Sheepskin lined Kelly Anorak

I’ve had the paper pattern since my birthday last year but never felt the need to make a Kelly until I did. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, I needed to make one.

I only have one proper coat, which is my Cascade duffle coat, and I’ve worn it to death. It’s a bit bulky to wear in the car but my car takes an age to warm up and I’ve been pinching my boyfriend’s fleeces – enter car coat!

I bought the navy oilskin from Merchant & Mills and debated the lining for ages. I was originally going to go for a quilted lining like Lauren from Guthrie Ghani but I couldn’t find any thinsulate online. Then I was going to go for a fleece lining until I was browsing Closet Case Files Kelly anorak supplies and she suggests sheepskin lining. Bingo! I bought some (fake) sheepskin lining from eBay. The snaps also came from eBay, the zip and cord from Guthrie Ghani and the stops/toggles were also from Merchant and Mills.

I was pleasantly surprised when the oilskin arrived, I was expecting to feel slick or greasy in some way but it feels just like a stiff cotton. All this just for a car coat… I just hope it’s warm enough to wear as the sleeves are only lined with rayon from my stash.

I’d like to say that the coat came together easily but it was one of those projects where every seam seemed to need unpicking. The instructions were generally fine but having just made the Sasha trousers I’ve figured out that I really don’t get along with Closet Case instructions. I had to consult the sewalong which you shouldn’t have to do when paying for a paper pattern (plus extra for the lining expansion). The only part I really struggled with was around the hood as you sandwich the hood and facing between the coat front and I just did. Not. Get. It. Until I did. Weird huh?

The instructions have you construct the coat shell, the lining and hood separately so you don’t really feel like you’re making a lot of progress and then all of a sudden bam! You have a new coat.

When it comes to bagging the lining it’s not done in the traditional bagged sense. You sew part of the neckline/hood, the sleeves and lining together and then fold the hem up and sew down. The instructions tell you to partially sew the neckline and then hand stitch the rest but I couldn’t see any reason why not to sew the whole thing as the hem is left free to turn it back right sides together. My hand stitching is less than secure and the hood/top of the coat gets the most stress from being hung up so I didn’t want to risk it pulling free. Another suggestion if you’re lining would be to insert the snaps before lining. There’s no way I would’ve got them in through the lining and the instructions tell you to do it at the end. This means you would feel the inside of the snaps inside the jacket and also I had enough trouble trying to insert them through 3 layers of oilskin for the pockets.

This coat is currently sat in the naughty corner though as the instructions annoyed me a little but it seemed like every single seam I sewed needed unpicking and it was driving me mad! Not to mention the oilskin kept puckering and wouldn’t lay smooth. I was rushing to get it finished as it was just over sewing it.

I went for a size 4 at the shoulders and a 6 all over which would be fine for a thin lining but this lining it really thick. I cut all the pieces out before receiving my lining fabric so I just ploughed on ahead. You can see in this picture it’s a bit tight with a jumper underneath (that’s not why the snaps are undone though! They needed hammering in fully).

If you’re reading this having never made a coat before and feel that it’s an impossible task it really isn’t. It’s just A LOT of steps and a great deal of cutting out. Just take your time, find a pattern you will wear (not one that’s easy) and crack on!

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Lois dress

I’ve been eyeing the Tessuti Lois dress for a while. Tessuti patterns are hand drawn which if you’re not used to can be a little jarring but once you get passed it they’re like any other pattern.

I used my previous Rifle Paper Co fabric which I’ve been hoarding for a while. I’ve had various plans for it including a jumpsuit but I saw the Lois dress on Tessuti’s Instagram and sent it off to the copy shop. I use Net Printer and their delivery is always fast. Do bare in mind that the copy shop files are labelled funny, there are 3 copy shop files in separate documents rather than the same one and so the first time I had it printed I missed half the pattern!

Judging by the finished measurements I could squeeze into the size 8 and a few comments online said that the dress comes up quite large.

Goofy outtake!

The dress is a little low cut but I’ve worn it to work with a cami underneath and wore it last night for my best friend’s 30th without. It’s a bit booby for me but it was a nice change from being covered up!

When trying the dress on to check fit I realised the rayon has a little give in it and therefore I could squeeze it over my head without inserting the zip. The zip instructions are unlike any I’ve ever seen and I almost wish I’d put the zip in to try it.

I left off the armbands even though I’d cut them out as I have narrow shoulders and I thought it might overwhelm. I like how it sits without, I just turned under the hem twice and stitched instead.

I’m over the moon with the dress and feel it will get worn a lot. It’s the perfect summer dress but also looks great with tights and a cardigan!