Friday, September 22, 2017

The Verona Coat

Perhaps I should have called this the non-Verona coat.  I’ll explain in due course.

Sorry, couldn't find the Verona Coat on the Sewing Workshop website!

It was time, once again, to sew samples for classes, and I decided to make use of the opportunity to use a pattern that had been marinating in a drawer for quite some time, as well as fabric that was even more “aged”.  Lesson learned on this one – never, ever use an unknown pattern and a checkered fabric when there’s an actual deadline for getting something done.  It all worked out in the end, though another coat did have to stand in during open house at the store.
That mannequin is a little wonky - didn't want to stand up straight when I turned it to show the back!

So – the Sewing Workshop Verona Coat.  Loved the design when I first laid eyes on it.  This being the first time ever cutting into a Sewing Workshop pattern, I had no idea how the fit would work on me, and with a checkered fabric, there would be no room to fudge when sewing.  So … I made a muslin.  After much measuring and comparing I decided on the x-small.  The fit was fine everywhere but the shoulders.  I needed to add an inch.  That’s quite a lot.  The shape of the armhole is a little unusual, because the side seam is set back a little.  After much fiddling (days of fiddling, actually), I was still not happy with the way things were working out.  The armhole/sleeve seam meandered and looked just plain weird.  Time was marching on, deadline approaching.  Then I had an idea.  The Vogue coat that I made last winter had a similar shape to the Verona Coat.  Out came that pattern to measure and compare.  (You can just imagine the mess now resulting from all the pieces of two coat patterns strewn about the sewing room!)  More measuring and dawdling and time marching on.  I needed to stop figuring and worrying and just get on with sewing.  Finally I just grafted on the design elements of the Verona Coat to the Vogue coat using the highly scientific method of taping one pattern piece atop another and folding the unnecessary bits out of the way.

Some more changes I made: Redrew the Vogue sleeves to two-piece to get rid of the elbow dart, which would have messed up the lining-up of the checkers on the seam.  I also widened the sleeves a bit.   

I opted out of patch pockets (because I didn’t want to match yet more checkers on the front of the coat.  The pocket band piece became the flap for a welt pocket.

In my great hurry, I missed out on the lovely scalloped edge for the join between facing and lining, which is such a lovely detail on the Verona coat, but I had other details to deal with – like matching up all those checks!

I actually managed to line up all those checks!

The checks did make it easy to line up the bound buttonholes … just follow the lines.

And yes, all the pieces are underlined in a light cotton.  The checked fabric (wool and silk mix) is just too loose a weave to exist on its own.  I did use fusible interfacing on the black wool crepe bits.
 Oh yes, and I did lengthen the pattern by quite a bit.  I would have liked to lengthen it even more to actually cover my pencil skirts, but I ran out of fabric.  There are only a few smallish bits of checked fabric left.  Now I’m faced with the dilemma of tossing those, or keeping them in the unlikely event that I would ever want to make a small bag.  Hmmm.
Come Spring, I’ll be happy to have this coat in my closet, although I will have to think twice about what I wear underneath.  Those black and white checks will have to “work with” whatever is sticking out from underneath them.


  1. Incredible. Your sewing is beautiful as always - those buttonholes, the pocket, the new sleeve. And the matching is really impressive. You're eyes must have been jiggling! I like your scientific approach with the patterns :-)

    1. Thank-you Coco! Yes, I was going rather buggy-eyed after a while.

  2. Gorgeous! No other words necessary! except.......enjoy it!

  3. Irene, it was worth all the fuss. Your coat is beautiful. You should be very proud.

  4. Gorgeous and the pattern matching is perfect!