The Ruby-Turquoise Coat

Okay, okay! I’ll show you the coat. I must confess that I personally wanted to wait a bit longer, because
  1. To me, nothing beats the picture of a garment being actually worn; and I wanted to wait until Seb could take pictures of me. No, folks, there’s no way I’m hopping to and from a tripod at the moment. Not even to make you happy. 😉
  2. It seems a fluffy creature with light grey fur has been sleeping on/against the coat some day when I wasn’t there. And I can’t find the fur remover brush. Again, I’m waiting for Seb to help me there. I fear I’m a bit OCD when it comes to kitty fur on a garment. Especially one I’ve spent so much care and time over!
However, some of you sound a little impatient (hey, Carolyn? Since you inspired and encouraged me greatly with your own beautiful jacket, I feel I owe you this). So, let’s say I’ll just add a picture of the garment being worn (and un-kitty-fluffed) as soon as we can provide you with one. Deal? Hopefully, it won’t bother you as much as me. 😉


Here’s my ruby-turquoise coat on the dressform:
Simplicity 3631
Pattern Description:
Misses’/Miss Petite Coat or Jacket, Dress or Jumper, Slim Pants and Skirt. I made the jacket (view B), but it’s more of a coat to me.

Pattern Sizing:
6-22. I used sizes 6 and 8. I always need to use a size smaller for the back. I usually use a 10 for the bust, but it didn’t seem necessary here, given the coat’s amount of ease.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Not much, given my alterations.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, very.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
What drew me to the pattern was the pleats feature, which you sew inside out as compared to regular pleats.

I didn’t like the wide, wide sleeves… I mean, I actually do like them; I think all this fabric adds a nice touch of warmth and luxuriousness; but they would have looked ridiculous on poor small me. They would have overwhelmed my 5’1/2″ (154-cm) frame, and made me look like a little girl bundled up in a coat that is too big for her.

I found the absence of lining a bit absurd, at least for a winter coat: see below.

Fabric Used:
Shell: burgundy poly-wool blend, bought in the coating section of my favourite fabric store in Paris (chosen with dear Tany, and therefore a treasure!).
Lining: turquoise poly. You can see it peeking through the sleeves here:

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:

– I lengthened the sleeves by 6 cm (about 2 1/2″).

– Given my short size, I shoud have “petited” (shortened) the pattern; the pattern even had lines to do it; but I prefered a longer jacket, since this is more a coat than a jacket for me.

– Since I liked the width of the sleeves but not the figure it created, I decided to keep the width, but cinch the sleeves with belts. This was suggested in the Fall issue of the Sew Stylish magazine.

Sleeve belts, topstitched:

Buttonhole at one of the edge:
As you know, I used fabric-covered buttons to close the sleeve belts. 😉

– I lined the coat entirely.
Lining a jacket was a first for me… imagine adding your first lining to a jacket where the pattern didn’t have any pattern or directions for one. It required a lot of thinking and reading; a couple of friends kindly offered advice, as well. Many thanks to them! 🙂
I documented the whole process here.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I won’t sew the coat/jacket again. You only need one such coat in your closet! 🙂

I certainly hope to make something from the rest of this wardrobe pattern. There are lots of opportunities with this pattern.

I would definitely recommend it; the pattern is well drafted, the explanations very clear, and SewStylish magazine demonstrates how easy it is to take the pattern as a sheer base and alter it to make it fully yours.

The colour is very true to life here: a deep, ever so slightly pinkish burgundy. I love wearing this kind of deep red with a cold tinge. Red looks good against my hair, but since I have a cold (pink, not peachy) colouring, anything with yellow/orange undertones will look terrible against my skin; whereas purply/pinkish reds are great.
I thought this would add a nice touch of colour among my black and white autumn/winter 07/08 wardrobe.

I believe this is one of my best sewing achievements so far. I learned lots while making this coat, went the extra mile to make it special (adding a pretty lining, handstitching the hem and collar band, etc); and I shall wear it with pride!

I would like to add special thoughts for Tany. From beginning to end, I created this with Tany in mind. She helped me choose the fabric, introduced me to knit interfacing (which is fantastic), taught me in the store to add interfacing to the hem… Tany, while making the coat, I could hear and see you, just as if you were with me. Just as when you were with me, on Oct. 31. *Hugs!*

I had made a plum coat last year, but it was unlined (it was thick boiled wool); it’s pretty, and doesn’t have any technical faults that I’m aware of; however, comparing my two coats today, I can see how much I have learned over the past year.
I feel that every progress I make with my sewing draws me closer to my Grandma. This is greatly thanks to many of you wonderful seamstresses who are so generous with your talent and inspiration. Thank you!!

Back to gift sewing! 🙂 Have a great day/evening, everybody.


46 thoughts on “The Ruby-Turquoise Coat

  1. Shashi Nayagam says:

    Oh how absolutely lovely it is. You are so talented. I have a similar style jacket not red but this one beats it and I bet it cost you not even half the price what they sell in shops. Oh Isabelle it really looks beautiful and chic. Well done my friend.


  2. Carolyn (cmarie12) says:

    Isabelle – ((((hugs))))Thanks so much for posting pictures of the jacket for me! I have just stolen some minutes from work to look at them and read your wonderful review!I absolutely LOVE the sleeve treatment! Gurl, that is so kewl! And I remember it now from the Sew Stylish magazine…what a great adaptation!You should be proud of your sewing achievements because this is a fabulous jacket! Wear it with much pride and thanks again for the review!


  3. Vicki says:

    Isabelle, WOW! What a great job you have done. I love the turquoise lining – such fun. I like how you have made the pattern your own, unique to you.Congratulations for coming such a long way over the past year. Though your skills were pretty good a year ago. I had a look at your burgundy coat from Nov 06 and that is a fabulous creation as well.


  4. nowaks nähkästchen says:

    This is really cute! And the turquiose lining adds a very special touch! It wos more than worth it.(Only it might still not be warm enough considering the Paris weather the last days… 😉 the Fontaine Stravinski was frozen on Monday *brr*)


  5. Sigrid says:

    Isabelle, a WOW from me too. It’s a wonderful jacket and I especially like the sleeves and the different color of the lining. So special!Thanks for posting the pictures now, and soon we’ll see you in your coat (if it’s not freezing too hard with you in Paris, here in the Netherlands it’s getting very cold, but of course you know that already :-).


  6. Tany says:

    Oh Isabelle, what a masterpiece! You have every reason to be very proud of your work! See, you’ve picked a pattern and some fabric, made all the important decisions along the process and created beauty! All the details you’ve added to the original model make this garment a very special and unique! I love the sleeves and the contrasting lining! The jacket looks luxurious and I’m looking forward to seeing you modeling this beauty! MANY MANY kisses&hugs and congratulations on this great achievement!


  7. Little Cat says:

    Mmm, gorgeous! What a smart yet snuggly looking coat. Wonderful colour. I bet it looks great on you. Can’t wait to see a photo of you modeling it … I will wait of course lol. Wouldn’t want you hobbling around and making your foot worse.


  8. Nancy W. says:

    This looks wonderful and I love what you did with the sleeves. I have this pattern (bought it for the dress) and have never been inspired to make the jacket. Hmmm… I may have to change that. Great job!


  9. Tracy says:

    LOVE it! I really like your addition of the sleeve “belts” and the fab turquoise lining (good tutorial, btw!) It is a wonderful coat–shape and color are sensational! Wonderful to see your sewing progress with each project…Your grandmother is proud of you and looking down with a smile:o) ((HUGS))


  10. Martine22 says:

    Félicitations Isabelle ! Toujours de très belles réalisations à admirer sur ton blog . Noël approche et je ne voulais pas laisser passer ce moment sans te souhaiter d’excellentes fêtes de fin d’année . Amicalement .


  11. supermollio says:

    Oh Isabelle! It’s so beautiful! It is really just stunning! I love the turquoise lining, the sleeve belts, the fabric, the color, the drape . . . ! You did an amazing job on it! I’ve followed your sewing skills as you’ve progressed since you first started blogging. You have progressed so much in your approach to your projects. I’m continually impressed by the way you adjust projects to suit your requirements and to broaden your skills! Hurray! Congratulations!


  12. Teddylyn says:

    Your coat is perfect! Both of my sons married girls who are 4′ 11″ tall–very different body types, but both slim and short. I need to look at your wardrobe choices more closely and shamelessly copy your clever ideas!I love the ruby/turquoise combo.C’est vraiment joli!Lynda in LV


  13. Susan says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! I love what you did with the sleeves. I have the pattern and the fabric AND the issue of Sew Stylish. I might have to try that variation with the sleeves. I won’t brave the lining though. You did an amazing job!


  14. paco peralta says:

    Isabelle .- precious the final outcome of the jacket and precious also lining “Turquoise”. Rubís and turquoise for a big “jewel”, so is the “couture”. Happy holidays from Barcelona and my best wishes to you and yours in the new year. A big hug from Spain. Paco


  15. Concetta says:

    Oh Isabelle, what a beautiful coat. You’re going to look fabulous in it. 🙂I was just stopping by to wish you & your loved ones (& of course fur baby too 😉 a wonderful and peaceful Christmas.Thank you for being such an inspiration to us in every way… I absolutely treasure reading your blog and hope to continue to do so for many years to come. {hugs}


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