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05/11/2012 / thriftomancer

Playing God With Linen

Recently at work there was a significant crack down on the dress code which forced me to tweak my wardrobe slightly. Annoying, though I readily admit my customary black hoodies were a tad unprofessional. (But they had convenient pockets! You can never have too many pockets.)

To clean up my act I swapped out my hoodie for a long linen coat. While it lacks the coolness provided by a hood, it makes up for it with stylishly dramatic swirling when I move.

Only problem is I’ve just got two of them, one brown and one indigo. Two coats are not enough for a week of work, so I need to make a few more and that’s just what I’ve been doing.

This is the coat (version 1.0) strewn about my living room waiting to be put together.

Coat chunks in prep

Notice that all those pieces are patchwork. I’m making this coat out of repurposed linen which means that, because very few of the chunks of fabric I salvaged from my thrift store finds were large enough to yield an entire panel, I had to first make my own yardgoods with patchwork, then cut out the coat pieces by my pattern. The only pieces that aren’t made from patchwork are one sleeve and the outer shell of the hood. What’s more, this coat is going to be unlined so each of the seams in that patchwork is bound. It took me about 9 hours to put all this together.

The other nifty thing about this coat is the pattern. Those pieces look pretty normal, don’t they? A hood, back and front panels, sleeves… Nothing too special, except that the particular shape of each comes from a mixture of three different patterns. These:

Pattern raw materials

I have a lot of patterns for long coats, robes, and cloak-like garments. It’s a style I like. Thing is, none of them were exactly perfect for what I wanted so, instead of working from just one, I went through and selected the bits I liked from each and fused them into a horrible hybrid pattern. Some folks call this a ‘Frankenpattern.’ I say mine is terribly worthy of the name since I’m stitching together and reanimating dead clothes reusing fabric as well as splicing together patterns.

If you’re curious, the hood and upper body is derived from the McCall’s pattern, except for the shoulder seam, armholes, and sleeves. Those come from the Butterick pattern. (I also cut the sleeves a little wider than the pattern, which creates tapered sleeves, calls for.) The flaring bottom/rest comes from that very retro Simplicity pattern.

Right now all three layers of pattern (carefully folded so they won’t interfere with each other) are secured together with pins, but I should really trace the whole shape and make a new pattern in case this works nicely.


One Comment

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  1. ooobop! / May 11 2012 11:36 am

    I love what you are creating here. It is going to look amazing with the patchwork incorporated. And I totally love linen. Really looking forward to seeing it sewn up!

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