Yay! The Seventies Wrap Coat is done in muslin, and it’s just as fabulous as I hoped it would be. Don’t let the strange facial expressions in today’s photos confuse you, I love this coat!
One of the easiest ways to tell if you’re going to like the finished garment is to see how you feel about the muslin. If the design looks good in muslin, it’s going to look amazing in real fabric! That’s how I feel about this one. The muslin is awesome all on its own. If it looks great in the blah muslin colour, imagine how pretty it will be in teal and chocolate wool!
Enough talking – let’s look at some photos! (Try to ignore the weird faces in the ones where I’m wearing the muslin. Why does it always happen that the photos with my eyes closed are the ones that show the coat best?)
Here’s what it looks like un-belted:
It’s pretty tent-like, isn’t it? The belt is absolutely necessary! What’s great about the fit of this coat is the roomy cut. Choosing a coat pattern that’s loosely fitted allows you to layer warm sweaters underneath. I get really cold easily and being able to layer makes this coat just perfect for me. I have a tendency (and maybe you do too!) to overfit everything. Sometimes all you want is a super cosy, roomy coat – and the belt gives it shape! Let’s put that belt on.
I sewed the muslin, minus the patch pockets, and took photos. Then I attached the pockets and took another set of photos to compare. The absolute best way to see the difference is to compare side-by-side photos. If you’re stuck on a decision for your sewing project, take two photos – one ‘before’ and one ‘after’ – and then look at them next to each other to see which you like better. This also works for choosing buttons, too!
Here’s the muslin on me, while I stand in the one clean corner of the office. It’s a pretty cool-looking coat, isn’t it?
Back view: the collar does an excellent job of broadening the shoulders, making the hips look narrower in comparison. That’s my kind of optical illusion! I like the pleat at the back too – it starts underneath the belt, so you don’t even see the stitching that holds the pleat in place. Very tidy!
When I added the pockets, I thought about sewing them on with beige thread, so they’d be harder to see, but decided hot-pink topstitching was fine. You can’t even see it in the photos! For the real pockets, not only will they be textured and multi-coloured, but the instructions call for each pocket to be topstitched first, and then slipstitched by hand to the coat. So if I leave off the topstitching, they’ll be sewn invisibly to the coat front and blend in even more.
The patch pockets are at the exact right height for stuffing your hands in! I thought they looked rather low-hanging in the pattern illustration and when I pinned them on the dress form but when you wear the coat, they’re in the perfect spot. Something about adding the pockets makes it seem more finished, too.
The hemline is just where I’d want it – at the narrowest part of the knee. (It’ll look even better in heels but it was easier to run back and forth from the camera in flat feet!) Chocolate brown knee-high boots would be just perfect. Or brown oxford-style pumps.
Wrap coats are easy to fit and sew! Especially a wrap coat like this, that relies on the belt to give it shape and is tent-like otherwise.
After looking at these photos, I’m planning to keep the pockets. They’re comfy, they’re functional and they don’t add too much bulk to the hipline. Casey made a great point about potential pocket sag, especially once they’re filled. The instructions say to interface the pocket and line it, so that should add enough structure to support the pocket contents. I feel like they balance out the wide collar and create an hourglass effect. And they’re perfectly placed to keep my hands warm! I’m sold on them. What do you think?
Next up: cutting the real fabric! Scary but fun, and now I know the coat fits!