We Were All Beginners...

3:15 PM

This is my first attempt at coat making, almost 10 years ago.  This is Vogue 8307.  It was a perfect Armani knockoff and I was so excited to be making it.  I knew absolutely nothing about tailoring or coat making, but the enthusiasm was there.  I knew how to read a pattern and that's exactly what I did.  I didn't have any other reference.  I don't even know if I knew such things existed.  I can pick every detail of this coat apart and identify everything I did wrong and things I should've done better.  My biggest regret is the collar.  A large dramatic collar like this should've been interfaced a lot better.  I wanted my collar to "pop"!  I wanted it to stand, but instead it just -- flopped.  I wish I'd had someone tell me about tailoring methods back then.  I would've have jumped all over that.  I kind of came up on tailoring on my own from probably reading blogs, sewing magazines and doing research.  And then I started discovering and investing in books and building my library.
This is my last coat.  Vogue Paris Original 1023 - a vintage Christian Dior coat from the 1970s.  I love this coat so much.  Anytime I open my coat closet, I have to pet it!  I love the style of it and most of all, I love how it represents how far I've come and how I taught myself to make a better coat.  If only I'd known then what I know now.

My point is to share these with you to say that I wish information had been readily available to me when I ventured out to make my first coat.  There would've been so many things I would've done different and better, had I even known they existed.  I want to provide information in a single spot to be used a guide, so no one else well have a floppy collar on their Armani knockoff!

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19 comments

  1. This is great! And your timing is perfect I just ordered Marfy 2568, to make myself a new wintercoat.
    You talk about building your library... which tailoring books would you recommend?

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    1. I'll be posting about books! Thanks!

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    2. agnes iley! we are both making the same pattern! sweet!

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    3. ErinAlter that is sweet... have you started yet. My pattern arrived today and it's my first Marfy.
      Can't wait to get started, but got a project to finish first.

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    4. i haven't started yet; i am in the same boat: i have to complete the project i'm working on before i can begin a new one. in this case, i have to finish my stylearc ziggi jacket first. but once i do, i will be focusing on this as my next big project! and it is also my first marfy... hmm My First Marfy. it sort of has a ring to it ;)

      do you know what fabric you will be using yet? have you done tailoring before? my answer is no to both of those questions! but i am excited to figure it out :)

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    5. At the moment I am going back and forward between combining wool coating with a jacquard or just all wool coating.
      Because I was a little concerned about the "loftiness" of the wool (difficult to tell from a picture) I decided to get swatches first. I want the fabric to have some firmness to it, to hold it's shape.
      As for the jacquard... I've seen one that I love, but it's very pricey (even when I only use it for cuffs, topcollar and pocket flaps), so I ordered a swatch of this as well. Once I did that I realized that was probably the point of no return... ah...well... we only live once...

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  2. I really appreciate this blog. So many times I read on your blog and Instagram account you encouraging taking sewing to the next level. it is in overwhelming to think where to start. it is nice to have a focus. Thank you for this. I am ready to go to the next level!

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  3. Can't tell you how excited I am for this! Thank you so much for leading this sewalong, your wardrobe is beautiful and so is your heart.

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  4. Shortcut on my computer desktop! Check!!!

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  5. Hi Erica,

    I've been a very long time reader of your blog (when it was still crochet) and I also remember you making the Armani jacket, which BTW still looks amazing. I'm very happy to see you doing this serie here as it sounds like you found your sewing blog voice all over again! Can't wait for what is coming up!

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    1. Wow! You have been a LOOONNNGGG time reader! LOL Thanks so much that!

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  6. Great insight Erica, I look forward to reading more of your posts, and completing Ans amazing coat!

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