"" the girl who makes things: March 2018

Sunday, 18 March 2018

A Burda Style parka coat

Guys, this has to be, hands down, my greatest sewing achievement. Ever. From beginning to end this was a mammoth task, but I some how got there in the end. And just take a look!


Let me present to you my first Burda magazine make. Yes, that Burda magazine of the mind-f**k pattern puzzles. The one that gives you a migraine just looking at it. If that wasn't crazy enough, I made the whole coat without following any instructions.


So you're probably wondering why on earth I decided to do this to myself. I've got one word: challenge. I love a good old simple sew every now and then, but one of the reasons I actually sew, above all else, is the mental exercise. I've always liked the idea of taking on a Burda magazine pattern Plus, I really needed a coat with a hood to protect me against the rain we've been getting recently. Yep, even in Portugal the weather sucks.


The pattern comes from the Burda Style Magazine February edition. I chose the size 38 and, as you can see, fitting isn't really a problem with this coat but I'm pleased with how it fits around the shoulders at least.

I made the following changes to the pattern:
  • drafted a hood and body lining
  • drafted new pockets
  • omitted the zip flap

I spent a long time thinking about all the design details, in fact it took a week for me to decide whether to include a lining or not. In the end I found this African wax print in my stash and when I saw it next to the outer layer I decided I had to use it. The outer layer is made from cotton sateen. 


Not following instructions was a big challenge. I spent a lot of time trying to work out how to attach the hood and lining and found myself studying other people's coats at work, like a creep. I'd never attached metal snap buttons and grommets before so I found the Closet Case Kelly Anorak Sewalong really helpful for this. 


I made a lot of mistakes along the way and had to buy two new reels of thread because I'd unpicked so much. But, without wanting to sound too cliched, I learnt more from my mistakes than successes. By the end of this project I felt like I'd significantly expanded my skill set.



I've also lost my fear of Burda Magazine patterns which is good because they actually do some really nice designs. I think I could definitely take on another one. 



Finally, and most significantly, this project forced me to slow right down. It took weeks to plan, prep and make and I couldn't rush any part. In fact, I didn't want to rush any part. The longer it took the more time I wanted to spend perfecting every detail. If I didn't sew a straight line each time, I unpicked and started again. I think that the longer a project takes the more you're inclined to nurture it. Which is good in these times of fast fashion and consumerism.