Camel Coat by Bacia

My grandmother just celebrated her birthday. I’ve always spent a lot of time with her, but now, I’m more intentional about our time together. As many grandmas do, they remind you that they won’t be around forever. Mine laughs/states this matter-of-factly, while I get sad/nervous every time that statement is uttered.

Bacia’s (our family’s Polish slang for grandmother) house is stocked full of fabric—though she only sews for 3 customers now (me, my little sister and my mom). There’s chiffon and wool and lace and every color zipper and shape of button you can imagine.

spool of thread in jar

 

teal blue spool of thread

 

When I was younger, we’d disagree on the length of my skirts and dresses; we’re on the same page with that now. (Not sure if I’m getting more grandma-like—or as she calls it “elegant” or if Bacia’s getting edgier- ha.) But for the past few years, instead of disagree, she would simply “misplace” the material and drawings I would create if she didn’t like them. She would then show me something random like a hunter green wool and say, “This is good quality! How about we make something with this?” I would then annoyingly reply, “Um, what about the red material I picked out last time?” Ironically, she never lost the material of the designs she liked. Sometimes we agreed on the creations, those were the clothes that got made.

As the years go by, I’ve started to take pictures of the custom clothing we make. (Of course, no sewing is done by me—-as I have no patience for that Singer!)

Today’s feature is a camel wool coat. It was finished yesterday. My grandma believes she started this almost 10 years ago; something always seemed to take priority instead—or the season’s changed too quickly. 🙂

Here’s a sneak peek on the process of real custom clothing, from my dressmaker.

Depending on what you're having made, custom clothes require at least 3 fittings. We did multiple panels on the back side, for a slimming effect.

Depending on what you’re having made, custom clothes require at least 3 fittings. We did multiple panels on the back side, for a slimming effect.

Determine the width of the collar, fit sleeves to body.

Determine the width of the collar, fit sleeves to body.

Notice the details: an extra seam on the shoulder adds interest to a solid colored coat.

Notice the details: an extra seam on the shoulder adds interest to a solid colored coat.

Next fitting, finalize collar...

Next fitting, finalize collar…

Designate button locations

Designate button locations

That's a pocket. No lining on the coat yet.

That’s a pocket. No lining on the coat yet.

In a well-made coat, the lining isn't completely sewn down at the bottom. It allows it to lay nicely. (This isn't needed in a jacket/blazer, however.)

In a well-made coat, the lining isn’t completely sewn down at the bottom. It allows it to lay nicely. (This isn’t needed in a jacket/blazer, however.)

Ta-da! Gorgeous & warm lining!

Ta-da! Gorgeous & warm lining!

And there you have it! The finished product! I should note that I actually wear the collar with one lapel tucked in--and there are no buttons on this coat, only inside hooks--that keeps it real clean looking. I should have probably taken a photo of that. Hmm...

And there you have it! The finished product! I should note that I actually wear the collar with one lapel tucked in–and there are no buttons on this coat, only inside hooks–that keeps it real clean looking. I should have probably taken a photo of that. Hmm…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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