Fall Capsule/// The Topper

I have my first make for my fall capsule today and it’s the topper. I have wanted an oversize blazer for awhile now and was really excited to sew this up. I found a great classic suiting fabric and knew it would look great as the Heather Blazer from Friday Pattern Company.

That is where my excitement ended… Sadly this make was one I did not enjoy making, at all! I cut it out and then proceeded to have a crazy stressful couple of weeks and just did not have the mental capacity to make a complicated, lined blazer. I should have just set it aside and worked on some easier projects. That was my first mistake.

Then I made the absolute rookie mistake of just cutting into my fabric and not making a muslin and checking the fit. I think in my head I thought, “oversize blazer! It will be fine!” Reader, it was not fine. I had fitting issues in the sleeves and biceps and then after addressing those I finished the blazer and it looked beautiful. Except the sleeves were way too short. Comically short. So I unpicked and now have makeshift finishes on the sleeves. Not great.

I almost just quit but I was so close and it was so close to being good. So I finished it up and now I think it’s just too big. I wanted oversize but I think it’s leaning towards silly and not chic.

So what are my learning successes? (we don’t have failures over here anymore. I love Jasika Nicole’s take on this!) I learned- toile it out!!! And know that sleeves usually need lengthening. If I make this again I will size down and lengthen the sleeves and make a broad shoulder adjustment. Then I think the fit would be spot on.

I think this is a good pattern and the instructions are great with a lot of supplement links to videos and things. I just think I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for a long term complicated project and have ended up with a garment that is just meh for me when I really wanted to love it.

I am going to hang this one up in the closet and try to wear it and style it up in a few ways. I don’t think it’s a total loss!

The Details:

This is the Heather Blazer from Friday Pattern Company made up in a Glen Plaid Wool Suiting from StyleMaker Fabrics.

This pattern goes from an XS to 7X (32″ bust to 60″ bust) and I made a straight size medium. I made no adjustments but then had to change the hem on the sleeves so they were long enough.

While I thought the instructions and drafting were good I will say I disagree that this could be a beginner pattern. I think it’s pretty complicated and could cause a lot of frustration.

My First Coat! A Review of V9136

It’s here! My first coat! I am so happy with how this turned out and it has got me motivated to try more coats. I have had this pattern, Very Easy Vogue 9136, in my stash for awhile and it was a great first coat pattern to sew. It is very oversized, drop shoulders, patch pockets, and no lining. I love, LOVE, the collar on this coat and all the drama it brings.

I read a few reviews before getting stated and everyone said to size down, so even though my measurements put me right at a medium, I made the size small. I think it was the right call as it is still oversized but not too overwhelming. I did shorten the belt in the back by about an inch so that it would cinch in a bit more, but other than that I made this pattern exactly as called for in the instructions.

I bought this boiled wool blend coating in the color turmeric from Stylemaker Fabrics over Black Friday and was unsure if it was the right weight. In the end I think it works, but this coat could absolutely hold up a more substantial, thicker wool. I also think this coat would benefit from a lining and I don’t think it would be hard to do.

The construction of this coat is fairly straight forward and honestly it is a relatively simple make. I took the time to make fabric covered buttons and I love the look of them. There was much debate (online in reviews and in my house!) on the placement and number of buttons. This is an asymmetrical coat and the one button floating there bugs some. The solution has been to just add one more button above it. I didn’t do that, but it was a hot topic on the review boards.

The only part of this coat I don’t love is the back yoke facing. I didn’t have enough fabric (story of my life…) so I used a cotton in my stash. It is fine and no one will see it, but the self fabric would make the insides as pretty as the outsides. It’s also why there is a seam in the yoke, but that doesn’t bother me at all.

Other than that, I am very proud of this make. I didn’t know if I’d love the dropped shoulders but I will say this silhouette makes wearing a coat with sweaters and bulkier tops very practical. It is warm and cozy and I look forward to wearing it all winter long!

Like I said, this is a great beginning coat and it has got me revved up to keep going and try some new techniques. Next month I have a lined rain coat coming up and then a blazer after that. I think near the end of the year I may try another warm winter coat. I don’t know that I would ever make this particular pattern again any time soon, simply because it is just such a statement coat, but I do think it would work in a lot of different fabrics.

Coat Inspiration

I’m getting ready to dive into coat making as part of my Make Nine plans and in the process I fell down an internet hole of coat inspiration. I thought I would share some of the things I found, along with patterns to go with them. I have my inspiration, a ready to wear version of a coat this person would wear, as well as an indie pattern and a big 4 pattern that you could use to make it yourself. For all of these I was thinking warm, winter coats. My plan is to look into other kinds of coats throughout this process!

My first source of inspiration is Wonder Woman. We recently watched the new movie (please don’t bother, it’s really not good!) and the only thing I liked about it was Diana’s wardrobe. Everything she wears is chic, has movement and drape to it, and is so classic. Here is what I came up with.

I thought this Mackage Mai Wool Jacket looked like something she would wear, especially in the neutral. To make it yourself, check out the Willa Wrap Coat from Jennifer Lauren Handmade or this Burda 6394. I think both would give you that elegant look!

Next, I thought Emily in Paris would be a great place to look. I’ve never actually seen this show (I know! I’m sorry!) but I’ve heard all about the costumes. I was not disappointed when I went looking, Emily wears classic shapes with fun colors or textures that make them stand out. I think this is easy to recreate!

For ready to wear, I think this red coat from Anthropologie is such a classic coat in a great color. To recreate it on your own, check out the Hunter Coat by Fibre Mood or Simplicity 8797. Both have the great shapes and would look amazing in a bold fabric.

Google Audrey Hepburn Coats and just have fun looking at all the amazing fashion that will show up. I love the clothes, and specifically the coats, she wears in Charade. That wide funnel neck, those buttons, the length of the sleeves; just some great vintage goodness.

I thought this coat from Madewell gave you a lot of those vintage elements, look at it buttoned all the way up, with a modern twist. For almost all of these coats I really think I could have found something at Waffle Patterns, they have some amazing coat patterns! But for this inspiration I think the Yuzu Raglan Coat is pretty great. I think there are some collar options in this Butterick 6385 that would make it a good match as well.

I think so many of us were inspired by the fashion in The Queen’s Gambit. The retro style in those saturated colors made it hard to beat, and Beth had some fantastic coats!

Here is a baby pink coat by Stine Goya that I found that pays a pretty nice tribute to the show. This gorgeous Lemon Pie coat from Waffle Patterns gave me all the Beth vibes (that collar!) as does Butterick 6497.

If I had to name a major fashion influence from my childhood, Claudia from the Babysitter’s Club would be at the top of the list! I was so happy with how she was portrayed in the new series and I liked thinking about what kind of coat she would like. She would definitely be wearing something trendy with texture and cool shapes.

I think this plaid coat from Anthropologie is very cool and Claudia would rock it. The Diana Dress and Coat from Lenaline Patterns has almost the exact same shape and I think Simplicity 9187 could work too (look past the dreary envelope styling!)

I never watched all of Scandal but the little I did watch left a big impression on me. Olivia Pope always looked fantastic and she had some great coats! I love how expensive and sexy everything she wore was. I couldn’t leave her off my inspiration list!

This coat from Ba&sh is amazing and I have the Willa Wrap Coat as an option again. I think this Vogue 1650 could absolutely give you that expensive, sexy vibe!

And for my last inspiration, the (future) queen of coats, Kate the Duchess of Cambridge. Something I really miss with lockdown, albeit on the lower end of importance, is Kate out and about wearing coats. She always has amazing coats, feminine and tailored with amazing details.

Kate loves to wear Catherine Walker and her coat dresses are pretty spectacular. I had trouble finding an indie pattern that had the tailoring I was looking for, but this Pepernoot coat from Waffle Patterns could come close with the right details. This coat from vogue though, 1752, when I saw it in the newest release I immediately thought of Kate! Absolutely perfect for this feminie vibe, complete with princess seams!

Are you inspired to wear, buy, or make all the coats now?!?! I had so much fun researching for this post, I hope you enjoyed it!

Whit’s Reviews///The Ilford Jacket

I am back with another Pattern Company review (check out my past one’s here!) and I am so excited to share this company.

Friday Pattern Company is a fairly popular indie sewing company, you’ve most likely at least heard of their patterns like the Wilder Gown and maybe you’ve sewn up a few of their patterns.

I really wanted to highlight this company after listening to Chelsea, the owner, talk about it on this episode of Love to Sew. I highly recommend giving it a listen! I found Chelsea to be so inspiring, on so many levels, but particularly on how she set up her business. From the get go she decided to make sure she had giving back built in to her business plan. Instead of saying, ‘when I make x amount of sales’ she immediately just took 5% off of the profits from each pattern and gave them to charity. I LOVE this. From the word go she decided to make her work about something bigger than herself. It makes me want to support this company, but it also makes me look at my life and see where I can build in giving back.

I also love how diverse her marketing is. From gender nuetral patterns, to showing different sizes, abilities, and races in all their marketing, Friday Pattern Company makes it clear that their designs are for everyone. I love that and I love that they are actively trying to make their sizing even more inclusive.

Here are the questions my readers helped me come up with and Chelsea’s answers to them. To see my thoughts on the specific pattern the Ilford Jacket, check out my youtube video here!

What is your design background? When and why did you start making your own patterns?I have been sewing since I was a child and went to school for fashion design. I always knew that the fashion industry wasn’t really for me and  in 2017 I started Friday Pattern Company. 

Who do you design for? Who is your Target Audience?I don’t really have a target audience as I hope that anyone who feels inspired by my designs feels welcome to sew them! I love that I have a very diverse customer base. 

What level of sewer do you design for? I always keep the beginner sewist in mind when I design. I love designing things that are accessible for someone who is just getting started. A lot of my designs are also somewhat modular and hackable so that more experienced sewists can use them as a jumping off point.

What is your price point and why?My PDF patterns range from $12-16 and my printed patterns range from $18-20. This is in line with the industry standard and the price that I need to charge to support myself and my business along with the charities that the patterns benefit.

What is your size range? Why did you pick this range? What is the size, cupsize, and height that you design your block on?I am in the process of updating my size range. When I first started Friday, my sizing was XS-XXL (up to 46” bust). Once the company grew I added more sizes up to 4X (up to 54” bust). And then I felt that that wasn’t a large enough size range so I am now bringing all of my patterns up to 7X (up to 60” bust). Different patterns have different additional sizing options. Some have multiple lengths, some have multiple cup sizes. The height that my block is built on is 5’6”.

Do you support Black Lives Matter? What are some ways that you are anti racist and inclusive in your company on a day to day basis?I do support Black Lives Matter. 5% of the proceeds from all of my patterns go to charity with each pattern benefitting a different charity. Most benefit charities that support marginalized communities like the ACLU, the Trevor Project, the Loveland Foundation, RAICES, and more. Beyond that I make sure that all of my marketing and social media reflects the inclusivity and diversity that is at the heart of Friday Pattern Company. 

Is there anything else you would like people just discovering your company to know?Friday Patterns are designed to be fun. I believe strongly in the transformative power of the joy that comes with learning to sew your own clothing. If you’re sewing with a Friday pattern I want you to have fun and feel inspired to express yourself! 

Thank you Chelsea for taking part in this series! I knew going in that Friday Pattern Company patterns were worth spending your time and money on, but I hope this post proved it. I can’t wait to see what this company does in the years to come!

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