Thursday, February 13, 2014

V8465: A Coat without Sleeves

Last weekend was my class's Junior Ring Ceremony.

Nothing much actually happens at the ceremony. The juniors receive their personal class rings (well not me, I used my mom’s and plan to spend the savings on fabric ;) ), listen to speeches by class officers, and parade across a stage with a symbolically lit candle. It’s pretty much like graduation but without the circumstantial significance.

So why, you ask, did I go?

So I could make myself a new dress, of course ;) 

Me and my awesome sponsor, the other reason I decided to go :D
Because I wanted to have this dress in time for the ceremony, I made it from stuff I had around the house. In said house, there is this coat pattern, V8465, that I have liked for a really long time. I was really close to using it for the second article of clothing I ever made, which was a bright red fur coat, but I ended up using a different design instead. So I have this beautiful coat pattern around that I have never used:


I love the silhouette of the waist-high, long, swingy skirt, which is unusual for a coat, and the dramatic asymmetrical collar. (Notice how none of that included the sleeves.) Hey, wouldn't that make an awesome dress? 

I realized that if I were going to turn a coat into a dress, there would be fit problems turning the loose coat bodice into a figure-hugging dress. I decided to make my job easier by using stretchy fabric :O 

If you've been reading my blog (or even the sidebar), you might know that I hate stretchy fabric. But even I have to confess, this fabric is, if not incredibly awesome, pretty amazingly useful.

It's a beautiful, simple, Georgio Armani black stretch satin. It is incredibly versatile: I can see myself making pants, jackets, and even coat-dresses! Unfortunately, between lining for my mom's coat, accents on my Rebecca Taylor dress, and this outfit, all 5 yards of it that my mom bought are GONE. :(  

I wanted the bodice to be really snug, so I hoped that using stretchy fabric would give me some flexibility in terms of fitting. I cut out a size smaller than I usually make, hoping that it would help take out some of the slack built into a coat bodice, but with the stretch in the fabric for security. Turns out, I still had to take in the bodice a bunch. I took in the side seams (from the waist to under the arms), as well as the back seam up until the collar. In the process, I also took in the waist a little bit. It wasn't difficult to do, but it did mean a lot of sewing and seam ripping and trimming because I had to adjust both the outer fabric and the lining and then reassamble. In some places, I just took in the stretchy outer fabric and left the lining (since the lining does not stretch).

In the end, I got a fit I was really happy with.

Getting rid of the sleeves was really easy. I just didn't make sleeves. Instead, I finished off the armholes by turning under both the lining and the outer fabric 5/8 inch and hand-stitching them together.

The dress is entirely secured by buttons and snaps:

Aren't these beautiful buttons?


  1. LOVE this! It came out fabulous.
    In serious envy over it. Great job1

    1. Thank you! I like how it came out; I think it's different and unique.

  2. What a great idea to knockoff this coat in a dress !!
    This dress is really great on you !!
    Chapeau bas !

    1. Thank you! I think the flared skirt works well as a dress!