60s Ellsworth Coat
If anyone was wondering what all that faint shrieking was they might have heard on Saturday morning in the distance, I can confirm that it was me. I was jumping around with joy and high fiving myself in the mirror. For you see I made a coat; not a coatigan, but a proper coat with a collar and buttons and topstitching and everything. Yes, the hem is slightly wonky and the collar doesn’t behave one one side but I don’t care because I can now say I made a mother-flippin’ coat and this makes me very happy.
The pattern is a Ellsworth Coat by Christine Haynes which is a fully lined 60s style double breasted coat with nice deep patch pockets and a sweet notched collar (hubba hubba). I spent ages trying to decide what first coat pattern I wanted to try and ended up going back and forth between the Tessuti Oslo, the Republique Du Chiffon Gerard and the Ellsworth. After stalking Instagram/blogs/the internet obsessively I finally landed on the Ellsworth because it a) looked like it might be the easiest to fit; and b) I have a Cos coat with deep patch pockets which I love because I can keep all manner of things in them; and c) it looks hella nice. So I purchased the printed pattern and
jumped straight in then procrastinated for an age because I couldn’t face the trauma of tracing 17 million pieces so re-bought it in PDF form and sent it to net printers to get printed, because I also couldn’t face the trauma of cutting and sticking said 17 million pieces together. Considering it took me forever to cut out all of the pattern pieces I have no regrets concerning my double pattern purchase.
The fabric is a dark green wool/acrylic coating from my local market. Like half of my makes I actually have no idea what the actual content is so I’m guessing, but it was nice fabric to work with and it pressed well. The lining is a deep damson shade from Dragonfly Fabrics and I think it compliments the outer fabric well. I’d originally intended to go with a black lining to match the buttons but changed to the damson at the last minute which I feel was the right decision.
Speaking of, the fabric is nice and all but have you seen those beautiful buttons?! They’re from Suzi London and basically they are wonderful. Divine. MAGNIFICENT. The buttons were sold in packs of 6 so I can’t do the coat up all the way up but this is a sacrifice I was willing to make for such majestic button beauty. I didn’t quite space them out evenly which is annoying but I’m hoping everyone else will be so transfixed with how groovy they look to notice.
It actually took me a few months to pluck up the courage to make this coat because I was intimidated with getting a good fit. I’d read that people said it came up a bit big so I knew I needed to size down but I got myself trapped in a cycle of intense questioning and procrastination that I was struggling to move past. Would I have to size down one or two sizes? Would I have to do a narrow shoulder adjustment on a yoke? Do I have the right interfacing? What is the purpose of the universe? You’d be forgiven for thinking someone’s life depended on the accurate fit of this coat given the agony and indecision I suffered in the lead up to making it. I really don’t know why I made this such an issue in my head because when it came to it I chose one size smaller, made a toile, decided I needed to let the sleeves out by 2/8 of an inch and shorten them by 1.5cm and then cracked straight on with the proper fabric. I got the whole thing done in just over a week. Isn’t hindsight great.
This was my first Christine Haynes pattern and let me tell you it was lovely. The instructions were clear and precise and accompanied by labelled drawings and diagrams. The construction was nice and simple too. Look, I just got a really good vibe from the whole thing after I’d gotten over my Coat Fear. I would wholeheartedly recommend the Ellsworth to someone who also wants to sew a first coat but also has Coat Fear. You will do great I promise!
Saying that I did have a moderate mishap when it came to attaching the lining to the coat hem which resulted in me legit crying tears of frustration and despair. Oh my days. When it came to attaching the front facing to the coat I somehow sewed it on a curve instead of straight, then promptly clipped the corner and turned it all through the sleeve lining hole and discovered my error. What followed for the next few hours was me turning it inside out again and trying to rectify my mistake in every way I could think of then turning it the right way round and realising nope, still not fixed. As I clipped the corner so close to the stitching there wasn’t enough room to straighten the stitch line without shortening the coat front which threw the whole hem out. Oh boy. In the end I unpicked everything and cut 2cm off each off the 8 coat pieces proportionally and started all over again. This thankfully fixed it but I will never clip another corner as long as I live without checking it’s right first. Nu-huh.
I don’t know whether this is because I used a heavy weight fabric but the hem does have a tendency to fall down in places making it look uneven. I put a few stitches at the bottom at intervals and this has seemed to mostly sort it out. It’s still a little uneven at the point where the facing meets the coat but eh, what you gonna do? It just adds to the charm.
So there we are. To conclude I love this coat, I love this pattern, and I love you for reading this far and taking a look at my sewing escapades. You da best!