Finally! Here are the Colette Albion Coats I’ve been working on for months! One for my boyfriend and one for me. Previous winters, Josh was wearing a raincoat over a sweatshirt, and I was layering a fleece over a sweatshirt, so I figured it was time for new winter coats.
These were taken at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when admission was free and Josh didn’t have school. Inside was very crowded, but almost no one was outside! I wonder why… Actually, it was a relatively nice day out. I bamboozled Josh into doing a photo shoot with me. We photographed each other, so I have nothing of us together. Except this one I made:
Now that I think about it, there are probably a maximum of 10 photos of us together.
I made Josh’s first because I figured it’d be easier, and y’know, I could practice for my coat. I made a muslin from canvas, which I was later able to cut up to make my muslin.
Josh’s coat is made with this olive green wool Melton, which is so perfect for a coat! It’s thick, dense, and soft. We are unfortunately out of the lining fabric, and I doubt we’ll reorder it because we’ve got some other great plaids coming in.
This coat is a size Large. I didn’t make many alterations to it — I shortened the hem by 4,” lowered the pockets by 1/2, “and lengthened the sleeves by 3/4.”
D’oh, I forgot to get a back view!
I’m really pleased with this coat! He says it’s very warm, and he gets lots of compliments on it, which of course I love to hear. His only complaint is that he doesn’t feel he has a huge range of motion in it, which I think might have a little bit to do with the back yoke. I also think it’s because the armpits are so low on the pattern, but raising them would make it more difficult to wear layers under the coat. This doesn’t make the coat any less wearable, unless he’s climbing trees or playing football or dancing a jig in it.
Okay, on to my coat!
My coat shell is this emerald green wool flannel. I was deciding between the wool flannel and this herringbone for a very long time, but I added the herringbone to my wardrobe in a different way. And, wouldn’t ya know it, we are out of my lining as well! I intended to line my coat with two layers of the flannel, and then decided against it and made a shirt with the extra instead. Man, I love that shirt.
The wool flannel is soft and fluffy with a loose weave, which made it more difficult to work with than the Melton. It is also a lot less wind resistant, so I think it would have been better to double-up the lining for this coat, or make it with a Melton. I’m just a sucker for this color though!
Because this is a men’s coat, or unisex at best, my alterations were much more dramatic than Josh’s.
I made the jacket length of the XS size.
– raised the armpit 1″
– shortened the shoulder 1 1/8″
– narrowed the bicep 2,” transferring the width to the wrist opening
– lengthened the sleeve 1″
– created a seam at the back to shape the coat, nipping in at waist and flaring out at hip
– added 1″ wedge to back piece, to move the pocket forward
These are all alterations I made to my first muslin. I didn’t make a second muslin, though I did make 3 or 4 different sleeves. Maybe I should have? The sleeve caps are a little puffy in the back, very evident in the photo below. My range of motion is excellent, though.
I love the silhouette of my coat, although it is super bottom-heavy. If the zipper were shorter, the coat would look much nicer and not so bell-shaped. Also, I could have given myself more ease across the bust. I think that’s the only part of the body that I didn’t alter.
For both of our coats I inserted zippers to keep us warm in the wintry wind, but I wasn’t crazy about the exposed zipper tape in this situation. On Josh’s coat I made bias tape from the lining fabric. My lining fabric is thicker and fuzzier, and I didn’t think that would look nice as bias tape, so I used a seafoam green floral tape from Mokuba. So lovely!
Colette has a sewalong for the Albion, which is totally awesome, and I followed their instructions for inserting the zipper. And of course I put it in wrong, so the facings don’t cover it. It’s funny, because I put Josh’s in the right way. I considered fixing it, but I’m not sure that I can get unpick everything without tearing up the fabric, zipper, and ribbon, so I think I’m just going to leave it as it is.
More beef: I’m not very pleased with my finishing details. The front yokes on both coats lined up before I inserted the zipper, but not after. And I really fought with the toggles. Josh’s I mostly hand-stitched on, and mine I sewed on using a denim needle (worked great!). The hem on my coat is handstitched because the patch pockets are so low. Also, it was, like, impossible to sew through all that fat fabric.
Overall, I’m moderately pleased with these coats, though I might try one for me again next year.