Oversized colour block coat | I Am Patterns Artemis

Oversized colour block coat | I Am Patterns Artemis

Without a doubt, this autumn has been the season of coat making. They say that you can never escape that which you most fear and the coat curse has hit me with a vengeance. But no worries, it was all for the best. I do feel that two (albeit imperfect) attempts later, I have now conquered this fear and I am almost ready for new challenges. However, there are only so many coats a girl can have in her wardrobe, so I might just have to curb my enthusiasm and save some coat-making mojo for spring and such!

However, I cannot save my blogging enthusiasm for said coats be tempered down. You guys, I made a fully lined winter coat! Whoop! And I love it! And I have worn it almost every day since I finished it, happily stretching past the halfway mark of the #30wears challenge. I am past caring what it goes with, just want to put it on every morning.

I’m not kidding myself, it is not without flaws, but that’s not detracting from my proud moment. Plenty of lessons learned! And there is another reason I love this coat so much. All the fabric is from the stash and all of it was bought from charity shops, so it scores great points on the sustainable sewing scale as well!

Now, let me tell you all the details…

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that I may make a small commision if you buy something I recommend and link to (at no cost to yourself). I only link to things relevant to this post and I’m offering my honest opinions. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Oversized colour block coat - I am patterns Artemis

Oversized colour block coat - I am patterns Artemis

Oversized colour block coat - I am patterns Artemis

 

Oversize colour block coat – I AM Artemis Pattern

I have been craving an oversized coat for ages (check out my Pinterest boards on the topic) and I have been umming and erring on the pattern that would just feel right. I had a Burda one in mind that looked pretty good, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to subject myself to Burda instructions (or lack thereof) for my first proper coat. I also looked at the now famous Sapporo coat from Papercut, but I dismissed that because it did not have closures and I was planning a winter coat. Another pattern I considered was the Cocoon Coat from Sew Different, but again, no closures and a bit shorter than I wanted it.

Then, at the GBSB live in 2017, I met the team at I AM patterns and for the first time ever, I actually bought an Indie pattern on paper. I am a big fan of French Indie pattern brands, and also it was so great to chat to the designer and learn more about their company and their ethos, that I took the plunge and bought I AM Artemis coat then and there. I also convinced my Romanian sewing friends Geo and Simona to also join in the fun, and to my embarrassment, they both made their versions ages ago!

Oversized colour block coat - I am patterns Artemis

Oversized colour block coat - I am patterns Artemis

It was, in fact, Geo’s version that gave me the inspiration and made me realise that this will be the perfect pattern for what I had in mind if I lengthened it a bit and lowered the pockets.

It also proved great for my colour blocking, as it had a seam on the front that could make a natural break for the two different fabrics.

A few things to watch-out about the paper version of this pattern. As I said, I have not used paper versions of indie patterns before, so maybe this is normal, but I was really surprised that the pattern pieces overlapped, so I still had to copy them out as opposed to being able to cut them right away. I probably would have traced anyway, but it did annoy me a bit that I did not have the option to cut pieces out if I wanted to. The other thing was the pattern pocket itself. I might be completely daft here, but I could not open the beautiful gold envelope for the life of me, so I ended up tearing into it a bit. If you have used I AM patterns in the paper version, can you please let me know how you’re meant to get into them nicely?

Fabric and colour blocking

Erm, did I tell you how much I love these fabrics? No? Well, here goes…

I do get tunnel visioned quite often and I get fixated on some idea that will not leave me no matter what. Same as what happened with the vest, I was really determined to use fabric from my stash, as I had quite a bit of coating that I had been gifted ages ago and it kinda sat there taunting me for my inability to transform it into a coat. Now, the problem was that none of it was long enough for a proper coat, they were all around 1-1.2m long. So I had the idea of dying them black to make them more uniform and then use them together. However, even after the dye bath, they still did not come out looking the same, so I still had a black piece that was 1.2m long and a black-navy-ish piece that was 1m long. I also had a grey-ish piece that had a terrible handle, like craft felt, that was really not too useful.

Oversized colour block coat - I am patterns Artemis

When I was dying the black piece, I threw in a swatch of the grey to see if it caught the colour. And not only did it dye really well, it actually came out fulled and fluffy with the most wonderful handle. So I realised that I could do something with that unsightly piece after all.

So, I went back to my dyeing experiments and decided to colour it a spruce green. Green was dark enough to cover the grey, but still be a bit different from black. And the resulting fabric was nothing short of spectacular. It’s a wonderful rich colour, super soft and nice to touch and very very warm.

Only slight problem was that, no matter how I tried to pattern-puzzle, I could not make the entire coat out of the green. However, the navy fabric went really well with the green, so I decided to use it for colour-blocking instead.

Oversized colour block coat - I am patterns Artemis

It was a bit of a happy accident, but I think the two fabrics work really well together, both in colour and the texture, one fuller on the upper part and one more tightly woven and matte on the lower part.

The lining is a remnant piece of crepe backed satin that has been in my stash for years, probably since 2014-2015 and I just about had enough left over (with a bit of piecing things together). I had previously made this jumpsuit, which I am glad to report, I still have a wear quite a lot in the summer. So I even got a bit of #sewingleftovers in this project as well.

Alterations to I AM Patterns Artemis coat

I really liked the oversized feel of this pattern, with clean lines and the in-seam pocket detail, this is what attracted me to it in the first place. However, the pockets look just a bit too high to be comfortable. Maybe in the jacket version, they work a bit better, but if I had to lift my arms that high every time I put my hands in my coat pockets, I would surely end up with a neck strain.

Also per Geo’s recommendation, I cut a size 38 (although my hip measurements put me in 42) and that was definitely enought to fit my 104 cm hips. The upper part I always have to take in anyway and I’m a C cup, so I wasn’t worried about fitting it in. I think I could have easily gone to a 36 and graded up in the hip area, as I took out quite a lot after all (see below).

Oversized colour block coat - I am patterns Artemis

So I took a leaf out of Geo’s book and moved the pockets lower by 10 cms, and also increased the overall length by another 20 cm below the pockets. You can read more about her alterations on Pattern Review. I have a very narrow back, so I also removed 1cm from CB and 1 cm from the shoulder seam, reducing to nothing towards the sleeves.

Another design alteration I made was removing the shawl collar and replacing it with facings instead. I had pinned the collar to the coat and it just did not feel right to me so I decided to get rid of it.

The collar pieces worked perfectly for that, I just cut the piece in half at CB and then cut one of the halves on the length, ending up with two facings half the width of the original collar piece. I had to draft a quick collar facing, but that was not an issue.

Because I removed the collar, the overlap takes place on the main body of the coat, and of course, buttonholes and buttons are not suitable. So I added oversized metal poppers instead. I really like the 3cm ones, but I think black would have worked better instead of silver.

I also added a lining, using the free lining add-on that is also available on the I AM patterns website. Please note that there will not be separate pattern pieces, it’s just an instruction booklet on how to draft your lining.

Constructing the oversized colour-blocked coat

This is a very straightforward pattern, really great for beginners (especially if you are skipping the lining part). It went a tiny bit slower for me because I wanted to be very careful when assembling the colour blocks so that the lined up perfectly. Besides, adding the lining always make things slower, as you effectively need to sew the entire thing twice.

I think my careful seam matching for the colour blocking really paid off, I am really happy with it!

Oversized colour block coat - I am patterns Artemis

Speaking of colour blocking, I always assemble the colour block half pieces into the main piece and then join as per pattern instructions. So for example, I sewed the green part to the nave part on the back, so that I ended up with two symmetric back pieces. I then joined them at CB and then joined to the front at the shoulder seams as per normal.

Speaking of lining, the fabric was a tiny little bit too short, so I ended up with a hanging lining instead of the bagged version I was hoping for. The instructions go for a sort of a fudge bagging, where you effectively pin down the lining edge with the turned up hem. But it just was not long enough even for that. So I just machine blind stitched the hem and sleeve edges upwards and overlocked the lining edge and left it hanging.

Oversized colour block coat - I am patterns Artemis

I did not really follow the instructions for the lining, but instead turned (again) to my favourite lining drafting and constructing tutorial by Sara Alm on Craftsy. I know I wax lyrical about it every single time I mention linings, but I found it so useful for both drafting a lining when there is not one included in the pattern and also for sewing and bagging it. I just noticed that it’s on sale right now (Nov 2018) on Craftsy, if you want to get it.

I only glimpsed at the coat instructions for the order of construction, so I can’t vouch for them, but I don’t think anyone would struggle with this easy make at all even without them.

Wear & Styling an oversized colour blocked coat

As I mentioned, I have been wearing this coat on heavy rotation since I finished it, it has become my main winter coat at the moment. It’s not very cold yet, so it was just perfect for this great late autumn. After some serious wearer trials, I think I’d like to tweak a few things. Firstly, I might change the placement of the metal poppers so that they overlap a bit more and it’s a bit less open at the neckline. Secondly, I really think I should have interfaced the facings and even perhaps the edge of the coat itself as it does tend to stretch a tiny bit on the curved edges. And lastly, it really needs a coat hanger tag, I can’t believe I forgot that. If I take out the facings to sort them out, that might be a good opportunity to do it. These changes might have to wait until spring as I can live with them for now and I really don’t want to take the coat out of rotation for now.

Oversized colour block coat - I am patterns Artemis

In terms of styling, not too much to say. I like it best with skinny or straight bottoms or a skirt with heavy tights. Somehow, because of the tapered shape, I feel it does not go very well with more voluminous garments. It also needs a big scarf, to fill in the wide neckline. I recently got back into knitting, so I’m working on one, but darn, it’s a slow craft. I doubt I would finish it before spring. In the meantime, I’m using my cashmere scarf as much as I can.

I also noticed that the sloping shoulders are not great for normal handbags and I am better off with a bag with a longer strap, like my Niizo Tote bag (review coming soon) or a smaller cross-body purse.

Verdict on I am patterns Artemis coat

I am completely in love with this coat! It really came out just the way I pictured it, but that was of course because of all the design alterations I made. The pattern is quite nice, but I think my version is more suited to my tastes. I am sure that once I fixed the niggles, it will be even better and I can’t wait to finish my big cosy scarf to go with it as well. Overall, a great stash-busting project, that scored points on the sustainability scale as well (second-hand fabric) and a garment that will get loads and loads of wears. Win-Win-Win!

Details for the Oversized Colour Blocked Coat

Oversized colour block coat - I am patterns Artemis

Pattern: I AM Patterns Artemis, size 38 with lining

Fabric: Wool coating in two colours (green dyed by me), polyester crepe back satin for the lining, all from the stash

Notions:  3 metal 3cm sew-on poppers (eBay)

Alterations: Added 30 cm in length, reduced CB seam by 1 cm, reduced shoulder seam by 1 cm, tapering to nothing at the sleeves; added a lining; added poppers instead of buttons

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that I may make a small commision if you buy something I recommend and link to (at no cost to yourself). I only link to things relevant to this post and I’m offering my honest opinions. You can read my full disclosure policy here.


HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT SEWING FROM YOUR STASH? IS IT FEEL GOOD OR RESTRICTIVE? ALSO, PLEASE SHARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE COAT PATTERNS IF MY SEWING COAT MOJO KEEPS UP :).

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2 Comments

  1. 16 November 2018 / 9:09 AM

    Bravo! What a fab coat Alex. The colour blocking and no-collar look add such a unique spin on the pattern. Love it!

  2. 18 November 2018 / 1:07 AM

    I love the story of your coat! using stashed fabric is just so satisfying, particularly when you have no idea what else to do with it. The colour blocking is just marvellous and I would love to see this coat IRL.

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