I probably use the term “labor of love” way too often when I talk about some of my sewing projects. However, this WAS a labor of love. Ok, probably still overdoing it, but this is definitely the most complicated thing I’ve ever sewn.
Behold, the Oliver + S School Days coat.
I knew I needed to make L a jacket because his coat from last year is ridiculously small. And it couldn’t just be a store bought coat because, come on. That would be too reasonable. And I am no reasonable lady.
I went to Goodwill with my fingers crossed – I just had the feeling I would be able to find a 100% wool coat that I could slice and dice. Spoiler alert, I was successful! I was too excited to take a picture of it but it was a gigantic wool coat for women – calf-length and few darts or other shaping seams so I knew it’d be great. Best part? It was $20!
I ran it through the dryer with a wet blanket for 1 hour, then I took my seam ripper to it and took it apart as much as I could, leaving the back intact. I discarded the arm lining and the shoulder pads (lol). OBV I kept the buttons, because! I did keep the main body lining which was this lovely herringbone wool – forgot to take a picture! But I will be reusing it for sure. Anyway after I ripped up the coat it went back into the dryer for another hour – this sucker had a lot of gross lint in all the seams.
The back had these two vertical seams that I couldn’t get around so they stayed – I think they look quite nice there! It looks intentional.
The lining fabric is the best part though. It’s Michael Miller Little Elephants Toss and I got it from Fabric.com when they had one of their MM 15% off sales. I’ve had this fabric since March and I’ve been saving it for something special… why not a coat he’ll wear everyday for several months? L does a little trumpeting noise every time he sees a picture of an elephant and it is pretty much the most adorable thing ever.
The toggles were from Jo-Ann’s – goodness, I didn’t know toggles were $5+! Good thing this pattern only called for 3 of them. My topstitching on these is pretty atrocious but… it’s not like I can rip them out and redo them since the leather would show the holes. It’s really bulky at that spot!
I really like the way the hood turned out! I purposely did not topstitch the hood to keep the lining in place because… I kind of want the lining to peek out!
I think the lining looks really lovely after blindstitching the hem by hand but my gosh, my finger was hurting after that! Note to self, need to buy thimble.
Also, this was all done in one day – I went to Goodwill just after they opened at 11am, ran a few errands, got home and started work on the lining while the coat was in the dryer (also quickly sewed up a Christmas throw pillow + table runner*), then sat down and worked on the coat until I finished around midnight. Hence, the horrendous lighting on these pictures.
*Yes, Christmas! I am all about Christmas once the -ber months start.
Also, two days after I finished this coat, Colette Patterns revealed their Albion coat which to me looks like the grown-up version of this School Days Jacket. WANT! I may need to make myself a matching jacket after Christmas…