Monday, 2 August 2021

Alabama Chanin car coat, experiments

I bought this pattern during my Alabama Chanin binge last year. I couldn't resist!

I will say - Alabama Chanin are not out to market their patterns. I get the impression that they grudgingly provide the patterns, but they aren't trying to compete on the indie pattern market. What I mean by this is that the layout of the pattern in A4 is quite wasteful. Every single piece, including the pockets, crosses multiple pages. There were at least 5 pages that could have been done away with.  Ok, anyway I survived. I would prefer an A0, which there *is* so that's for next time as obviously I threw away all the rest of the pattern other than the cropped coat and I hate A4 taping.

I've settled on S as my size for Alabama Chanin patterns, though on the size chart I would be M. Also, this coat is meant to be crazy oversized so I wasn't worried about it fitting.

For version 1, I used a poly/merino blend knit that's smooth faced and has nubbly bits on the other side. I think I used the same fabric for my Mabel miniskirt.  It's very stretchy and a bit heavy, and in fact halfway through I got worried that it was a bad choice, since it doesn't have the characteristics of interlock jersey.  1.5 m was totally sufficient for the cropped version with cropped sleeves. I lined with various merino scraps.  Yay, it's great! It's so cuddly, I didn't expect to love it. The lining sticks out all over the place and so I decided to go with my new theme and hand topstitch the whole thing together, which would have been great if I had black thread.  I would have used ANY black thread...but I had to wait a bit to get hold of some.  I waited to put on the pockets until after I'd gotten the lining nicely controlled. By then I lost the fabric so there are no pockets.


The pockets are (like the Papercut Stacker jacket!) oddly tall and not that wide, it does look nice but it's tricky to get hands into them, I noticed this and tried to make them a bit wider than the pattern piece for my pink version.

I immediately moved on to version 2, which is what I was excited about.
This is a single, narrow meter of wool that I bought when I lived in Switzerland. It has a lot of memories associated with it. I was supposed to make a miniskirt, but I didn't and then I convinced myself it shouldn't be a miniskirt after all, but what would possibly fit such a small piece of fabric?  I considered every coat, every top, every skirt...I kept coming out at a loss. (Now I think gosh, I should have just made that damn miniskirt! But anyway.)


It fit on my fabric perfectly and I even had enough left over to pattern match the pockets.  I matched the fronts and backs and then let the sleeves do their thing. The lining is stretch silk, chosen because it'll help give more structure to the loose wool.  I did a lot of hand topstitching here because I could.  I let this project drag out over about 3 days, though it's really about a 3-hour effort.  I totally panicked halfway through worrying that it would have too much body, but in the end I'm happy with it.  I do notice that the hem of both of these pulls up a bit, as it's not my strength to hand sew hems with the lengths matching properly. 

I loved both of these in theory and was happy with how they came out, but I really delayed getting snaps, so they sat around for quite awhile.  I wanted snaps from Alabama Chanin but couldn't handle the shipping cost, and then finally bought some locally and then I moved house and didn't have my stuff in any order for months...and then it was summer.  So only as I have started to clean up my winter plans did I sit down and apply the snaps and think about whether these will get worn...and well, a friend likes the pink one but I think the black one is off to go out of my sight.  I was at one of the local secondhand shops and the racks were nearly bare (seriously, only in Gizzy) so I pretty much feel like it's my duty to share the things I make and don't need!
I, nontheless, really want to do a long sleeved long version of this coat in 2 layers of interlock knit, in true Alabama Chanin style.  I think the short sleeves feel useless to me, the body of the pink version is too much, etc. Long and funereal, that's where it's at: it fulfills some dream of being a grunge princess that I didn't know I had.  This aesthetic of mine has been evolving in the past few months and it seems the rest of the world is with me, have docs come back into fashion? 

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