Welcome to the Battle of the Stitches Round 4! Today I’m battle against Olu and Toya a while back -If you want to read earlier rounds you can do it HERE, HERE and HERE.- For this round the piece choosen to show off was the cocoon coat! Toya and Olu invited me to play along with them and to be pretty honest the story of my cocoon coat is so inter twined with these two lovely ladies that obviously is an honour to be participating on this round. Shall we start?
The story of this coat started a few months back, when one day of last year I went to the Great British sewing bee fair in London. That day I was going to meet Laura –craftsorming blog- Toya –Made by Toya blog-, Olu and Anna – Master minds of Made it Patterns-. While being there I remember talking with Toya about the pattern and how much I wanted to make it but I wasn’t sure of what size to choose. Then we saw a lady walking down the aisle and there she was Sandesh wearing a Sapporo Coat made with the most beautiful golden linen. She stopped in Olu’s stand and we started to talk about the coat. After that she asked us if we would like to try it, well of course! that is how we discovered the coat has a very oversized shape and although my measurements could put me on the biggest size, an S/M size would be fine!.
Then after that fabulous encounter, it took me all these months to make my coat. That is what I call procrastination at 100%! I had to print and glue the pattern pieces, I had to find the perfect fabric, I had to do an alteration to the pattern and last but not least I wanted my coat with a layer of wadding to add warmth, then I had to find the perfect in-between layer. But a meeting to have lunch with Toya and Olu in London, speeded the process and there you go, I have a new coat now!
Anyway first I would like to to talk about the pattern for your reference. The Sapporo coat is a pattern designed by PaperCut Patterns. In their own words “…Has dramatic cocoon silhouette and angled seaming Choose lightweight fabric for a spring/summer version or cosy wool for cooler weather. This is a pattern for every season. Our fully lined Sapporo Coat also features cropped sleeves, tapered cuff and pockets hidden in the front seams” They got me on cocoon silhouette!
I used the PDF pattern, as expected with adult PDF pattern there was a lot -42 to be exact-of pages to print and glue together. The pattern pieces all matched up, looked well drafted. It is not possible to open only the layer of the size you want, but i didn’t see any problem because are only 3 sizes -XXS/XS, S/M and L/XL and every line has their own convention.
Instructions are very sparse, I got stuck in some of the steps – mind I don’t considere myself an advance seamstress, also this would be only my third coat/jacket project, then I don’t have many experience in outwear sewing- but I google it and THIS very helpful sew along appear saved the coat making task. It really helped me with the step referring to attach the outside to the lining. This is a coat that doesn’t have separated facings, they come included on the pattern pieces.
The outer fabric was an easy decision because I had 3 meter of a very odd -in a nice sense- fabric. Not sure the content but is like a cotton with a bit of stretch coated with wool or fleece?-. Has nice body and I would put it on the medium weight. I bought it last year in HERE at a bargain price because they were on a massive sale. I need to insert here a thought about my main fabric, it seems like is not going to age gracefully! well live and learn. For now I will enjoy it while it last.
For the lining I was sure I wanted to use something special, then I decided to print in Spoonflower one of the designs Toya had uploaded there. I don’t lie to you in how amazingly beautiful are the illustrations in this fabric and the colours!!! i just love it so much that probably some days I will use my coat inside out lol.
I choose a satin base because of the luxurious feel and because I was going to be used a lining in the sleeves too – Note that The Sapporo coat pattern is designed to use the same fabric of the outside as a lining for the sleeves-
Changes I made:
- The pattern calls to make the sleeve lining in the same fabric used for the outside, but I thought would be a bit bulky with the fabric I have choose. Then I decided to trace a facing of the sleeve piece -super easy peasy- I just decided how long I wanted my facing, traced the new piece, cut it from the sleeve piece, finally add seam allowance to each piece -the facing and the sleeve pieces- and that’s all.
- At the moment of ensemble my coat I decided it would be nice to quilt the lining. This is not included in the pattern but I though it will be very cozy and perfect for use during chilly days. Then to do the job I used very thin cotton/bamboo wadding. I cut the wadding pieces without the Seam Allowance -in this specific case the SA was 1cm, then I removed that amount all around each of the lining pieces-. I used straight stitch to create my quilting lines. Instead of doing diamond or squares I made lines separated from each other very 2 inches and following the curves of the design of the coat
- When I was cutting the pattern pieces I didn’t cut the back piece in fold! -was totally by mistake, because in the pattern piece is stated- At the moment of ensemble the coat I almost cry and had panic attack because I didn’t have any spare fabric big enough to cut the back piece again! then I just went to join those pieces with a 0.5 cm SA and crossed my fingers that when I sewn the neck everything would fit. Well It was my lucky day, because it did! I think could be because my fabric has a bit of stretch. Then the lesson learnt is read your pattern pieces well!
The Sapporo coat has a beautiful design. The cocoon shape, the way the pockets are built and how that seam join in perfect harmony with the back pieces. Also I think is very clever the way the included the front facings on the front pieces. I didn’t like the use of the main fabric for the inside of the sleeves. I guess that would work with thinner fabrics and/or light weight wools maybe. I like the way the facing I created for the sleeves worked -although if you are going to make that alteration, please be good and under stitch, that way the facing will hold inside perfectly.- I din’t under stitch and the border of my sleeves tend to flip to the inside a bit.
I feel -at least on my body frame, I have sort of broad shoulders- the sleeves look a bit boxy. But that could be also due to -my great idea- of quilting the lining, then the sleeves can look a bit rigid. Sort of I’m wearing massive shoulder pads between my shoulder and my elbow and I never have been fan of shoulder pads. Then is not a silhouette I want to portrait.
I would love to make another Sapporo coat and maybe I would altering the shoulder drop or perhaps I will make raglan sleeves?.
That is all for today. Thank you so much for reading and please visit the blogs of my contenders today and check out their coats, I asure you they are fabulous!
Olu- Needle and Ted – Toya –Made By Toya
PD: Thank you to Olu and Toya for the invite to participate in the cocoon coat battle of the stitches.Was fun and helped me to quick the sewing/blogging process of my coat!.