December 05, 2019 12 Comments
Dressing for cold weather is not one of my strong suits. I tend to underdress and am cold. I am cold by nature and love warm weather. And, I don't love wearing lots of clothes - like you need to do to stay warm in winter.
And, when thinking about my winter clothes problem (staying warm) and looking at my winter wardobe, I also realized that I want to look (or at least feel) cute in the winter too. And, I don't feel cute when wearing long underwear under baggy jeans with two shirts under an oversized sweater with wool socks and chunky boots. But, that is what I have worn for years working in agriculture. I know there are lots of people who LOVE this look, and I don't mind it, but it's not my favorite. I much prefer skirts or dresses, but then, I'm cold. I hate tights (left over from being forced into ill-fitting tights as a kid), but I don't mind good leggings. I am starting to figure out there are sweater dresses, which I now have a few of and am actually warm on the days I wear them! And, I am finding leggings that I like. I made my favorite pair from this Seamwork pattern. Anyway, I'm starting to figure out my winter wardrobe.
However, my coat situation has not been great either. I have a great, and warm, black ski coat and a warm barn coat, but neither feel "pretty" to me.
This was my situation when I ordered the grey version of this Merchant & Mills jaquard cotton from Oak Fabrics the other week. I fell in love with the fabric from afar and ordered two yards thinking I'd think of something to do with it. It is not quilted, but woven with several layers of thread, and the top layer is a fine cotton. I loved it!
When the fabric arrived, I thought it would make a perfect jacket - light-weight but warm, washable, and beautiful. What pattern to use? I quickly settled on our 137 Australian Drover's Coat pattern. View A (the simple version) is quick and easy and uses only a couple of pattern pieces. I barely had enough fabric to make the XS size, and I had to shorten it to upper thigh length and take out a bit at the back and sleeves. I even had to piece scraps together to get the collar, and didn't have enough to do the neck and wrist tabs. But the sizing is very generous and there is plenty of ease! And, I really didn't need the tabs.
So, I cut out the fabric and sewed this coat up in just a few hours! It was such a quick project. A couple of recommendations if working with this fabric and pattern. First, get more fabric ;-). I now want this in a longer coat with the neck tab! Second, the fabric frays easily. I serged all edges before piecing, including edges that are completely enclosed. I would also recommend stay stitching any edges that you need to be stable first, like the neck, as this fabric can stretch a bit. Which is great in some cases, but not when you need to fit a collar!
I LOVE this new coat! It is pretty and surprisingly warm for being so lightweight. The huge pockets are awesome (and warm)! Frustratingly, I lost the buttons I picked out after I made the buttonholes, but wore it to Thanksgiving anyway. My mom liked it so much that she wants one now!
I added buttons this week and have been wearing it everyday. I love how the collar easily stands up and block breezes on my neck, and I love that my phone and hands easily fit into the generous pockets. And, it goes with everything!
So, I am working my way towards a better winter wardrobe and this coat was just so great that I had to share it with you!