This is an out of print Vogue Pattern (copyright 2004).  It’s a great basic, and as you will see from my embellishment “journey”, it’s easy to customise.


I made this a couple of years ago, but wanted to write about it to discuss the notion of keeping the plan flexible.  I bought the fabric because I just can’t resist a deal.  I get so excited when I find a piece of fabric that costs a fraction of what it should, that my cheap gene goes into hyper-mode and I find myself calculating the amount of fabric I will need down to the linear inch…this could be a sign of a serious personality flaw. This fabric cost $10 per meter.  It would not have ruined my budget to buy an extra meter!  It’s a durable 100% wool with a woven-in ribbed design that I thought I could cut off-grain enough to create a chevron pattern at the seams.  I didn’t have a particular pattern in mind so it sat in the “”to be determined” pile for few more months, maybe even a couple of years. I finally chose Vogue 7978  because it has princess seams front and back and I thought I could create a subtle chevron that would have been stunning….but I didn’t buy enough fabric.

A classic coat with a personal surface design.



After hours of trying varying degrees of off-grain layouts, I had to accept that the chevron design was out of the question and so I laid it out on the straight grain.  Not so bad, I thought…the pattern in the fabric would have had kind of a 60′s / 70′s feeling.  “Product of West Germany” was woven into the selvedge, so it is conceivable that the fabric was in the shop since the 70′s. That should have been a hint of what was to come.  I finally cut out the pattern, sewed up the body and tried it on, pleased to see that it fit extra-ordinarily well on the first try!  Self satisfaction was short lived, however.  In the daylight a faint, but unmistakable faded line down the middle of the back revealed itself just where I placed that centre back piece on the fold.  I don’t know if this happens to other people but I know I should have thought of this ahead of time. What to do… I had some suede left over from a project completed years earlier.  It turned out to be a great contrast so I placed a long 1/2″ wide strip over the faded line and then just added more until I thought it was done.


A customised design for Vogue coat 7978


I think it turned out really well. I’d like to say that I have lots of surface design ideas and that all my projects look this good.  They don’t…but this one worked, and I think it’s the result of some luck and some stubbornness.  I didn’t want to see my $30 fabric deal end up in the trash.

A classic design enhanced with suede trim.