! I was following along on your Japan trip and wincing every time I saw those poor fingers all bandaged. Hope the rest of your healing is quick and uneventful and you're back to using those very important two fingers soon!

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  15. You're my coat muse and I love all of them! Can you explain the silk twill binding? Did you make that yourself or can you buy it premade? If you made it yourself, what search term would you use to find the proper material? Any links?

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    1. Thanks! I purchased silk twill fabric and cut my own binding.

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  16. he instagram posts were fantastic! I am sorry about your fingers though. I hope they are brought back to full and paimless functionality.
    And that coat is spectacular.

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  17. Your coat is absolutely gorgeous and the workmanship is phenomenal. It must give you a boost just to put it on. I don't know if that's your Japanese hair cut or not, but it is really flattering and chic.

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    1. Thanks! I took these pics the day before I left. The haircut is from Ashland. :)

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  18. that coat is stunningly beautiful - so couture! And oh, my goodness, I'm so sorry about your fingers - prayers that you find a fabulous doctor and for a complete recovery!

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  19. Thanks for sharing your Japan trip with us. Hope your fingers heal well and quickly.

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  20. Welcome home. I hope your fingers are healed up v soon. Loved seeing your Japan trip.

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    1. Thanks, Pamela! I thought of you in the flea market!

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  21. You look fantastic - the use of that fabric is perfect and I love how you made it work with (potentially) short yardage. Very inspiring blend of skill and talent!
    On another note, I'm so sorry about your fingers. I'm sure it's a challenge to work. But if anyone can do it, Shams can - our adventure hero!

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  22. Beautiful- any chance of a tutorial on those lovely covered snaps? I NEEEEED them for my new coat!

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    1. Thanks! I'd love to, but the current state of my fingers makes that impossible.

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  23. What a bobby dazzler that oat is! So beautifully put together. I love the idea of introducing the sleeve to the coat. We all hope they get on don't we!
    And ouch your poor finger. At least we lefties are less reliant on our dominant hand than right handed people, otherwise we'd never get anything done in a right handed world!

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  24. That is an amazing coat! Loved all your instagram posts on Japan. And sending healing mojo that your finger injury mends up quickly.

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  25. Smart and stylish use of fabric! You are always inspirational. My hostel/Japan trip was my best ever so I'm Glad you enjoyed your trip so much in spite of your injury. Be well!

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    1. Thanks, Nan! I'm so glad you also had a wonderful trip to Japan!

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  26. There is something special and slimming about vertical color blocking and this coat proves it! who wouldn't want one of these beauties in their wardrobe? You must feel so stylish wearing this knowing all the designer techniques that you put into it! Sorry to hear about your finger...surgery on your first day....hoping it heals fast!

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    1. Yes, I love those vertical lines. ;) Thanks so much, Mrs Mole!

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  27. It's a fabulous coat! I have 3 yards of a wool animal print coating and you've inspired me. I poo pooed this pattern but I didn't really notice the funnel collar you used and it certainly doesn't look prim in your gorgeous animal print. Brava!

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    1. Thanks, Nancy! Of course I stay far away from the Peter Pan collar. ;)

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  28. Just found your post through Patti's blog and had to come over and gush over that exquisite coat. First off, your sewing skills are awe inspiring. The fabric you chose and how you matched it up is incredible. But so sorry about your accident. I actually cringed when I read about your injury. Hope you heal very quickly.



    Theresa

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    1. Thanks so much, Theresa! It's taking some time, but I'm healing!

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  29. I hope I managed to figure out (again) how to reply hee ;-)
    First of all, your coat is utterly gorgeous, secondly, I wish you a speedy recovery andlook forward to see you in 'sewing action' soon.
    Manuela

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    1. Hi Manuela! So nice to see your comment and thanks! I hope you are enjoying your balmy holidays. :D

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    2. I'm working on a research project - a case study - for university, due in mid January. Will get some diving in though, as well as looking for artwork for our home away from home. I'm currently dyeing bed-sheets, as I couldn't find anything that resembles the clours of the beach and the ocean....

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    3. Wow, it sounds like your creativity is just as busy as ever! There was a thread on Facebook about SG (now that she's charging a membership fee) and you are missed!

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  30. Gorgeous coat.You looks beautiful in this coat.And fabric is also good.You can buy more Gorgeous fabrics in "Fabrics World USA".They have More then thousands type of fabrics. Trust able Fabrics store.you can buy fabrics through Online in all over the world. http://www.fabricsworldusa.com/

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