Book Review: Built By Wendy Coats and Jackets


I am simultaneously the best and worst audience for : best, because I have at least three coats cut out or fabric-bought-for, and worst, because I have exactly ZERO coats completed. (There's a plastic bin lurking somewhere around here with a really, really nice corduroy coat cut out in it, but I haven't seen it since my son was born … and he's been in double-digits for a year now.)

It's not because I don't like coats. I LOVE coats. I have lots and lots and lots of coats, but my usual coat M.O. is: buy vintage coat near the end of its life from eBay or Etsy, wear until dead. Repeat. (I also like to buy Lands' End coats in unloved colors on super-clearance, men's coats from Goodwill, and any creaky vintage leather coat in a weird color, like gray or forest green.)

It's always seemed like a stretch to me to SEW a coat, though. That combination of interfacing and lining and thick wool has always been a bit too daunting. 

However, after reading this new Built By Wendy book, I'm starting to have a change of heart. Maybe this is the year I'll sew a coat! (See how I conveniently state this in Spring …)

For one thing, the basic patterns are classic: a short fitted coat, a raglan sleeve coat, and a windbreakery hoodie type coat. And as in her other books, Wendy rings the changes on them in simple and complex ways, showing everything from a minimalist zip front coat that you could easily hide on the rack in Eileen Fisher to a hipster-friendly hooded poncho. (My fave was the "Puff the Magic Jacket" bolero-type jacket which would be magical for sure in black pique over summer sundresses.)

The patterns are included, and range from a 32" to a 41" bust. There are pages and pages of sewing instructions (very clear illustrations!) and lists of necessary notions, explanations of interfacings and linings, and much more. 

Until I make a coat with one of the patterns I won't be able to say for sure, but this book at least makes me WANT to make a coat, which is half the battle. (Have you made a coat with this book yet? If so, let us know in the comments!)

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Today's Pattern Story: Vogue 9284

Tessa tried not to let Susan see the tears of disappointment that filled her eyes. She was *sure* they had both agreed to make the three-quarter-sleeve version! 

Pattern from … check out in a larger size, while you're there … 


Link Tuesday

Some links, for Tuesday:

by about Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley. (If you're local to the Bay you should add Moya to your RSS list …)

. Thanks to for the link. Wait, why are you still reading this? Didn't you read the words ORANGE BUNNY FABRIC?

Oh, so you don't like bunnies? (That's un-possible.) Maybe you like bicycles? Okay, here's some .  

. I like it. (Thanks to Michelle for the link!) I also love .

Cool new project for ! We live IN THE FUTURE, people. (Pledge $25 and get your own Continuum pattern & instrux.) [Thanks to for the link.]

— makes the same dress style in multiple fabrics for women of all sizes. I think I'm in love — thanks to Luci for the link!

is either the apotheosis of wackaloon, or brilliant comedy. Not sure which.


Today's Pattern Story (and Wishlist): McCalls 3699

Blue-Green View is totally checking out the woman in black's butt, isn't she? She's cleverly distracted Pink View with flowers sent by a "secret admirer" so she can put the moves on Black View. Her next stratagem? To find a "smudge" on Black View's backside so she can casually brush it off.

Too bad Black View is looking out into the middle distance, thinking about cake.

I really, really want this pattern — anyone got one in this size (or one down) that is for sale? Birgit at had one, but darnit, I was Too Late. Although you should really check out she has now, and this … 

 


Dictionary Dateline!

So the pattern I bought a couple weeks ago from Janet at came with a little bonus:

How excellent is this? Truly excellent. 

There's also a little "wow, times have changed" moment in the back: 

It's a bit hard to read, but it's the "in case of emergency, please notify" … Mrs. Phil and Mr. Phil. Mrs. Phil! Because if you're lying bleeding under a bus, heaven forbid someone should address your respectably married mother by her first name!

 


Laura Ashley?

via

I didn't realize Laura Ashley still made dresses (I was still thinking of them as your go-to for floral tissue-box covers) but hey, here's one, and it's lovely. Big pockets! Cap sleeves! Blue flowers!

I didn't check if they ship to the US, and it's on the expensive side in pounds anyway (I always want to write "pounds sterling" — I'm sure there's a difference, but I've never been enlightened as to what that difference is).

Someone very nice sent me this link. I can't find the email now. Take credit in the comments, please!