15 Jun 2018 • • by Heather Lou

My Sapporo Coat


My sewing practice has been all over the place lately. I have a tendency to make really ambitious plans that are almost never realized; it was such a busy spring that most of my personal sewing only came in fits and spurts. Since I'm not sewing at home much these days (mainly because I've learned I'm much more calm and happy when I'm not feeling like I have to produce 24/7) I have to sneak it in when I can during work hours, or wait for a rainy weekend when I can come into the studio, crank up the jams and work on something just for myself.

This is how I tackled this project, my Sapporo Coat from Papercut Patterns. Over the course of a few quick sessions of panic sewing, I managed to get it made in time for my trip to Europe. I'm so happy I did; I packed a tight capsule wardrobe and this was the perrrrfect thing to toss over a pair of jeans and feel a little more dressed up.

I fell in love with the silhouette when it was released; it seemed to be one of those patterns that got a lot of us excited on Instagram. I added it to my queue and waited for the right fabric to fall in my lap, which happened when I visited Elliott Berman Textiles in New York. If I may be so bold, YOU HAVE TO GO TO THERE. One of you suggested it to me and I had no idea I would be walking into French jacquard heaven on earth; I spent a  solid hour agonizing over what to bring home with me. This gorgeous textured cotton with lurex thread was one of my picks, and it is easily one of the most beautiful fabrics I've ever worked with. Annoying and prone to fraying? Ya, but who cares when she's this pretty. If she seems familiar it's because we also used it for our Jenny trouser samples; I bought enough to make this coat, and may still have enough left over to make a pair of shorts if I get really creative with pattern placement.

Speaking of... *whispers into your ear* sewing confession time. I was in such a rush to make this I just... didn't bother with pattern placement. Do I get my sewist membership card revoked? Are you all charging at me with pitchforks? I just plain didn't feel like it, and I think the fabric is busy enough that you don't really notice that nothing matches up along the angled seams. I think sometimes we put off projects like this because we're dreading all the finicky cutting, and I'm a proponent of just doing what feels good, even if the pattern matching police might arrive any moment to throw you in sewing jail.

It came together pretty quickly once I threw pattern matching to the wind, but there is a lot I would change if I was to make this again with more time. I'm not crazy about the "built-in" facings; I would have preferred that the facings along the opening and neckline were separate pieces. This would have created more stability along that center front; as is it's a little flip floppy.  I would also go back and sew in twill tape along all the angled seams, and interface a lot more around the shoulders and neckline. I went against my better judgment because I was so rushed, but I am concerned that it may end up stretching out a bit with time. I would also properly bag the lining; I ended up hand-stitching the lining to the sleeves on the airplane and I think it could have mostly been done by machine (speaking of, the lining is a gorgeous copper penny viscose I got at the LA Fabric Store, RIP).  As an experienced coat maker I should just know better, but sometimes you just blindly follow instructions without thinking too hard about whether or not there is a better way to do something.

This coat has a massive cocoon shape, and I thought it seemed a bit big on a lot of people, so I sized down and made the XS/S. It's still quite roomy, but I quite like the proportion. It's a fun take on an "evening" coat and it's what I've been wearing when I need something a bit fancier than one of my Kelly Anoraks or a jean jacket. It's not super practical for our winters, but I've found it's a good transitional piece when it'a not so cold you need zippers or buttons or you'll die.

What do you think of this oversized shape? And have you ever flown like a free bird with pattern placement too?

Details: Sapporo Coat in French Jacquard, handmade sandals (blog post forthcoming, eventually), Refashioned Levi'sGlossier Generation G in Zip


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