What better way to start October than to wear a newly me-made autumn coat. For the past couple of years, I’ve been wanting to make a coat for myself but have always chickened out, thinking it would be too big a time commitment or would require tailoring tools which I do not own. So when I received an email from the lovely ladies of Deer and Doe asking if I would be interested in reviewing their latest coat pattern “Opium”, I was a little nervous, but also very excited to take this opportunity to finally tackle some outerwear.
The Opium is a gorgeous fully-lined swing coat with raglan sleeves, notched collar, and origami pockets. Version A closes with snaps and version B closes with a belt. I love the Opium’s modern trapeze shape so I decided to let the volume loose and make version A. Upon seeing the shape of the pockets, I immediately thought they would look great in a contrast color. So I used Boiled Wool in two colors:
– I fell in love with that “Sunflower” yellow and I’m surprised how well it fits into my wardrobe. Black, brown, olive, navy, fuschia etc, this yellow coat works with so many of my most worn colors.
– I used an “antic white” Boiled Wool for the contrast pieces. My original plan was to only do the origami pockets in a contrasting color but as I was constructing the coat, I realized additional “antic white” accents would balance the look. So the facings and the upper collar became white – I love the result!
For the lining, I used an off-white Rayon Bemberg which has a soft silky hand.
Now let’s talk about construction:
– I cut a size 36 and made no adjustments to the pattern. Being quite short (5’1″), I thought about shortening the sleeves. But I decided against it to keep my hands covered which are always cold during winter.
– Deer and Doe designed this pattern to be an introduction to coat making, which means the instructions walk you through all the steps in great detail. They worked, as I felt confident at every step. I especially appreciated the detailed instructions for the interfacing part. It does take a long time to prep all the pieces but I liked how clearly stated that part was.
– One of my coat making concerns was dealing with bulk. Again, the instructions clearly walked me through when/where to reduce excess bulk. The only challenging bit for me was the double-welt area of the pocket; sewing through many layers of fabric on a short seam allowance was tricky to me. However, slightly lengthening the stitch length and using the hand wheel on small areas got it done!
I’m so happy that I got to make Deer and Doe’s Opium for my first coat. I love my yellow coat which fits right in with the gorgeous hues of autumn leaves. And most importantly, I really enjoyed sewing the Opium. It was a great experience which demystified coat making for me and left me feeling proud of my sewing skills! (giving myself a pat on the back)
Thanks for looking!