Ingvlid Coat

I found it really challenging this year to find a good coat pattern for this winter. I’ve grown out of my last Vogue pattern (thanks post menopausal squish, yet again). I can do up the buttons if I’m wearing just a tshirt underneath but anything else looks as though I’m straining the buttons which is not a good look. It’s been a great coat with a lovely full skirt attached but it’s always bugged me that the sleeves were too short (even when I had added 3 cm to the pattern) and the split at the cuff left me feeling that my elbows were exposed to the elements.#tallgirlproblems

So I’ve been on the look out for a good pattern that I could size up in but still be fairly femme as I do like a good skirt and top combination. I accidentally stumbled across the Melilot pattern company on Instagram and knew that it was the one. The lines of the bodice, the skirt, the asymmetrical buttons, and those darts completely sold me. It overlaps at the front, is fully lined and reversible and has the cute option of leaving the bodice half open to expose the underlying fabric to show a lovely contrast.

I’ve been known to be wary of European patterns in the past as instructions were often lost in translation and pattern pieces didn’t make sense but I can happily report that this was not the case for the Ingvlid. The only head scratching moments were what size to choose. They didn’t provide measurements, but English/American/French sizing. I toiled it with the 16/44 because that was my latest make in English and European but that ended up being way to big so I sized down to the 14/42  toile which I though was ok. But when I finished it the final coat I think I could have gone down one more size  as I moved the buttons across much further than the line drawing to cinch in the waist a bit more. That was moment number two. No markings for buttons that was easy to guess were they should sit. Head scratch number 3 was having to add 1cm seam allowance. I’m lucky I read that in the instructions as I don’t usually read ahead when I’m making something which is a terrible habit but for some reason on this occasion I did and was most grateful. I did do it in a rather lazy manner however by eyeballing 1cm as I cut around the drafted lines.

I chose my fabric from The Drapery in this divine Francis Japanese Wool Blend, so far away from being Melbourne black. And for the reverse I chose the Le Nani forest green and silver on off white as I thought it would be nice to have a bold contrast. Given that it is reversible and the Nani Iro is a cotton sateen I decided against using a silk to line the sleeves and that hasn’t been a problem.

I made the usual adjustment of lengthening the bodice by 2.5cm and not to be beaten by having short sleeves again I lengthened the arms by 5cm. Which turned out to be slightly ridiculous as they went past my finger tips but felt good not to have the opposite problem. Againg #tallgirlproblems I ended up shortening them by 3 cm and they are still too long and I love that. It means I can roll up the cuffs for contrast and still have the cuff sit at a reasonable length over my wrist.

The coat came together really well. The instructions were brief but very clear and I had no issue with notches lining up, seam lines or seam matching even through my 1cm seam allowance was pretty rough. It has instructions for inseam pockets which I added to the wool side and are the perfect size. I also added a snap to the overlap on the right hand side to secure the fabric when the buttons are undone showing the inner fabric to keep everything in place.

I’m so happy with this coat. I’d like to make another lighter version for spring. I wore my Camber Set Top by Merchant and Mills and Three Pleat Skirt by The Assembly Line underneath and was nice and cosy.

The only thing to note is that as it doesn’t have a collar the neck can experience a little chill so I’m off to the wool shop to find a nice green wool to knit a scarf to keep myself toasty warm.

This is a great indie pattern and I highly recommend giving it a try.












Photos by Bruce. Location, Geelong Art Gallery. Coat pattern Ingvild by Melilot, Fabric for coat by The Drapery, Camber Set Top by Merchant and Mills with fabric from Lily Pond. Three Pleat Skirt by The Assembly Line with fabric from The Drapery. Shoes by Chloe.


Raggady Ann

I’ve never really been drawn to gingham or checks but recently I find myself seeking out fabrics that are more geometrical than floral in flavour as I subtly shift my wardrobe style. I’ve seen a number of red checked dresses recently and knew I had to have one. What I didn’t know was how much I needed a pair of pantaloons to wear underneath. I remember getting to wear them once at Sovereign Hill as part of a school set up in the style of the 1800’s and knew that I loved them then. Why then had I not thought to make them again until now?

For the pantaloons I used the Emerson Pants by True Bias. I measured between a 14 at the waist and a 16 at the hips and after some advice from IG I cut a straight 16 and put the elastic in for the 14. I probably could have shortened the elastic a little more but am delighted to discover that without any modifications there is no report of camel toe. The linen came from Potter and Co and the anglaise trim was a gift from my god mother. Overall the pantaloons came together really well and whilst it’s unlikely I’ll wear them with any top that sits above my derrière, they will be great for tunics and dresses.

The dress was inspired by one I saw in England and I had originally cut out the Ellis dress by Merchant and Mills with linen purchased from Potter and Co. I had it in the back of my mind that there were rumours on the internet that the sleeves were a little on the tight arm lunch box lady size but I thought my arms to be not overly sized so I would be ok. I was wrong. So terribly wrong. I got stuck (this seems to be a familiar theme at the moment) with my arms half in, my head through the opening and the bodice stuck just above my bewbs. With a rotator cuff injury and being at home along it was a rough event getting out. I got rather cross and threw the bodice in the bin, found I had just enough fabric left over to cut the Hattie bodice and used a short cap sleeve and bias tape from the French Dart Dress by Maven Patterns and pieced it all together which worked out fine. Had I not been so cross, I would have compared the bodices to see if there was any difference in size (there was not) and taken the original sleeve off and added the cap sleeve to the Ellis bodice. I’ll do this next time when I make it in a black check. I finished off the neckline with some white linen bias tape that ties at the back making it user friendly to get on and off.

So I am really happy with the overall look. Bruce says I look like Raggedy Ann. When we went for a walk he said he hadn’t seen that many people stare at me before. I had many people come up to me and tell me I looked wonderful. Surely they couldn’t all be lying. Maybe a 40ish year old dressed up as a 4 year old is a good thing. One of my closest friends also confirmed the Raggedy Ann theme but in the best possible way.

That’s one of the best things about sewing. Getting to express yourself in ways you may not otherwise be able to. Curtsey.












Photo’s by Bruce. Location, Geelong Library. Fabric from Potter and Co. Pantaloons Emerson Pants by True Bias. Hattie Dress by Merchant and Mills. Cap sleeves from French Dart Dress by Maven Patterns. Mols shoes by Duck Feet