The Story of the Pearl Coat


I made this coat a while ago for my sister as a birthday present.  I found a pattern that I liked in the Simplicity 2508 Project Runway pattern and bought a gorgeous turquoise wool/cashmere outer fabric and magenta silk lining from Tessuti.  It was a VERY ambitious project and probably the most expensive thing I have ever made given the amount and cost of the fabrics.  With my sister and I living on opposite sides of the world, I made a toile and sent it over to her for comment.  She said “It’s great!” – which was not entirely helpful but kept me going.

pattern and button

I put the whole thing together and made a few mistakes along the way – mistakes that seem so obvious now that I’ve made my Ziggi.  But I managed to fix most of the errors – some of which required nifty use of bias binding and ‘feature’ fabric in the lining but it all turned out ok. To finish it off, I found these beautiful buttons at Buttons Buttons Buttons here in Sydney – what a treasure trove for button lovers!  I was pretty proud of the end result and delivered it to  my sister with pride on a holiday in mid-summer so the coat didn’t venture out for another 6 months.

When Dahling Sister did finally wear it, she said it was lovely and she got nice compliments from friends.  But I still wasn’t convinced because I hadn’t seen any real evidence of her in the coat.  On another visit to see her (again in hot, non-coat weather), I asked her to try it on for me and I was horrified to see that it didn’t fit properly at all. It was way too big and the shoulders just looked silly.  It looked like she was borrowing her big sister’s coat…which I guess she was.  So I promptly told her she couldn’t have it any more and I took it back so that I could get some wear out of it.  She did agree that it was for the best because the fun-lovin’ Pearl coat just wasn’t getting out enough. So back to Sydney it came (well travelled coat!) and now with the cold weather we’ve been having, I’ve been getting a lot of wear out of her!

coat detailsI’m sad that my DS didn’t get her birthday coat, but very happy that I now have a new winter coat and that the Pearl coat gets her day in the sun…or cold as the case may be.

Now that I’m wearing the coat I’m also noticing other errors that are clearly beginner mistakes. But I suppose there’s no better way of learning than just going for it!  For example the sleeve tabs are going the wrong way – they should be going over the sleeve not under the sleeve. This is an easy fix with the move of the a button.  I also don’t like how the hem turned out and wonder if my catch stitching on the inside wasn’t quite up to scratch.

But on the whole I’m pretty proud of this coat – my first outer wear garment, first attempt with thick woollen fabric and my first fully lined coat or jacket. She’ll get lots of wear if the weather stays cold like this and I’ve definitely learned lots for my next coat.

Pearl coat inside

The inside…you can see a sliver of the ‘feature’ fabric (aka ‘fixing a boo-boo’ fabric) along the bottom.

Pearl coat 1I quite like the raglan sleeves and square collar.

Pearl coat collar

Pattern: Simplicity 2508. I chose the square collar and a length that just covers my butt.

Fabric: Turquoise wool/cashmere blend and magenta silk lining from Tessuti.

Alterations: None planned but a few ‘fix-it’ alterations

Do it again: I’m not going to rush into making another although I do like the pattern.  I think my next coat should be something different.

Thanks for stopping by and I’d love to hear from you.