This year’s Refashioners Challenge put out there by sewist and blogger, Portia Lawrie of the UK, is to take a popular designer or fashion icon out there and mimic his/her masterpiece with an old, tired, thrifted piece.
Sooooooooooo…here’s what I did:
Really this project came at the right time because I’ve been planning on making a winter coat for myself for 10 months now. I have quite the pinterest board on coats and patterns. I knew I wanted a 1960s style coat. Jackie Kennedy’s style has appealed to me for awhile and her famous/ infamous Oleg Cassini leopard coat was probably the most amazing thing she ever wore:
I say “famous” because when she wore it she stunned everyone everywhere. I say “infamous” because it was so crazy popular that everyone wanted one and the leopard population nearly became extinct. Oleg Cassini was quoted as saying he regretted making it. I think he underestimated how much of a fashion icon Jackie Kennedy was.
When I walked into my local “Sally Ann’s Boutique” (aka Salvation Army) I saw this fleece bathrobe. BINGO!!
Yeah. Hmm. I know. My husband just laughed at me when I put it on. This was a definite rescue operation.
So my first step was to “unpick” it apart. (BTW – why do sewist say “unpick”? I don’t get it. Aren’t we “picking” it? We’re picking apart the seams, right? Un-pick would mean to undo picking which would mean to put it together. Where do we get “unpick”? Anyway… that’s what I was thinking about while I did this tedious task.
I decided on The Ellsworth Coat pattern by Christine Haynes.
It required a lining fabric and while fleece is warm I knew I wanted a REALLY warm coat to get through the weeks of below zero (fahrenheit) Ithaca, NY weather. I pulled out a thick black soft fleece from my stash (really it was from a failed attempt to make a coat back in March).
Look at that pile of pattern pieces! I was going to make a few adjustments on the pattern because the fabric from the robe wasn’t going to be quite enough.
I decided on using the lining fabric for the yoke and collar. Also, I chose to eliminate the pockets on the front. Jackie’s coat had side pockets and I would rather have them too so I planned to insert the pockets from the robe right into my coat.
Here’s the coat in process:
Jackie’s coat had 3/4 sleeves so I saved precious leopard print by adding my lining fabric at the bottom, giving the sleeves a 3/4 look but giving me the full length I wanted.
Now it was going to need awesome buttons so I searched my stash, Joann’s, and ebay and settled on these black paisleys.
So here’s the finished project:
No leopards harmed in the making!!