My last project of 2019 was a 1930s coat dress using the Miss L’s Coat Dress pattern from Decades of Style. My color scheme was inspired by Japanese cranes (featured in the embroidered appliqués on my coat).
(Thank you Lauren for taking all these pictures of me wearing it at the GBACG Open House!) The defining feature of this coat dress is the fabulous sleeves! All the curved black and white stripes you see are pieced together during construction; they are not appliqué.
I made my coat out of a vintage twill fabric. The stripes are black cotton velvet and white canvas with a layer of sheer white organza on top. (I didn’t have any sateen in the sash and the plain canvas looked too flat next to the velvet so I added the organza to add some texture). The front of the coat features long darts, pointed lapels, a stand up collar, and big cloth-covered buttons.
The black and white stripes meet at the underside of the sleeve. (Not perfect but close enough for me!)
The back of the coat has double princess seams that are top-stitched. My collar is red rayon challis with a canvas interlining.
All the accent materials (the velvet, canvas, organza, and rayon) are scrap pieces from past projects of mine. The buttons were purchased at a rummage sale for $2 for a large bag and I still have some left over! The main coat fabric was purchased on eBay as part of a larger lot for a bargain price. The lining was $1/yard clearance fabric. My “splurge” were the embroidered crane appliqués from Aliexpress and they still cost me less than $10, so overall I spent probably $30 on supplies to make this coat because I’m good at hoarding useful materials. =)
Some notes if you plan to make your own coat:
- This is not a beginner pattern. I would not say it’s unduly difficult and the instructions are very good, but this should not be your first project!
- You should be comfortable with fish eye darts, top-stitching, interlining, grading curves, and setting a sleeve.
- There are a lot of pieces and a lot of steps, so make sure you have a way of labeling all the bits as you go.
- The lining must be attached by hand so be comfortable with some hand-sewing.
- The pattern is true to size; follow the size chart.
- Use a mid-weight fabric. I made mine out of twill but I’ve also seen some really lovely wool and velvet versions of this coat on Instagram. You want enough structure but not something so thick that sewing the curves on the sleeves makes bulky seams.
- This pattern takes some time but I feel like it’s quite worth it in the end! I got a lot of nice comments when I wore it and people asking if it was a real vintage coat, so Decades did a great job on the pattern.
I enjoyed making and wearing this coat. Thank you Decades of Style for the pattern!
(My shoes are from American Duchess. My hat is vintage with faux pearls).