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.