I went to the Great British Sewing Bee Live a few weeks ago - and had a wonderful time looking at lots of lovely fabric and patterns. But the real bonus for me was a chance to see many of the patterns made up into garments. It's sometimes hard to imagine how a pattern will look when it's made up and I had been thinking about making a cocoon style coat for a while, but was worried that it would swamp me (I'm only 5ft 2"). As I wandered past the Sew Different stand, there was a stylish cocoon coat made up on the mannequin. Laura who owns the pattern company was on the stand and kindly offered for me to try it on. I instantly loved it and saw the versatility in the pattern. I knew I could make a snuggly winter coat - but it would also be lovely made up in a lighter fabric for Spring and Summer too.
Decision made on the pattern, I was then hunting for the perfect fabric. I originally though boiled wool - but couldn't find the right shade of red for my skin colour. I stopped by the Holland and Sherry stand - not a fabric company I had heard of before. Holland and Sherry are based in Saville Row and have been around since 1836! They started out as wool merchants but are now a high end luxury fabric supplier, mainly to trade. I chatted for a while to the lady running the stand - and she explained that this was the first time they had been to a 'direct to the public' exhibition and it was a trial venture. They were selling some AMAZING bolt ends of wool, linen, cashmere and silk mix fabrics. I found the the beautiful red wool as a 3.4m bolt end for the unbelievable price of £45. Even after cutting the coat, I still have enough left to make a pencil skirt or a waistcoat for Mr SewJoBaker (or maybe both if I cut carefully).
The pattern offers options to use a contrast lining and mix up the fabric on the sleeves and lower half of the coat. While I like these options, I wanted a simple look to go with the classic red wool. I decided to splash out on some lining fabric from Mucculloch and Wallis to complete the luxury feel.
Once I'd cut the coat - it was very straightforward to put together and quite a quick make. I will be making more of these in different fabrics. I will also be exploring more of the Sew Different patterns - I think they are my style. I have added some pics of the finished coat below - and tried to capture the shape from all angles. As I mentioned before, I am 5'2" and I cut a size 16.
Brrr - it's cold out there. Better wear my coat :-)