Cue The Supremes, because I finally got pictures of the coat I finished in January (thanks, Mom!) and I’m going to tell you the three-year story of how it came to be.
I bought the fabric back in 2013 thinking I would make a cape. Because it was camels hair–actually spun from the fleece of camels–and it was the most I’d ever paid per yard for something, I was too scared to actually start cutting it.
Then a year later, I realized that what I really needed wasn’t a cape; it was a classic, basic coat and that the fancy fabric would make a basic shape really special. Bonus, I could use a pattern that I knew fit, the Built By Wendy for Simplicity 3966.
I got all the pieces cut out in spring of 2015 and then put it in the closet. I finally started working on it over the holidays and finished it up on my birthday in 2016.
In the interim between cutting out and sewing, an indie pattern designer released a really similar design and did a sewalong, so I was able to use her tutorials for topstitching and bagging a coat lining (and copy her idea for giant snaps).
I had to buy a walking foot for my machine to get through all the fabric, plus weft interfacing and kasha coat lining (both from the now defunct A Fashionable Stitch in SLC) plus fancy snaps and the camels hair itself (from Mood), so in the end it was probably as much as its inspiration from J. Crew.
However, J. Crew coats aren’t made of camels. And aren’t luxuriously soft and drapey and warm and don’t fill me with this level of delight every time.
So you can’t hurry love. But you can sure sew it.