Thursday, February 28, 2013

The London Coat

Another coat?! Yes, another coat!

It's not like I need more coats. But coats are good. Coats are comfy, cozy and make winter more enjoyable. And for whatever reason, coats inspire me. Or how would you say it the other way around... when I see other garments, they often inspire me to turn them into coats. It might be strange, but that's the way it is.

What would you have made from this great 60's number?

I was in Berlin for an audition and I like to treat myself to something after things like that. Especially since it went really well. So I strolled around and was bored fast, because there were all the same old stores as the ones we have in Vienna. It didn't make sense to buy something there which I could have just as soon found here. 
But then my luck changed and I found a second-hand store with really great things. They had a vintage corner and I bought this wool dress for a really fair prize. I'm positive I couldn't have found this here in Vienna...

Some people might not have wanted me to cut into it, but honestly...:

...while it fit me quite well (ok, it's too big for a dress, I'm wearing it with jeans under it here) there was no way I would have ever worn it as a dress. The material isn't that nice to feel on your skin (at the neck), I don't like 3/4 sleeves and wouldn't know for what daily go-abouts I could have worn it for.
Yet, I love the fabric. Those vibrant colors for a winter fabric, loosely woven, checkered and on bias - just fabulous!

It was lined, but only the bodice, with the worst kind of polyester, which was also dirty and used up, so that had to go first. I opened the darts and copied down the pattern to cut out the fusible lining for the bodice.

Since the fabric is such a loosely woven one, it really needed some fusible help! It was a bit tricky with the big darts...

I cut them out and then carefully fused it bit by bit to the bodice.

I used up left-overs, so the piece on the back bodice is gray, the front white...

The sleeve caps also got some "help" from fused strips...

...and after taking out the zipper in the back and closing the center back seam while cutting open the front, it already looked - well - coat-like!

While I originally thought I'd install a zipper I decided to use more left-overs and found the frog-buttons I still had from my 1938 coat...

The lining came in handy also to copy the pattern for the new lining, except for the sleeves, which I had to copy off the actual garment. I used a satin lining, which was a bit sturdier than a normal lining fabric, again to add some more warmth and stability to the formerly very soft dress.

I made the sleeve cuffs and the center front opening with a radiant blue wool fabric...

Then of course I added pockets!

The hem needed fusible lining too, so I had to open it first, then hem it again, but it was quick and easy.

And then came the hood. Ok. I wanted to give you a nice tutorial on how to draft a hood. I went by a really good pattern-making book, but the hood looked so bad I had to re-adjust and re-draft so many times that I cannot tell you anymore how I actually, technically did it. I am so sorry! Maybe next time, if I ever make a hooded-something again... :-)

 Anyway, here it is, in all its glory!

Why London Coat? Well, after writing this I will go to London for a week, and while you are reading this, I will be making something there. I will not tell you what yet, but it should be something I will post here afterwards...
And yes, this is the coat I will be wearing, as a hood seems to be a good thing to have in England, at least if what they say about the weather there is true. We'll see!

Here is proof that I lined it. Sorry for taking so few making-of photos this time - I just really thought I'd post the tutorial on the hood...

 While making this there was a big snowstorm outside. It just felt so RIGHT to make a coat...
If you'd like, check out some of my other coats...

Re-fashion Pride!
The 1938 Coat

The Diva Coat!

The Amadeus Coat
A 1935 Coat Pattern
Happy Re-Fashioning and lets hope for an early spring, so we can start sewing dresses! ;-)


  1. This is one mighty fine refashion!

  2. Katja, that is an amazing refashion. Well done!

  3. You are a real master in the refashioning business! Love all your coats, specially the Amadeus coat, but this one is so funky!

  4. Charityshopchic.netMarch 1, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Fantastic idea - and great execution, as always! Hope you are enjoying London. Can't wait to see what you're making!

  5. wow, your coats never cease to amaze me! looking forward to seeing what you're working on! :) lisa

  6. I can hardly believe what I'm seeing - I had a very similar coat in the late Sixties and I wore it to death, I loved it so much! The shape and colours are almost identical but mine didn't have a hood, just a stand-up collar and a zip down the front.

  7. Oh wow, that is amazing! I wish you still have it, or at least a picture! Believe it or not, I originally thought to make it with a zipper, too... But then I resorted to things I already have...

  8. Erica @ Recycled-Fashion.comMarch 13, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Outstanding, I'm always in awe of your skills, I love this coat