Painted Coat

TaDaa! Here is my new coat! It was so much fun to make. I got to try out fabric painting, which I have been wanting to try for ages, and I got to tackle the engineering issues involved in cartridge-pleated sleeves. I think I even like the coat. Well, actually, I love it, but am unsure as to whether I like it or not. It may be a bit costume-y for everyday wear. I was hoping the very humble fabric (cotton canvas) would tone down the overall fabulousness, but it does not seem to.

back view

Here is some detail of the painting. I painted the motifs to cross the seam lines, which is very couture. My painting is far from perfect, as you can see, but the skirt is full enough that it sort of falls in folds and will keep people from looking too closely at the individual motifs. I decided not to shade the motifs because I liked them too much the way they are and if I tried to shade them and messed up I might never forgive myself. I used actual fabric paint (rather than poster paints from the kids’ art sets), and it seems to change the hand of the fabric not at all.

I’m planning on wearing it with this belt. I’m not a huge fan of self belts, so I did not bother making one. It seems to be a huge trend to wear a trench coat as above — unbuttoned with a slight gap in the center front, tightly belted. I noticed that everyone on King’s Road wears their coats this way, then I started seeing it in ads and magazines. It’s even in the March BWOF. I’m always intrigued as to how these trends get started. Does anyone know where this look came from? Please post in the comments if you know. I am interested.

MaryPat asked in the comments about applying the sleeves. It’s kind of hard to explain, and I don’t have photos of the process because I was too interested in what I was doing to pick up the camera. But here goes. I started by sewing the sleeve to the coat at the underarm, from the part where the cartridge pleating starts. Then I brought the interfaced sleeve cap over the jacket shoulder and sewed the sleeve cap onto the jacket at the shoulder seam, perpendicular to the way you would normally sew a sleeve seam. Then I worked toward the front, dividing the ease in half, stitching, then dividing it in half again and stitching again, until the pleats formed. If you were here I’d be able to explain it with visual aids, but it’s a difficult concept to express in text.



  1. Sarah
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 7:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That’s a cool belt, Claudine. I suppose I am many years too late to ask where you got it? I’m planning to make this coat as soon as I can get a hold of the pattern.

    • Posted October 24, 2015 at 9:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks! I’m sorry, I have no recollection of where that belt came from. This project is from 6 years ago now, and the belt was not new even then.

2 Trackbacks

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