coats · dresses

A Winter Library Dress

It is getting colder here in Northern California (read, ~65 degrees), and so I’ve been poking about for a nice coat pattern. Unfortunately, the coat will have to remain in a theoretical (yet perfectly made) state since I’m still at the sewing stage in which I struggle with finishing seams. Something tells me that before I tackle coating wool, I should probably practice a bit more. Not that this has stopped me from buying patterns, of course. Or thinking of ways to alter said patterns so that I end up with something along the lines of this:

Anyway, I decided to compromise and make a coat dress instead. Looks (somewhat) like a coat, but without all the hassle of me screwing it up. An eBay pattern search finally turned up the following cute bit:

There were, of course, problems. I knew going into it that I’d need to resize the pattern a bit, but these ladies (hard to tell, I know), are evidently even more buxom than described, because a good 8 inches of girth needed to be removed. I took out at least 6 when I made the muslin version (not to be shown here for reasons of decency). You’d think that would have sufficed, but not quite. The thing was turning out to be more coat, meant to be worn over several layers of down-filled garments, than dress. However, most of the way through the final version I decided I didn’t want to take out all my nice flat fell seams, so I just created a seam straight down the back, thus removing another 4 inches.

I know, I know–you aren’t supposed to “resize patterns” that way. Next time I’ll do it the right way [fingers crossed].

The dress turned out okay–the front is still a little loose, but I like it. I used some green corduroy with tiny little white and yellow flowers on it, so it feels a bit like it was made out of a flour sack–if flour sacks were made out of corduroy. With brown tights and ballet flats, though, it’ll be the perfect dress for poking about in the library stacks on rainy days in January, particularly in my favorite section, good old PR6015.

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