Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Stephen Burrows Challenge Coat

Today is cataract removal day :(  I was told to call the day before the surgery to find out what time I should arrive. To my great disappointment, I have to wait until 3 this afternoon to arrive, so the surgery probably won't take place at least until 4. Here I sit, hungry, thirsty, and thinking. Regardless of what everyone has told me about it being such a simple procedure, it's concerning when it's happening to you. Oh well, I've been through worse, and this too shall pass. 

I had promised to share my Stephen Burrows coat that I did for the Haute Couture fashion show. This was such a fun project!

The 2 pieces below are the original garments designed by Stephen Burrows. I've read conflicting stories on the piece. Some call it a coat, while others called it a coat dress. I decided that I would make the piece as a true coat as I would get more wear out of it.  

The first step was to find the fabric. I went with merino wool, so the colors are not as vibrant as those that Stephen Burrows used.

Next was the pattern. In retrospect, I probably should have drafted it myself, but I came across the Butterick pattern below, 6143. With some changes, I thought I would get the basic shape that I wanted. 

The skirt of the coat was far too full, so I pinned out some of the fullness to get the shape that I wanted.

For the bodice, since it is knit fabric, I ended up using Londa's Creative Threads Terrific 'T" pattern as a base. The shoulder was changed a bit. Below you can see how I laid the sleeve over the sleeve of the original coat pattern. I used the width of the sleeve, and lowered the cap to halfway between the top of the t-shirt sleeve and the coat sleeve cap.  

I used a fusible knit interfacing on the knit fabric where there were not multiple layers of fabric. Since I made a coat rather than a dress, the fabric needed a bit more stability.

I determined where I would use the different colors. The green knit was laid over the yellow, and then the band of navy blue knit was laid in place. I sewed the navy to the green and then flipped it over and hand sewed the bottom edge to the green.

The same process was done on the bodice. I also basted all the pieces together around the edge so that everything would remain in place.

With all the stripes coming together at center front, it makes inserting the zipper a little bit of a challenge. To ensure that the stripes did come together at center front, I basted the zipper in place prior to stitching. Once the zipper was stitched in place and I was happy with how the stripes matched, I did a catch stitch to hold the seam allowance in place.

Then came the challenge of the lining. Since the coat is a knit fabric, I needed a knit lining, but I still wanted to have some slip to it as a typical lining has so that it would slide on over whatever I wear underneath. A few years ago, the Haute Couture Club of Chicago celebrated our 50th anniversary. One of our members, Renee Liepins designed the fabric you see below. If you would like to see some of her other wonderful fabric designs, you can find them HERE on Spoonflower. This is a lovely knit that has a very nice slip to it. The only problem was that I didn't have enough to do the entire coat. But, I had the solid gray that matched, so all in all it worked out. 

Here's a closeup of the knit fabric. Look closely and you'll see the HC in the pattern. 

The back of my finished coat.

 The front unzipped. 

And finally, the front zipped. I really did match the stripes :)

I so enjoyed this project, so much so that I think I would like to copy another design. If I can find complimenting stripes, then this little outfit is in my future. I know, I know, I am not supposed to be shopping for fabric!!!

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  1. No pockets or pocket flaps? You are very brave if you are going to wear that striped top and skirt! I'd be interested to know why you put the solid grey lining where you did and not at the bottom (or top).

  2. Oh my! I totally understand about the cataracts. I went to a doctor several years ago, and he was a TOTAL JERK! Told me to be quiet and let him talk. He talked. Then he walked out and handed a paper to a girl and said, "Schedule her for Monovision!" I couldn't believe it!!!! I faxed a letter -- mailed a letter -- AND I called to tell them I was NOT having the surgery done. They called me the day it was scheduled at 7 AM in the morning and demanded to know WHERE I was. I need it done, but will go somewhere else to do it. Praying for you today. Hugs, Joy

  3. Absolutely gorgeous Rhonda! I love the "future" outfit as well - happy fabric hunting. Good luck with the surgery.

  4. WoW! It's a beautiful coat. Wishing you good vibes that the surgery is a huge sucess.

  5. Beautiful coat. I pray that all went well today.

  6. Wow! absolutley fantatic! Smart colours and perfect match of all pieces! great!

  7. Bravo. Lovely coat and you've shared in new fabric. I am in love with upcycling clothing.

  8. Absolutely Gorgeous! Great Job! Fantastic Job!