Last fall I made myself a fabulous pink coat that I managed to wear out to pieces within one season. The construction was well done, but the lining fabric was cheap and it started tearing. The coat got extremely dirty and rather than cleaning it and re-doing the lining I decided I wanted a new coat this winter. I really hate mending, alterations and just generally re-working anything that has already been sewn. My old coat needs major cleaning and mending work, so it will go into textile recycling bin. It was a good ride and it served me real well, but it is time for a new one!
When I started looking for inspiration I soon realized that I wanted a fitted coat with classic lines. I love all the trendy details, but ultimately I am drawn to classic lines. I also wanted something that flares out a little bit at the hem. I find BurdaStyle has a lot of beautiful coat patterns that fit what I am looking for, but from the past experience, their patterns need work to fit me well. The patterns seem to have a lot of ease, are quite generous in the waist and tight in the chest, even though I pick the correct size. I’ve made a lot of their coats, and although they fit, they never end up fitting the way they do in the pictures. And although I love all of the coats I made using their patterns, I just didn’t feel like doing the extra work and wanted to give a new pattern a try.
Lekala Patterns sounds like a really cool concept! You pick the design out of numerous options on their website, enter your measurements and then you get the pattern in the email that fits you based on the information you provided. Ideally, you should end up with a pattern that fits right off the bat. This was my first try with their patters and I was eager to see how it goes. Granted, coat was probably not the best place to start… Though I find that my style is very simple and Lekala patterns are very elaborate with lots of cool details. I can definitely tell that the designs come from Russia and are targeting Russian markets. The style over there is more expressive and extravagant. It just doesn’t quite work for me anymore, but I do think that one day I will be able to find another pattern to try from their collection.
I’ve chosen 4333 Coat. I think it is quite classic, yet has a modern twist. The two pleats at the front of the coat give it a little something extra that I was okay with. I also like the box pleat at the back, it’s a really neat detail. The pocket flaps are fake, as there are no pockets in this coat. That was the only downfall. But it is not hard to add inseam pockets to this coat at all, so I figured I would give it a try. I’ve input my measurements (height, bust, underbust, waist, hip and full hip). There are also advanced options to further modify your pattern. I’ve decided to add wider shoulder (I have swimmer shoulders! And I suck at swimming, although I can do a mad doggie paddle), and longer arm length (my arms are 4 cm longer than average… I have monkey arms). I’ve also opted to add seam allowances. There was an extra charge for it, but it was dismal and would save me from adding seam allowances myself.
The pattern arrived in my inbox within 10 minutes! I was impressed. I chose to have it on Tabloid size paper and in hindsight it was not the greatest decision because I was having issues with printer (likely, operator was at fault…) and I could not print my pattern out! I was saved by the Boyfriend, who easily printed the pattern out for me within 5 minutes…
I did like that I had to do less taping because the paper was larger than the usual A4 format. The pattern came together easily and although I normally trace my patterns so that I can save the actual pattern for future projects (i.e. other size). I ended up cutting this one out straight out of taped pattern since it is only one size anyways. I must say it was nice to have sturdy pattern pieces for a change!
I decided to take my chances and skip the muslin. Gasp… I know, but I measured all the pattern pieces and they all came up with right numbers! Proper width and length and everything. So I gave it a try. I must say I was very impressed with the first fitting! I didn’t have to do any changes! The shoulder width was great, the bust width was awesome and it closed nicely with lots of room for a sweater without being too bulky. Forgive the red sweatpants and choppy picture, I don’t look my best when I am sewing, but hey, at least I didn’t forget to snap a picture! Now that’s what I call progress.
I still have to attach the collar, sleeves, line and hem the coat, but overall I am very happy with the progress so far. I will try to finish it off this weekend and hopefully the final post and thoughts will go up next week!