Breaking All My Rules

This housecoat is dated 1939, both the copyright and what looks like a shop stamp on the inner flap.  I think the previous seamstress made the view with short sleeves and a front zipper.  I’m making long sleeves with buttons in purple cotton flannelette.

Despite the fact it’s a size smaller than I usually work from at  size 14 (32″ bust), the regular pattern fits over my basic block as if I’d drafted it myself.  Weird.  It’s intended for an ungirdled 27″ waist, so  has about 2 1/2″ of ease built into it.

I decided not to alter the pattern, but cut generous side seams.  I’m sick of sewing “the right way” and decided to slap this together as quickly as possible.

Yes, using the original paper pattern.  I laid the pieces on my extra wide (100″) wide flannelette.

Then rough-cut and took the pieces to my cutting table, where I weighted and cut.

Velvet has its own grainline for the floor-length circle skirt.

Net cut as gathered sleeve cap support.

On a whim, I trimmed the edges of the pockets with red binding.  I went nuts binding the collar, the hem, and trimming the cuffs in red.  I like the brilliant scarlet against gray-purple.  It’s solidly slapdash- white overlocking thread and an incredibly inappropriate knit interfacing for the front facings.  Let’s say I’ll never wear this inside out.

I haven’t blogged in a while, mostly due to pocket dysmorphia:

We pinned, re-pinned and pinned again to balance the top pockets.  In the end, I matched up the edges of the two front pieces and pinned them together to check the pocket positioning.  I had to move one of them up 1/4″ until it was completely even.  Pinned, sewed, and look at it.  It’s not so pronounced in real life, in fact he’s been wearing the jacket all this week.  I know I should rip it out and re-position.


  1. "I'm sick of sewing "the right way" " Oh I understand that. Usually I start digging out simple TNT patterns because I know I need to sew the right way if I want my garments to look really good, but I just get tired of doing all that stuff. Looking forward to seeing the finished coat. I too like the red against the grey-purple. Very eyecatching.

  2. Yes, red buttons too. I thought of the pajama thing after I cut it, shrugged and made it up anyway. When I put it together enough to tell, I slipped it on over a t-shirt and leggings and it's more than adequate.

  3. Love the purple and red color combo! Sometimes you just need a quick, easy sewing fix. And housecoats are a great place to do it since they aren't fitted and nobody's going to see you in them.

  4. oooohhh! YAY! I've been dying to see this pattern made up!! I absolutely adore it! The piping looks amazing…I'm sooo excited!

    • I really, really love storm at sea. I have a large box of paper foundations and blue and white fabrics and lightweight interfacing for the delicate fabrics… When I’m stressed out, or need to practice precision, I make storm at sea blocks.

      At the moment, I have a lot of red and turquoise scraps from another project, I’m casting around for another foundation paper pieced pattern to use.. Maybe some fans or a Mariner’s compass or something.

      I like the looooong time aspect of it. I know eventually I’ll have a very special quilt and I’m willing to wait. ;)

  5. Pingback: Pattern Tracing and Composting « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

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