Sunday, 14 September 2014

Pretty pink pavot

I haven't really done pink since I was 16 and was called a Barbie by my biology teacher. Of all people, you'd think that a biology teacher would know that hair colour has no effect on intelligence or personality. But she said it and it put me off the colour for a very, very long time.

It was only recently that I decided to screw what others thought and to enjoy what makes me happy. Hence my shameless love of My Little Pony, and also pink. So when I found some pink, white and tan wool/ cotton boucle in a pop-up store, I bought it, because I loved it.

From the start it was destined to be a Deer and Doe Pavot. I've had the pattern for a year now and it was time for a new coat, so The Monthly Stitch's Indie Pattern Month was the ideal kick-starter.

Alas, I started well and it went together beautifully. It has immaculate top stitching. It fitted straight out of the envelope. It is underlined with flannelette, so it's seriously warm. I made bound buttonholes, imperfect but bound freakin' buttonholes, and with matching fabric covered buttons too, thank you very much. I lengthened the skirt and added a back pleat just for fun too. I hand-sewed in a pink silk lining, which I decided to not pre-wash so that it retained its buttery softness. This was, I decided, my first (and probably only) handmade dry-clean only garment. 

It has it's flaws too - I kinda forgot to check the recommended buttonhole placement on the pattern piece, and as a result there is no button at the waistline, where one ought to be. It was too late by the time I noticed, and as a result it pulls at my bust and waist, but hooks and eyes have improved its sit, and I think that two more should make it better.

Also, I didn't buy enough lining, so my sleeves are lined with some different, biscuit coloured silk blend. I don't know why but I had a brain fart and thought that I'd need less fabric for the lining. I don't know what my rationale was (but frugality may have been a strong influence). So lesson learned: linings need loads of fabric too.

It all went really well, but then, I became overwhelmed and sick of the coat, and lost my nerve. Coats require a lot of time and patience and work, and ideally shouldn't be made with time restrictions, even if it is a whole month. They can wear you out, and so with nothing more to do but sew on buttons and hem the damn thing, I ignored the coat. Somehow, after all of my hard work, trying to level that hem and sew it nicely freaked me out. It languished in my sewing room, winter passed, spring began, and I decided that it really was too good to be a UFO, so I sewed on the buttons and got that hem sewn.

And now I have made my very first coat. It feels sublime to wear and I love the details on it too. Normally I dislike a peter pan collar, but because of the colour of the coat it works. I may attempt another coat next winter (I've always wanted a forest green one), but that's a year away now, so plenty of time to build my stamina up again. I'll be taking it to the drycleaners this week for a proper pressing job, and then I'll be wearing this every chance I get!