So, you’re making a coat.
Good for you! According to Nina Garcia, Fashion Editor of Marie Claire Magazine, author and Project Runway judge, “The most important thing for women… is to invest in a really great coat.” Truer words have rarely been spoken. Whether you live in Duluth, MN or Miami, FL, a coat can not only function as a barrier between you and the elements, it can do so with verve and panache. And as sewing enthusiasts, we can customize our verve and tweak our panache to yield exactly the results we want.
In Gertie’s sew-along, we’re using the Lady Grey coat from Colette Patterns. I love this style of coat because it can work for so many body types. And the length is perfect for day or evening, rain, shine, or cold – well, at least chilly – conditions. Let’s take a look at some fabric options that I think will work beautifully in this fantastic pattern.
The wonderful thing about Lady Grey is that it works well for a wide range of fabrics. In her interview with Gertie, the pattern’s designer, Sarai Mitnick, advocates working with lighter weight wools. I completely agree. This will work up so beautifully in a suit-weight wool. I recommend using a gabardine or lightweight flannel. If you want to go the “serious business” route, some good choices from Gorgeous Fabrics would include this Ralph Lauren Stretch Gabardine.
|Ralph Lauren Stretch Gabardine|
Or perhaps a funky bouclé in a color that will brighten up a dreary day, like this one.
|Fabulous Wool Boucle - Deep Pink|
|Italian Designer Wool Tweed|
Rain, Rain, Go Away
Lady Grey also lends itself to making a tres stylish raincoat. It puts a feminine twist on the trench coat trend that is so hot for Fall 2010. If you want to take a subdued approach, try it in a khaki or taupe. You’ll get a hint of the classic trench, but the shape will make it pop.
|Designer Raincoating in taupe|
|Waterproof Stretch Chenille Satin in Gray/Blue|
|Waterproof Stretch Chenille Satin in Green/Teal|
A Little Something for Evening?
Lady Grey is an instant classic because it’s such a chameleon. By changing the fabric, it completely changes its feel. For a dramatic look, make this in an evening fabric. I’m talking something really spectacular. How about a crimson silk duppioni?
|Crimson Silk Dupioni|
|Ratti Donna Couture Brocade|
|French Levers Lace|
Get in Line
Now you’ve got your fabulous outer shell fabric, what to line it with? There are always the classic linings – I particularly love rayon lining fabric for its long wear and breathability. For ultimate luxury, silk is the fabric you want for lining! I recommend charmeuse, crepe de chine and habotai for lining fabrics. All of them are slippery enough to allow you to slide the coat on and off. If you are using a stretch outer shell fabric, line it with a stretch silk for the ne plus ultre in sensuous comfort. And you will never go wrong by matching your lining to your shell fabric or by picking a complementary solid color.
But why stop there?
Seriously, one of the best things about sewing your own Lady Grey is that you can line it with anything! I loved Sarai’s use of a brightly colored polka dot for the lining of her sample coat. I’ve been known to line garments with a completely unexpected fabric. I may not wear a lot of animal print on the outside, but I let my inner wild girl out with linings like this fun acetate lining.
|Change Your Spots Lining - Brown|
|A Florable Adorable Silk|
To see other fabrics that are suitable for this fabulous coat (as well as other sewing projects), check out Gorgeous Fabrics.
Special Offer for Gertie’s Readers!
For the month of September, Gertie’s readers get 10% off any full-price fabric in the Coatings, Woolens and Oo La La categories at Gorgeous Fabrics. Just enter the coupon code GERTIE at checkout and we’ll deduct 10% from any of those fabrics!