I've been working, travelling, and expanding my household by adding a 19-year-old niece (what a long story!). The sewing has come in fits and spurts. I got the idea for a coat/ dress after watching Signe Chanel this summer. Each Chanel seamstress enters the atelier in the morning, leaves her jacket in her locker, and puts on a simple white work coat. Like a lab coat, in a way. The idea of putting on a coat to signal that it's time to get to work has a lot of appeal, so I decided to sketch out a couple of "lab coats". This is the first of two in my head and on paper.
I started collecting black denim this summer, knowing that white simply wouldn't work for me. I started the pattern on October 8. I remember because Louis had a playground accident that morning, and I had to stop working on the pattern to pick him up from school and take him to the emergency room. He got all stitched up and back on his feet quickly, but everything on my cutting table stayed where it was for a full week! The next time I got back to the pattern, I had a couple of days to finish pattern work and cut out and assemble the main pieces: jacket front and back, front and back yokes, front zipper.
It hung on Clementine for about 3 weeks until I could work on it again. In one short session I draped the collar and sewed it on, and in a subsequent session I finished the insides (yoke facings) and cut the sleeves from the bottom legs of another pair of jeans and attached them. Today I washed it and put on the 1/4" brass studs. I wanted to only put them on one side of the collar, my 6-year-old said I should do it on both sides, and I intended to... until my fingertips protested after I finished the left side. So asymmetrical it is!
Although I always envisioned it with sleeves, it looked much more like what I had in mind without the sleeves! My niece convinced me to try the sleeves so I did, and after trying it on with sleeves I really kind of hated it. Not so much for what it was, but for how far it seemed from what I had in mind. Now that I've washed it, taken photos, and see those photos, I am good with it! This is the second piece of Vocabulary's imaginary fall collection, with the studded capelet being the first.
The collar was everything! The entire concept came to life because of my idea for the collar. After I attached the collar, I tried the coat (sans sleeves) on and my husband said, "I really don't care for it." I asked what he didn't like, and he was unable to articulate anything specific. At which point I went totally "Project Runway contestant" on him and declared, "Well, I like it and will wear it to your office Christmas party next month." Unlike PR contestants, I spun around and walked out of the room.
He followed me in there a few minutes later, possibly thinking he'd hurt my feelings, though still unable to tell me just what didn't work for him. I remained neither angry nor offended. It was just clear to me that he didn't get it. His tastes run pretty traditional/ conservative. With 3 years of garment sewing and 2 years of pattern play under my belt, my ability to create is catching up with my ability to imagine. And I find it hard to compromise now.
So I may look like a total weirdo to the average citizen when I wear this, but I will walk tall and feel proud of it. For the record, I probably won't wear it to my husband's office Christmas party, not because I'm ashamed of it -- but because no one wears black denim to a dressy party. :)