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.



All I can say is, “Wow!”

Well, not all. What an inventive idea. I’ve had the same thing happen with fabric I’ve actually owned since the early 80’s. Your tip and trick inspire me to revives some of these beautiful fabrics that are sure to have the same sort of fading.

Beautiful job. And, it does fit you beautifully.


Thank you for your kind words.


Love this save. And big ugh On the dreaded fade fold line. Totally irritating.

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