Photos by Photography by Anastassia
Have you ever found a beautiful fabric that was so perfect that you were afraid to do anything with it? A bad design or an errant cut could ruin it forever (or so you think). This red tweed was definitely such a challenge.
During a Christmas 2014 sale, I purchased an absolutely amazing red tweed wool fabric and honey leather buttons from Britex Fabrics. I had my eyes on the red tweed for a very long time before I purchased it. The price was well over $100/yd and I wasn’t sure if the material and colors were as vibrant as they appeared to be online. But to my surprise and delight, I was very impressed with both its quality and colors. (Britex even wrapped it up so nicely!)
I only purchased a yard of the tweed. I knew I wanted to pair it with beige cashmere and the honey leather I had stashed in my closest. I left all the materials in a pile on my eye-level shelf for about two months for inspiration (and to motivate me to finish my orders so I could make the coat for myself). I had a variety of different design ideas, (See a few of the many design idea photos I sent my family & friends in the slideshow below). My sisters could tell you how many (annoying) texts and emails they received as I planned this coat’s pattern and design.
After much thought and feedback from family, I nailed down a coat pattern and coat design. I ultimately chose to make a coat from Burdastyle’s 3/2013 #103 shirt/blazer pattern. It was a shirt pattern, but I knew (with adjustments) it had the potential to be an awesome coat!
I adjusted the shirt pattern last year. I can’t recall all the adjustments I made, but they included: lengthening the jacket, eliminating the high pockets, adding lining, color blocking the design, and changing button placement.
I didn’t start assembling the jacket until early this fall. (I had the goal to finish and wear the jacket to both a NY Giants and a Ball State Cardinals Football game.) But unfortunately after sewing the shell of the jacket, I hated the coat and found mistakes with the pattern! (See photo below) I was tired, disappointed, and decided it was best to put the coat aside and finish it another day.
I cringed when I saw the coat hanging in my studio. I wished I had never cut the wool. I knew I owed it to myself to finish it and to see how it would finally turn out.
It finally took one very crappy weekend to force me to drop everything and do something for myself. It wasn’t so much that I wanted to finish the jacket for myself, but rather I wanted to make my niece Gigi a matching jacket with the leftover red tweed scraps.
I didn’t have much time, so I made Gigi’s jacket pattern in minutes and prayed that it would work and fit her. Since I had only scraps to work with, I had to go with the coat design you see in the photos. (It was also impossible to match the lines on the front two panels.) Despite my initial reservations, I LOVED Gigi’s final jacket! After making Gigi’s jacket, I was determined to fix the mistakes in my own.
After I fixed the sleeves of my jacket, I sent snapchats to family and friends for their feedback on the new look. I really hated the exposed pockets, but I didn’t want to spend the time adding leather welt pockets to a jacket I was not very happy with. However, I was convinced to do diagonal leather welt pockets, (my favorite). I’m so happy I did! I think it really changed the design of the coat, as well as my attitude towards it.
After the pockets it was easy sailing. As the coat slowly came to a finish, I was very pleased. The design I envisioned finally came together!
~Based off Burdastyle 3/2013 Pattern
~ Outer Materials: Red Wool Tweed, Beige Cashmere, Honey Genuine Leather, Honey Leather Buttons
~Interfaced Beige Cashmere with Fusible Interfacing, Hand Pad-stitched Horsehair Canvas to Tweed Material
~Inner Materials: Navy Quilted & Padded Lining & Black Polyester Lining
The coat is really warm and quite heavy.
WORK IN PROGRESS PHOTOS AND SNAPCHATS SENT TO FAMILY & FRIENDS