It seems I’m in the habit of making multiple coats each winter.
And as much as I love the result of my most recent coat-sewing adventure, I have been wanting to make the Sapporo Coat by Papercut Patterns since I first saw it. It is THE most wonderful cocoon shape and is so cleverly designed: The grown on pockets created as part of the front style lines; the curve of the back style lines; the beautiful clean finish inside due to the full lining and self faced sleeves.
I’ve had a gorgeous navy blue cashmere I picked up for a total steal from Metro Textiles in the Garment District earmarked for this pattern all winter, but for some reason I never committed to the two together. Then I saw this absolutely dreamy zigzag wool bouclé at The Fabric Store and I knew exactly what I was going to do with it. This fabric is just divine, it is so so soft with a lovely texture, has the sweet zigging and zagging and is made up of such a gorgeous mix of colours. It looks black, but is actually navy and mustard and chocolate brown.
I did have minor panic right before I was going to cut it out thinking that the zig zags would be going in all different directions, but then I remembered grainlines …
... so fortunately you don't really notice the break in the pattern - which of course is great for this fabric, but does hide the lovely style lines.
The only thing with such a loose bouclé is that it frays super easily and the loops can catch on things. So I’m going to need to be a little careful about not wearing it around the velcro of my kids gloves, as small people and their accoutrements tend to cause more damage to everything in my life than anything else.
To counter the fray, even though the coat is fully lined, I overlocked every piece before sewing to enable more robust seams and to stop it all fraying whilst I sewed. On the whole this seems to have worked, although I think I should have been a little more careful with my pressing as it has pulled a little in places.
It is lined with a simple polyester habotai in the most gorgeous golden caramel colour. I wasn’t concentrating when I bought it and didn’t check the width so I bought too little and had to piece the front lining pieces, happily, you can’t really see it as it’s close to the side seam.
But seriously, on every single project, because I’m not focusing entirely on that alone, I screw something up.
As part of my bid to reduce my anxiety and stress, I am trying very hard to remain in the moment. This is insanely difficult to do, well for me at least. So, I'm starting by focusing on one aspect of my life, namely sewing. I'm trying to change my focus so that I take each step of the sewing process as an entity in its own right and not just a means to finishing a project so I can get on with the next one.
I can then really focus on enjoying the process and enjoying my hobby - because that’s what hobbies are supposed to be, right, enjoyable?
As part of that I've stopped batch prepping and cutting projects as, again, it distracts me. Although it definitely makes me less productive - which is frustrating and adds to the anxiety so I'm kind of going round in circles here!
Getting things to fit can be so intensely frustrating but I actually find, if I tell myself I’m going to spend this evening, just working on pattern manipulations and the next evening just working on muslin fittings, my focus and enjoyment in those aspects of the sewing process increases dramatically.
But also, who am I kidding? We all know, being able to pick a size, cut it out and sew the thing often feels like some kind of holy grail.
Hence voluminous coats that don't require fitting. The many coats is a direct result of seeing them as light relief from the fitting woes of pants and dresses and tops. With this I just cut a large, MAKING ABSOLUTELY NO CHANGES AT ALL. That is SUCH a joyous thing.
Particularly when there aren’t that many pattern pieces, they are unusual shapes that fit together beautifully like the best kind of jigsaw, there are no closures or other notions; it comes together really quickly, and there is just a little bit of meditative hand sewing - which I, contrary to my impatient personality - love to do.
This looks like a complicated pattern, but a confident beginner could easily create something beautiful from this pattern, especially when they have such dreamy fabric.
It’s not quite warm enough for this coat yet - as you can tell from my grimace in the photos, but I know in the Spring and Fall, I’m going to get sooo much wear out of it.
Bit of a brain dump post, but I hope you like the coat, because I adore it!
See you soon x