I bought the coat when I was 18 (er, um 1984) and it saw me through numerous winters. When I lived in the Virgin Islands for three years, I stored it at my grandfather's house. When I returned to Chicago and moved downtown in late '92, my beloved coat was reinstated into service.
The coat was warm and cozy with all of its bulk and high collar. And it stood out. On more than one occasion on a snowy-bad weather day (the kind when you and everybody else in Chicago is trying to hail a cab), I had a cabbie tell me he pulled over to me because he saw my red coat! Another time when out do dinner, I overheard a gentlemen at a table say to his friend as I walked by "That woman in the red coat looks like a model." (This was obviously a LONG time ago.) Who wouldn't love a coat that get that generates that type of reaction?
My poor coat did not fare well during my England years. It was damaged by moths, along with other silks and woolens, despite my efforts to protect my closet. I was devastated.
It's been eight or nine years since I discovered the holes and I could never bear to discard my wonderful coat. Maybe if I put it to the side, the moth holes will go away...
Well they haven't; I still have the coat. Maybe I'll be able to reconstruct it or salvage parts of it. It's a mess now, wrinkled, covered in dog hair and lint... I mourn this coat. I will bring it to the dry cleaners and see what I can do.
In the meantime, in honor of the red coat, last week I started a lightweight coat. I need a coat for autumn/spring weather, when there's that bite in the air but it's still too warm for a winter coat.
While looking through my stash, Louise's vibrant red, cotton twill kept jumping out at me. Originally, I wanted to make a trench from it. However, it's a vintage 36" wide and with only 3 yards, there wasn't enough fabric.
So I'm marrying old with new and making a stylish, modern coat from Vogue 8548 with this gorgeous, vintage fabric. I love the bucket collar; the twill should hold the shape well. I'm lining it with flannel back satin.
The coat has a fair amount of topstitching. Thanks to the ladies at PR I received some wonderful advice about which thread, needle, etc. to use. I'm using a heavier, topstitching thread by Gutterman and a topstitching 80/12 needle.
It's progressing well although there is considerable ease in the sleevecap which is giving me some fits. I usually don't have issues with sleeves, but I'm geared up to head to my sewing room and get this coat finished!
Must Have Red Coat!