Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lady in the House

OK, Lovelies, here's a close up of the Lady Grey Coat, constructed via the incredible Lady Grey Sew Along. Do you think it would have killed the photography gods to give me a few good shots of my face?!?

At any rate, in the interests of forestalling mutiny (y'all have been the most patient crowd ever), I present to you the finished product:

FYI, the collar isn't generally wonky, I just smushed it up by accident in this shot...

Is it me, or is all you can focus on here the stray hair stuck on the belt?

I pick stitched both sides of this freakin' collar - because first off I did the wrong side by accident?! Fortunately, you can't see my efforts on either side (cuz they're not particularly good).

This shot points out how I'm going to have to put a snap at the bottom of the right lapel, above my left hand, because the fabric is just too plentiful there. It needs to be stabilized against my chest.

This shot is specifically to show off my WendyB asterisk ring!

The bound button hole that actually worked well. There's another I don't intend to show you!

So there you go. Please say some good things - or some constructive ones - because this freakin' thing clocked in at 100 plus hours of labour (though still estimate another hour to go by the time I snap it an catch stitch the ribbon hem to the fashion fabric hem) and about $175.00.

To answer a popular question: Do I like it, now that it's done?

Well, that's not a fast answer. I do like it more than I did a couple of weeks ago (thank the sewing goddess) when I wanted to hurl it across the room. I suspect, some of my dislike was related to my tremendous sewing-fatigue. When I signed up for the sew along, it was my goal to learn. On that level, I achieved and then exceeded my every expectation. However, from the get-go, I didn't particularly jibe with the pattern. Don't get me wrong, I see it's appeal and I do think it's a lovely shape. But I felt it was an exaggerated silhouette, and I didn't know how that would work on me.

I haven't seen every sew-alonger, finished result as yet, but I will say that I think the coat looks particularly fabulous on women of stature. I think if you have lots of shape - curves and height and substance - the silhouette exaggeration is not overwhelming, but sassy and sexy.

I'm a smallish person with large breasts - of course, you've been living under a blog rock if you don't know that about me now :-) I think this coat is shapely on me, but still a bit much, dare I say vaguely clownish. The body feels too big. I can't move the buttons any farther over (i.e. to narrow it up) than I have without distorting the mid-line of the coat, so I'm relying on the belt and (eventually) a snap to give it more skim.

But never mind my error (arguably, I should have noted this in the muslin stage - though my canvas cotton didn't give any evidence of this challenge in the final garment). The lapels and collar are just large. I suspected they'd be large for me, even before I started. I minimized them somewhat, and still I think they're large for me.

Furthermore, the sew-in interfacing, in addition to the 8 panel princess seam shape, means that the peplum is extreme (more so than these shots indicate). I don't mind this, but I have hourglass proportions. If one were rather endowed of hips and bum, I'd carefully consider using fusible interfacing only, or of working with fabrics that are thinner and drapier than the boucle wool I used.

Would I make it again? No. (Though who needs two of any coat, in truth!)

Will I wear it? Damn straight. I'll wear it and I'll brag about it. I've nicknamed it the "Judy Jetson Jacket", in honour of the crazy peplum.

Would I recommend it? To a woman of a specific shape, or to someone who naturally loves its cut, definitely. Just make sure to follow the sew along, for tips, and to cut your lining longer than the instructions direct - or you'll be adding some ribbon to the bottom of it to extend the lining length.

So now I put it to you. Have you made this coat? If yes, what are your thoughts? If no, would you like to make it (or would you wear it if you found it in a store)?


  1. I think your version turned out awesome! I have to say though, for the number of hours and amount of money spent I can easily see how you could feel overwhelmed by the whole ordeal.

  2. I'm loving your new coat! Bravo, it looks great and I love the style and color. All your hard work payed off. I understand things take a little while to grow on you. Sometimes everyone's feedback helps me decide how I feel about my sewing projects. All in all, I love it!

  3. Good for you! Love the peplum-y shape . . .

  4. To be honest, I don't love this pattern, but I *really* think this does look good on you. I like the navy color and buttons; it looks like a sexy, updated verion of a traditional peacoat.

    But for $175 and 100 hours of sewing... I'll wait til JCrew's coats go on sale for that price after the holidays.

  5. You know what? I think it looks beautiful!!!

  6. I agree with Miss Cavendish on the peplum-y shape. To me it's like the rigidity, the structural form of the collar is reversed on the bottom. Like the lapels are petals blooming. it just echoes nicely and loosely, if that makes ANY sense. sometimes i don't know how to say how it makes my eye feel. story of my life.

  7. Beautiful!

    As for making things you're not in love with from the start, don't. Speaking from my own experience, my knitting projects would drag on longer, and I wouldn't end up wearing them.

    Now that I'm past the newbie stage (still learning though!), I start less projects and am more picky of what I actually make. Because it's not an instant gratification hobby, I've got to be motivated from the start.

  8. I've always been partial to a peplum, although I can see how you feel it's exaggerated here. But I think it looks great on you! Rather like a cross between a pea-coat and a trench, quite classic. And of course, the cost and the hours of labour are an investment in much more than a simple coat -- you've made a quantum leap as a sewer through this process. I'm in awe and waiting to check out your next project -- meanwhile, wear your coat with pride!

  9. What a great heartfelt review of the Lady Gray coat. I congratulate you for reaching the finish the line. I think your coat is beautiful!

  10. Wow! I think I agree... I love how this coat looks on people with curves... including you! It is a lot of coat, to be worn with panache and flair. Your photos are awesome :). I hope it continues to grow on you, I really do.

    I made it as far as the muslin and then have been stymied by lack of money to sink into the truly scrumptious fabrics I want to make it out of. I will make it, though---maybe not until spring, however. Hopefully it will be not terrible on my distinctly-less-than-curvy shape.

  11. Oh, K-line! I absolutely love the shape. The peplum of it is brilliant. It is sexy and feminine and classic and classic. The collar is gorgeous. It really looks VERY high end. You look so very stylish, chic and accomplished. You should be so very proud of this gorgeous garment. Wear it in good health and enjoy all the compliments you will undoubtedly get.

  12. Woot! Ring pic!

    I really do think this coat looks good!

  13. well I love the whole look! Also, I love your haircut!!! : )


  14. DAMN girl!!!!!!!!!!!! You did great! And bound buttonholes???? Excuse me? Are you freakin' kidding me? I'm bowing to you right now :)

  15. Holy shit, woman! I am in awe of your skillz. Please send me this coat right now! It looks fabulous and especially so on you!

  16. that's beautiful!! so so impressed that you finished such an intense and challenging project! :D now that winter is here, you should style it a bunch of ways for the holidays! :)

  17. I think it looks SMASHING, K. Truly. And I think your plans to make it more tailored to your figure sound perfect.

  18. I LOVE the coat. It looks beautiful on you. Congratulations!

  19. CGC: Overwhelmed is a good word to describe it. But now it's done. Woohoo!

    Victoria: Thank you! I think feedback may also help me to contextualize my feelings about this coat.

    Thanks Miss C - I think the peplum is fun, if extreme :-)

    Sewn: Oh, I hear you! I love your take on it as pea coat. Gives me a new way to look at it.

    Heather: Thank you! Of course, you were the original gorgeous Lady Grey sewist. Do you get a lot of wear out of yours?

    Lydia: You artists make everything sound so exciting! :-) I see what you mean about the floral concept happening at once in the lapel area (tulip) and then in the peplum (like a rose opening).

    Raven: You are so right. I do think the learning opp mitigated my ambivalence about the pattern itself. And I'm really hoping I'm going to grow to love it.

  20. mater: My next project is going to be a table cloth :-) No, seriously, it's going to be a nice, easy top. And thank you for your lovely comment. I didn't really think of it as a trench, though of course there are many elements of trench here.

    Faye: I'm waiting to see your finished results!

    tanit: No doubt you will look as fab in it as you do in everything else! I'm glad to see that you agree with me about the proportions particularly suiting a larger frame. I love that there are patterns to suit all frames. And that gorgeous stylye is not only the domain of the small size. I guess that's the joy of sewing.

    Bel: You had me at high-end! You do know the words that make me all glowy :-) Thanks!!

    Wendy: Thanks. And don't you think I look great in that ring. Of course, my fingers are so big I wear it on my pinkie!

    Melissa: Thank you so much!

    Stacy: You don't know what that means to me! Thank you so much for your comment.

    Dora: If you get it in the mail, you're doing a big-ass post on it :-) Thank you!!

    Sophie: Thank you! And your idea is excellent. It is kind of holiday spirited!

    Sally: Why thank you! When are you joining the sewing girl fun?

    Susan: Thank you so much. All of your support has been so wonderful during this process. Aren't you glad I'm going to start to complain about something new soon??

  21. Oh, hooray! Yours is done and looks fabulous! What a great colour you picked! It is a super-sexy pea-coat. Very very very nice. Your work makes it work.

  22. I think it turned out wonderfully! I love that big, bold collar on it. You should be really proud - it was a lot of work and it looks great!

  23. It looks fabulous on you and beautifully constructed! I'm just in awe of your courage to tackle this demanding sewing project.

  24. Brag as you should! You did a fantastic job on this. You put me to shame. Props to you, lovely!

  25. Wow great work, I haven't made a coat in over 20 years!

  26. WONDERFUL and it looks wonderful too!!! Super stylish and as Belette said very high end collars.

    You should be proud and wear it with pride xx

  27. Gorgeous!! you are my inspiration! If I could only be so patient to work through making an awesome piece like this!! You are truly talented and creative and I always love reading what you are up to with your projects!!

    I am living vicariously and creatively through you :)

    The jacket looks amazing on you as well, great photos!!!

  28. I think your coat looks fantastic! I still haven't finished mine, though I am *almost* done. Mine is navy, too, which I love. There are definitely some things I don't love, too. Perhaps the sewing fatigue that you mentioned is to blame.

  29. Congratulations, one heck of a coat.

    Tell me about the new hair do!?!?!

  30. I love that you've named it the Judy Jetson coat! *smile* Andit is a very pretty coat but most importantly you learned so many things that you can apply to your future garments.

    I'm glad that you are going to wear it proudly ~ because you SHOULD! You did an amazing job on it!

  31. I think it looks great on you! Like you say it is an exaggerated silhouette, so it needs to be worn with confidence rather than let it wear you. I think with your overall look you easily do that!
    Well done!

  32. Very lovely coat! And I am so impressed at your sewing skills.

  33. EJVC: Thank you so much!

    Orchids: Thank you - I'm glad you don't think it's overdone!

    Deja: I really appreciate this comment - I really do think it's dumb courage. But who cares, if it works - right? :-)

    Aja: I know your work is beautiful. You just haven't decided to make a coat (yet).

    Imogen: But how impressive that you had that skill 20 years ago! You should make another soon.

    Kate: Thank you xo

    Jodi: What an excellent comment - I am thrilled to hear that you enjoy the blog. I am living proof that we can all learn how to do new things. Just ask anyone I know and they'll tell you I am, by nature, the least spatial person out there. You can do this too. Patience - well that is a virtue I'm just coming to appreciate :-)

    Elle: There's no accounting for the sewing fatigue. It's a total bitch. Keep on!

    Lisa: You know, every day, at least 2 people (in the real world) ask me about how I just got my hair redone. There's something shapeshifting about this cut/colour. It appears to look diff every 5 minutes, despite the fact I haven't had it done in a month or more.

    Carolyn: It's so lovely to see your comment. Thank you so much!

    Sherry: That is such an important point. Confidence, in this coat, is everything.

    Susan: Thank you!

  34. You look fabulous in that coat and it looks very high end. It is worth the time and effort because it is classic, look stunning, and you learned so much, so so much.

    I am really amazed at your progress.

    And I love, love, love the name of the coat!

  35. Thanks Mardel! It was a fantastic learning opportunity. And I'm all for it looking rich :-)