Tuesday, 8 November 2011

It's Coat Time - Pauline Trigere for McCalls

 The turn in the weather has made me realise that I need a new coat! I have a few already, but most of them are really only suitable for mild weather, and my one really warm coat is looking a bit worse for wear (thread bare around the cuffs, etc).

A brilliant excuse to make this coat:


I've had this pattern for at least 15 years - I can't remember where I bought it, but I can't have paid much for it because I seem to remeber buying it when I was a penniless student. I'd never heard of Pauline Trigere, but a few years after acquiring it, I noticed a familiar name in the credits of 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' - 'Miss Neal's gowns by Pauline Trigere'. Cool!

'I'm a very stylish girl...'
Patricia Neal in a Pauline Trigere dress

Since then, I've managed to find out a bit more about Miss Trigere - she was an award winning designer, based in New York. She was a very outspoken lady, and kept working into her 90's. Originally from Paris, she bought a bit of French sophistication to post war American fashion, and her pieces are much sought after today, especially her coats. Apparently, she popularised the 'swing' coat shape, and it became her signature shape. Read more about her here.

The late Pauline Trigere
I've taken this pattern out from time to time, but only now do I feel 'mature' enough to really pull it off. After an indecisive visit to the fabric shop (I get in a panic when confronted with all the possibilities), I decided on this:

Close up of black and white wool

And for the lining, I went for this scarlet satin:

From previous experience, I know this is going to take some time. I'll probably use a combination of techniques - as well as follow the instructions, I'll probably use some ideas that have worked previously for me, such as padding the hems with canvas, and sewing them by hand. But don't be surprised if you see me make other things at the same time, because I'll probably get bored of all that hand sewing and will need a break!


You can see the finished coat here