Autumn – the season for sewing

What season is it in your part of the world? Here in Melbourne the past few days have been more like spring, but as it’s officially very late autumn, I thought I should get into the spirit and show off a new coat that I’ve made specifically for this season. 
The fabric I used was from a friend whose grandma was downsizing, and I’m not sure whether it was intended for clothing or upholstery, so wasn’t certain how it would feel to wear. I found this vintage sewing pattern in an op shop and decided to test it out on the fabric as it’s very simple and I knew it wouldn’t take too much time to trial.

I know, it’s not a coat pattern, it’s actually for a house robe (the much more glamorous ancestor of the snuggie?) but I was looking for something with a loose fit that wasn’t too hard to sew. It’s so rare these days for me to sew anything from scratch, so when I’ve never used the pattern before I like to keep it pretty simple. Here’s how it turned out.

Coats with a bit of volume are quite a trend this year and even though I usually take little notice of the runways, I admit I was going for a slightly boxy silhouette when I made this. The original pattern has longer, more bell-shaped sleeves, but I wanted a bit more of a 50s-60s look, so created tucks along the edges of the sleeves to make them puffier. Even though it’s meant to look kind of vintage, the cut is simple so it turns out it’s quite a versatile coat – it will no doubt grace this blog worn over many different outfits.

As is often the case with my sewing, the inside isn’t particularly praiseworthy. The neck facing is only finished off with overlocking as I couldn’t be bothered binding it to make it pretty when really, I’m the only one who will see it (and there are so many other more fun things to do with your time!) 

 On the other hand, I don’t mind if people see the lining, which is vintage wool kimono fabric – I like it because it looks African, even though it’s Japanese.

The buttons were from an op shop too, years and years ago – they’re leather, and – fun fact – are called “kurumi” (walnut) buttons in Japanese. (I’m still deciding whether to make some kind of placket which goes over all four buttons to keep the front of the coat together, but again, there are lots of other projects which I’d prefer to be doing instead…)

A much more recent op shop purchase is my little red cap, which was $20 from the Salvos, but originally from David Jones. It’s not my usual style but it was so cute I couldn’t resist.

If you’re a regular reader it will hardly surprise you to know that my entire outfit is actually second hand and/or DIY. 
Hat – op shop, $20. 
Coat – outer fabric from a friend, lining from a kimono I bought at a market in Tokyo for about $4, buttons from op shop for about $2. 
Jumper – from a friend, refashioned by me.
Skirt – made out of a childhood blanket that then became a cat blanket.
Shoes – about $5 at a flea market in Tokyo.
Earrings – $2 or so from an op shop.
Pretty autumnal backdrop – priceless!