A while back, my local newsagent stocked Patrones magazines. Sadly, they can no longer get them, but I did buy a few copies when they were available. I love Patrones patterns as they tend to be stylish and current. They also offer lots of new designs in every issue, unlike the repetition we often get from Burdastyle.
Issue 34 from a couple of years ago was bursting with gorgeous coat patterns and I fell in love with this military-style trench coat. Ever since then I have been waiting for the right fabric to make one. I was after ripstop cotton, recommended by Carolyn for her army jacket and apparently occasionally available in Spotlight. However, many trips to Spotlight and elsewhere failed to locate any and I grew increasingly despondent. That is until I won a voucher for Fashion Fabrics Club, an online store in the US, in the Pattern Review Jeans Contest. Ripstop cotton was my first search and they had it! I bought some in green and orange. I also bought a few other things and spent far more than my voucher value! Note to international buyers: the postage was exorbitant (US$135 for this order, yes you read that correctly) and the amount is not calculated until after the order is packed. Also, the website doesn't tell you, but it only takes US credit cards so you need to phone in your order sometime during the early hours. Despite these drawbacks, I am thrilled with all my purchases and have already made some things.
Anyway, back to the coat which is not made from any of the above fabrics. Sorry!
This is my wearable muslin for the real deal made from the olive green ripstop cotton. I don't usually bother with a muslin, but since I was getting the fabric from overseas and it cost more to post than to actually buy AND given that the instructions were in Spanish, I thought I'd better have a practise first.
This coat is made using some black stretch woven, possibly bengaline, with bleach spatters all over it. I bought this at a designer fabric sale because, although it came as lots of oddly-shaped pieces, I thought it looked cool and interesting. I love a good rummage at a designer sale (thanks Bronwyn for the fun outing). It took quite some time to cut out this coat in the end because the pieces were often not quite big enough for my pattern pieces. I did have to sew some together to fit everything on. Luckily the bleach splatters hide the joining seams quite well.
My previous attempts of typing Patrones Spanish instructions into Google translate have yielded hilarious but wholly unhelpful results. I decided this time to just work this out myself. The only things I did translate were the names of each pattern piece, which did help a lot. However, let me just say that 15 pattern pieces plus several strips of fabric for the belt, tabs, facings etc. did not make for a stress-free, instruction-free construction experience. Unsurprisingly, I got myself into quite a muddle involving jettisoning the hood through the nearest window and redrafting the collar to fit the ever-widening front sections. When I had finished the entire jacket, I realised that the front was too wide as I'd done something weird with the zip plackets. This is difficult to explain, but I think I know what to do next time. The picture below has the zipped-up front folded over itself at the top as it's so wide. I'm choosing to ignore this problem.
Anyway, focussing on the positives, I was pleased with the way the pockets turned out. I love the long tab that runs from the upper to the lower pocket, feeding through a welt hole in the lower pocket flap.
The pockets from the side:
And the matching tab at the back, forming the belt carrier.
The bleach effect was varied and interesting and I like how it looks. I tried to match the different bleach patterns a bit like here on the sleeve and cuff.
The coat is a perfect fit (apart from the wide front) and is super-comfortable due to the stretchy fabric. My ripstop has minimal stretch so I may need to allow for this in the next version.
Can you spot some fabric piecing in the pictures above and below? Hint: at the hemline.
Making this involved some swearing and seam ripping but I got there in the end and learned some useful lessons about jacket construction. I've made several notes for next time and I've been working on some less-taxing projects as I psyche myself up for the next attempt at this coat. I actually really love this version and have worn it out a few times already on cooler evenings.
Worn here with StyleArc Elle pants (unblogged but I just love these) and Seed boots.