Not a Pattern Review: Vogue 8626 – Black Wool Coat Remake

More tales from my backlog of sewing projects…

My sister was quite determined to participate in a study abroad program during her time at the university level.  So it wasn’t really a surprise when she told us she was going to spend a year in England, and had plans to travel and visit friends in many other European countries, including Norway.  Me, being the practical one, told her she was going to freeze.  And, me being the wonderful sibling that I am, decided I was going to make her a wool coat worthy to stand up to the test of a cold Norwegian winter.  The result, you may recall, from several years ago, was described in this pattern review, and looked a bit like this:

V8626 – Sadly, now OOP.
The original coat.
I was quite proud of the pleating in the back.
My favorite part was the silk lining.

Those photos were hastily snapped the morning of her departure for the airport, before starting her European adventure.  Since then, that coat has traveled throughout Europe, and been to many fantastic historical sights and landmarks.  And it did its job well – she returned to us free from the damages of frostbite.

She recently had the occasion to make another trip to Europe (Norway and England), again in the dead of winter.  So much winter, in fact, that the Norwegians were complaining it was cold.  My sister, apparently, thought it was quite pleasant outside. Yeah, that’s how warm this coat is.  Which caused her to complain, upon her return, that she wished she had a similar coat that wasn’t as warm, so she could wear it on a regular basis.  I was supposed to make her a tan coat for Christmas last year, but, well, that just didn’t happen (muslin fittings are increasingly difficult with work and life schedules).  But making a coat from a pattern we already knew would work?  Easy.  So I found some awesome materials on my last trip to the LA garment district, and got to work.

My sister, who has the travel bug, recently made a trip to San Francisco.  Now, having been to San Francisco, I know it can get miserably cold in the city.  Not Norway in winter cold, but cold.  So I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to try and get this done for her.  Only I had very limited time.  So I made the coat in the span of about two days – pulling a near all-nighter on one of them.  Completion of the coat may also have included some hemming in the car on the way to see my sister before her trip…  It was a bit of a last minute thing.  And yet, I think it turned out beautifully.  Definitely one of my prouder makes.  It ended up looking very much like the original, though much less heavy.  The changes I made from the first time around:

(1) I used a wool/poly blend for the shell, and a silk jacquard for the lining, both obtained from the LA Garment District.

(2) I used fusible interfacing instead of all the pad stitching and hair canvas I used the first time around.

(3) No underlining/interlining.

(4) I made actual buttonholes (by machine) instead of using snaps since the fabric was more firmly woven and there were fewer layers.

(5) Having made several coats at this point, I mostly ignored the silly Vogue instructions about inserting the sleeves and did it the “normal” way – making the shell and lining separate, then putting them together and hemming.

So, this is the much less labor intensive version compared to coat #1.  But it still looks fantastic, so I am pleased with the results anyway.  And my sister is happy too, I think.  She says this version looks classier than the first (due to fabric choices).  She also says it looks like it should be worn when it is extra-cold outside, but is actually pretty comfortable to wear in only the slightly cold weather.  Of course, since I sewed a nice winter coat, it is now officially pre-summer here.  Which of course makes sense because the output of my sewing machine controls the weather.  Especially in that if I make something for sun it rains, and if I make something for cold it is 95 outside.  Anyway, here are some pictures of the new coat:

View C – The high button up collar.
I don’t know why it looks so wrinkly in the photos –
it’s totally gorgeous, smooth, and soft in real life.
The back.  My sister is pulling on the pockets, so it looks a bit wrinkly.
Otherwise it lies really smoothly in the back.
I am pretty happy with my top-stitching too.
Sha-bam!  The lining is my favorite part.
Yeah, I finished it in the car on a ride up to LA.
I seem to do a lot of hemming in cars…
Buttonholes and buttons.
Love these buttons!  Super cute, and only $0.50 each in LA.

So, yes, sewing.  This definitely kicked the mojo into high gear after the miserable flu season.  Nothing like a big project to jump start the motivation!

6 thoughts on “Not a Pattern Review: Vogue 8626 – Black Wool Coat Remake

  1. Another gorgeous version of this pattern.
    It was your original version that inspired me to give this pattern a try, and I'm so pleased with mine too. Thanks!


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