Pattern Review – Vogue 8548 "Michelle Obama" Coat

Why Michelle Obama Coat?
I love this coat. It looks like the style that Mrs. Obama would wear, doesn’t it? Stylish and paractical. It’s also made to wear comfortably while walking quickly from the restaurant to the waiting limo on a cold winter evening. Lightweight and warm!

Pattern Description: From Vogue’s website: “Lined coats A, B, C in two lengths have bodice with princess seams, A-line skirt, closure variations and sleeves in two lengths. A, B: topstitching. B, C: cording button loops. B, C: length is 2″ above mid-knee.” I made View A, but I used View B’s length.

Sizing: 6-22. I made a 12

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? They seemed fine. I ignored them for the most part.

Fabric Used: Ah, here’s the wonderful part. The outer shell is a cashmere that has been aging gracefully in my stash for a couple of years. It’s a burgundy 100% cashmere that has a warm cast to it. The lining is a very cool handpainted charmeuse that I bought in New York last year.

Construction Changes or Details? I did a FBA, and as I said, I used the longer skirt length. For the bodice pieces, I used Pro-Tailor Fusible Hair Canvas that is the perfect weight for this fabric. I got it from Pam Erny at Fashion Sewing Supply. With cashmere, you have to be careful fusing and pressing. I wrote about it in this post.

I used black thread for contrast on the topstitching. For the stitches, I set the length to 3.5mm. I like the black because it does give good visual highlight to the seams and edges while still being subtle.

I found that the sleeve tended to collapse, thanks to the softness of the cashmere. I thought about fusing interfacing to the top of my sleeve, but that might have been too stiff. Instead, I made custom sleeve heads by cutting 2 inch strips of the cashmere on the bias and setting them in. That supported the sleeves and gave them enough “lift” to look good without any stiffness.

Also, I was (and still am) on the hunt for perfect buttons for this coat. I got some, but I don’t love them. And I want buttons that I love for this coat. So instead of making hand-cast button holes, I decided to use large snaps as closures, and I just sewed the buttons on the outside of the coat.

When I go to New York next, I’ll hit up Botani and find the perfect buttons. Then I’ll take the whole kit and caboodle to Jonathan and have them make the buttonholes for me. In the meantime, this is a great solution.

BTW, I got the snaps at Pacific Trims in New York. They are simply fabulous. And they were only $1.50 each set. I’ve seen these snaps selling elsewhere for much more. Just call Connie and order a dozen. These are perfect for coats, jackets and sweaters. They come in different finishes, too. NAYY, I just love these snaps.

After reading Erica B’s review of this pattern, I debated whether to bag the lining. I ultimately decided against it, because of the persnickety nature of silk charmeuse. I wanted to have complete control over the charmeuse, and the best way to get that is with handstitching. I think though, that in many cases, you could bag the lining of this coat with good results.

Likes/Dislikes: I love the lines of this coat. There isn’t anything I dislike, though in their infinite wisdom, Vogue didn’t put this pattern in the Coats section of their website. It’s only in the Very Easy Vogue section. That’s caused some confusion and I’ve had a bunch of people ask me if the pattern is out of print. It’s not. It’s just not in the obvious place.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? I only need one of these, so I won’t make it again. I love it though, and I heartily recommend it.

Conclusion: I’ll be stylin’ for Christmas! Here’s a picture of the finished coat:

And here’s that fantastic lining!

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