A while ago I bought a pdf pattern for a coat, the Sophia coat, from a Japanese pattern company, Tamanegi Kobo. I hadn’t heard of them before but saw a beautiful version of the Sophia coat on one of the blogs I follow – Rennous-oh-glennous. Obviously, having snapped up the pattern the very same day, I then waited a year before even thinking about finding a suitable fabric. Procastination, me?
I got there in the end……
I went to the Knitting & Stitching Show in Harrogate in November, had a girls weekend away with my mum and sisters. Fabric for this coat was top of my list to look for, and I found the perfect thing. This beautiful blue cloth has a selvedge which claims a fibre content of wool, cashmere and mink. I definitely believe the wool and the cashmere – this loved a good steam, and it’s super soft and warm whilst being lighter than you’d think – but I’m not entirely convinced about the mink. Not that I would recognise mink if I saw it, it just conjures up images of old Hollywood stars in furs, rather than any sort of fabric.
It’s got an almost felted, brushed texture which is incredibly soft to the touch, and at a bargainous £1o a metre and 150cm wide it was extremely affordable. I’m not sure whether it will wear all that well, but it seems to be holding up so far – and I’ve worn this nearly every day since I finished it a couple of weeks ago. And of course there’s that gorgeous colour – I totally fell in love with it.
Size-wise, this is a Japanese pattern, and therefore definitely seems to be designed for small people. The body and sleeve lengths are spot on for me, so taller people might need some extra length. When I purchased the pattern 18months ago, my measurements fit perfectly with the largest size (42) – unfortunately I have put on a bit of weight since then so it’s a smidgen snug on me now. Not uncomfortably so, but you can see a little bit of pulling at the bottom button. Given the double breasted style I could probably move the buttons slightly to fix this but we’ll see. Otherwise fit feels good, I love the unusual shoulder design which works well on my smaller frame.
That collar not only looks good, it’s excellent for keeping out the cold Edinburgh wind. I was a little worried that I’d finished a warm coat just in time for warmer weather…..but we haven’t had any of that! It even snowed a bit yesterday.
The buttons came from Hobbycraft, surprisingly, and are exactly what I had in mind. You can see the texture in this photo as well (along with a number of cat hairs, sorry…..). They’re not real leather, but they’re just the right size and colour I think.
The lining was in my stash, I have no idea where it came from originally, but it’s a high quality, anti-static lining which feels really luxurious. The pale blue/grey works well, too. I like something a bit sturdier for pockets, so they are made from some scraps of peacock-feather cotton lawn originally used to make pyjamas for Mark.
This was a great pattern to work from, although maybe not ideal for beginners. There are a lot of markings on the pattern, but only the instructions are translated into English – so you need to have at least a rough idea of what the markings are for. The English instructions are also fairly minimal – I had to resort to Google for the final step of inserting the sleeve linings, which is done on the sewing machine. Luckily the Sewaholic Minoru jacket sewalong came to the rescue. To give you an idea, go and read through that link, then compare to the instructions provided – ‘With right sides together, match shell and lining cuffs and sew’. Well, yes, but……! Apart from that, though, the diagrams were helpful and the many markings really provided a lot of instruction in themselves.
The pattern calls for two inside buttons but you can see here that I didn’t bother. When I tried the coat on after doing the main buttonholes and buttons, the front sat perfectly without anything else being needed. I did contemplate snaps, which would have avoided doing more buttonholes, but decided they weren’t required in the end. I might go back and include either buttons or snaps at a later date if I think they’re needed.
Importantly, the pockets are definitely big enough to keep your hands in, and will take my large phone or my bunch of keys quite happily. The pockets are joined to the facing before the lining is installed – I used short lengths of grosgrain ribbon rather than the intended pieces of lining fabric.
I like the way this looks open as well, although it’s a bit cold at the moment for this to be comfortable……once it gets a bit warmer though I think I’ll be wearing it like this a lot. The pattern includes a self-fabric belt, with thread loops, but I never get on all that well with fabric belts.
I do love this coat, and it’s received a lot of compliments. Living in Scotland means that in all likelihood I’ll be able to wear it all year round! I’ll leave with some more photos, this is one of my favourite makes of the last few years so I have a lot of them…….