red coat remake

Probably one of the more exciting things that happened this week was whenever I got to change flavours in cough sweets.  I have been rather bogged down by a sore throat/lost voice all week, so sounding like Kathleen Turner (how cool) but punctuated by hacking cough (how not cool) and feeling a bit peeved by it all and with only myself to blame (as I went out with a cold, came home with no voice).   I did manage to refocus the sewing, and finish this red coat .

red coat remakeIts probably my longest sewing project as it was done over the course of 6 or 7 weeks, and yet it only really took 2 or 3 days.  The coat is a divine cherry red wool, in an 80s cut, and the buttons were of the same ilk (and just look plain old tacky).  So I took it apart, brushed it and steamed it and rested it for a few days before the cut.  The lining was in good condition so I took a chance and put it aside to reuse.  I used the same self drafted pattern I used on last years coat, and decided to cut front from front etc, and reuse both the pockets and the buttonholes (as there was not enough fabric to redo the buttonholes) and in all this seemed all like a good idea and both the coat and lining were sewn up in a day, over a month ago…… and left there.  After making it up, I decided I was not sure about the darts (I have since relented and like them but would omit/change them if I was using this cocoon-style coat pattern again), and then I dithered on how best to finish (there is no best way, the only way is to get on with it).

red coat remake

In truth, the only delay was finding better buttons, and I ended up using ones that came from the button box that are a dark metal.  They are the right size and seem to work well. So then it was trying to tweak the already attached front facing into joining the rest.  I cut the back facing from the left over scrap and also made the sleeves longer but adding a deep cuff, I thought I wanted the coat shorter, but preferred it a bit longer when I had it near done, so I added bias binding to the hem to maximise the length.  I left the wool label in place…..but don’t think I will ever ever reuse those gold buttons…..

red coat remakered coat remake

Finishing took a day, and I was rather pleased. So I steamed it and clamped it and broke the Ann Ladbury rule (of resting coats overnight on hanger or manequin after making and pressing) and wore it straight away.

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16 thoughts on “red coat remake

  1. Clare McGivern says:

    Looks fab Eimear – when you have recovered I’d love to see a pic of you actually wearing it! Love the colour – so cheerful. Will be a great item especially for all the Christmas celebrations. Hope that the cough is sent packing pronto. I swear by vicks inhalations…. and if really sick vicks in the bath – though it does make a mess and creates a yukky cleaning job! Anyway the cold and cough meant you had time to finish this…so it’s an ill wind that blows nobody good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • upsew says:

      Thanks Clare – I wore it last sunday and had the camera in my bag as we went for a walk on the river, but forgot to take a photo in the end, but I will get around to it…. cough is slowly going away….its a kinda strep throat thing….and have stuck to salt gargles – and I have done vicks on my feet a few times in the past, but can have it nowhere nearer me than that! (not that brave) however, I better not speak too soon as winter is only beginning here…..very frightening to hear of those earthquakes in NZ last month, I hope that you were not affected

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rude Record says:

    I hope you are feeling better. Your red coat is amazing. You will not be lost in a crowd wearing it!! I really do admire your sewing talent and skills. I hope the coat keeps you toasy warm this winter. At my end I am looking forward to a long and hot summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • upsew says:

      Thanks Karen, its become my ‘good’ coat and I really like it. I am remaking some sweaters at the moment and trying some hand embroidery on them….. in my head it worked out much better….. and faster! Jealous of your summer, as our days are short here and I generally stop sewing at 4 as the daylight is gone (I really should get a daylight bulb!) but in 5 weeks time the brightness comes back a bit so not long now!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. upsew says:

    Thank you so much – I do love the colour! Remaking coats is incredibly satisfying as wool is an incredibly cooperative fabric (and I am still so shocked that these wool coats are so cheap in the charity shops – they come in at 20euro if they are swanky but average at 12, if they dont sell they get reduced to 6 euro and 3 euro and 2euro which is the point I feel I have to swoop in and ‘rescue’ them….. and I have 3 coats still in stash -blush)

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  4. sewing40damgate says:

    Fabulous coat! And interesting to read about the remaking process with wool – it being such a responsive fibre – steaming and resting and generally treating it with great respect. I haven’t heard mention of Ann Ladbury for years – now she was a legend. If only we had TV progs like that again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • upsew says:

      Thank you very much……I never knew of Ann Ladbuy until I watched a few archived episodes of ‘Clothes that count’ and I was in awe of her….I have since bought some of her books from amazon….she is amazing – sewing bee is very good, but ‘clothes that count’ seems to have had an amazing format – even watching it black and white.

      Liked by 2 people

      • sewing40damgate says:

        I’m going to seek out those old episodes and relive the good old days! We need programmes like that again – that are helpful, instructive and inspiring – not just the competitive thread being the main reason to watch the next episode.

        Liked by 1 person

      • upsew says:

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/whatwewore/5602.shtml – should bring up a link to some episodes……. its a curious mix – they had the same pattern made up for different builds and ages, they also interviewed designers, sewing tips from Ann Ladbury (such calm instruction) – I think there are only 4 or 5 episodes and I had to watch them with a proxy blocker as I am in Ireland and bbc i player is country specific – I normally dont like proxy blockers but had to make an exception for this show

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  5. fabrickated says:

    Yep! I agree with everyone else – the red cocoon coat is just super. I agree that second hand wool coats are generally under priced. Actually the other day I spent £40 in a charity shop for a shearling coat (no label). I love it – soft, warm and a bit like I am in game of thrones. Anyway thanks for the inspiring post and details of your “dithering” approach to designing a new garment as it exactly expresses how it is for me. I think the time and indecisiveness is what is needed to be creative actually.

    Liked by 1 person

    • upsew says:

      wow that shearling coat sounds fantastic, what a great find, and rather envious especially as the temperatures have dropped to minus here. Its hard to know which is better approach – dithering or forging ahead – certainly leaving things to one side rather than picking and unpicking is generally fruitful, but I am always a bit fearful of not finishing things (and moving on to the next shiny project!).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. wrong doll says:

    This is stunning -you are the queen of upcycling – I remain as ever in awe! You’ve turned something quite humdrum looking into uber chic! Took me an age to sit down and read this properly – it’s got to that stupid time of year when time disappears through your fingers. I hope you are feeling better now and get some time to relax (I mean sew of course!) over the holidays.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. upsew says:

    Thank you Aimee – this one was handy enough as I kept pockets and buttonholes, but its the colour I adore, as red is a tough colour….totally agree on the time thing, and I relate it to the amount of daylight as I always stop sewing at about 3 or 4…. much better now and voice is coming back – on the plus side, I can sing like Macy Grey (in my head at least) – hope you are enjoying the crispy air!

    Liked by 1 person

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