Sometimes a garment starts with the pattern… Sometimes with a picture from a magazine. This coat started when I laid eyes on the bold print wrapped around a dress form at Haberman Fabrics. The black wings on an ivory field spoke to me, but at the time it was 90 degrees outside and fuzzy wools weren’t begging to be worked with! But a few days later, when I couldn’t stop thinking about that bold print, I ordered up a few yards and started looking for the perfect pattern.
Butterick 6254 (by Katherine Tilton) was just what I had in mind, with a good length to showcase the large print. With the raglan type sleeve, it also gave me the chance to add in a nice solid contrast, which I found at Joann’s as a nice black embroidered faux leather. The vintage button closures were found at the American Sewing Expo, and are a lovely mix of mostly black with a swirl of grey swimming inside. Acrylic Blend Coating: 2.5 yds, 60″ wide. Embroidered leather: 1.5 yds, 60″ wide. 9 large buttons and snaps.
I left it unlined, as the weather right now is just a bit chilly… but, I know that colder temps are coming, so I’ll likely add a lining that can be added/removed with the changing seasons. The wings were actually printed on the crossgrain, so I was very careful as I cut the front pieces, making sure that the thinner “band of birds” was centered properly and that the left and right sides matched with the few smaller horizontal stripes. I used an additional band of birds so that the left and right front bands would match, as well.
My favorite thing about the print is the strong vertical strip of winds on the back, with the negative colored birds centered in the wings’ reflection. There is a “southwest vibe” to the print (if you look near my hips, you’ll see a sideways long horn skull), but to me it says “winter’s coming”, with the absence of color, with lots of white and tones of gray. Regardless, it’s quite warm and exactly what I was hoping when I envisioned it as I began!
Here’s a close-up of the contrast and the leather in the back with the top-stitching. My only regret is not taking more care along that top back seam to make the embroidery match, but those pieces were quite large and I didn’t think I had enough fabric to make it work.
All in all, I’m quite pleased with it. It’s so soft and cozy, and I absolutely love the mix of hard and soft. One of a kind, and all mine!