Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome “The Velvet Overcoat!”

2439325661 0c2917b469 Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome The Velvet Overcoat!

This is it, the first jacket that I have successfully made, well not made, as in made on my own, because this was truly a Sewer-Sewist co-production. I did most of the framing and Sarah did most of the finishing, to borrow from the construction vernacular. As you may have read Sarah has had some sewing mojo issues lately, which have somehow worked their way down the line to myself (or maybe it is the weather, I am officially rejecting and denouncing this crappy rainy spring). I had no confidence in my ability to set in the sleeves and needed some help with this, which was frustrating because it sometimes feels like I am going backwards instead of forwards. But, let’s return to that and start from the beginning.

2440150052 e5a376d83b Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome The Velvet Overcoat!

This is one of the few times that I started out with the pattern, Burda 7780 “Coat,” first instead of my usual way of getting inspired by a fabric and trying to make it work with something (like the velvet jeans from last year). I am sucker for both mid length coats and welt pockets (which I would come to regret) and this had both. Like most Burda Men’s patterns that I have made I was happy to find something that had a little more “style” than the other companies’ jackets. Men’s patterns aren’t hide to find, but finding something interesting often is, plus the Burda’s shoulders always seem to fit me well. We pretty much followed the directions this time, opting to skip the lining and instead do “French Seaming” to give it a nice tailored look on the inside, not doing the top stitching on the front of the jacket because it doesn’t look great with the fabric, leaving out the shoulder pads and making a bias cut, two-pat undercollar (which is sweet, thanks Sarah!).

2439325155 497234d32d Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome The Velvet Overcoat!

As you may know I love me some velvet and this smokey blue velveteen at Bolt just cried out to be made into this jacket. It has a little stretch to it and a really nice drape. The color is subtle enough I didn’t think it would look too ridiculous to wear around (at least I don’t, hopefully I am not wrong). Speaking of velvet, did you know that you can buy Elvis shoes but finding a Velvet Elvis is nearly impossible. I remember when I was a kid that driving down Cnl. Glenn Highway in Dayton there would occasionally be dudes (and dudes they were) selling giant Elvis and assorted velvets on the side of the road (probably from their vans, but I can’t be certain). Now I am not going to lie here and pretend I thought they were cool at the time, I really thought they were tacky, which is pretty rich coming from a 13 year old with fluorescent Chuck Taylors and striped socks pulled up over my calves.

2439326949 e208e424c7 Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome The Velvet Overcoat!

At the time Velvet Elvi seemed liked something that would be hanging in one of my weird great aunts’ houses, but damn since the Elvis estate has become fanatical in holding onto his image rights we have lost a great part of our campy heritage.

My father is really into neon, pink flamingos and being cool (which some how he pulls off, I have never had this gift), but he has been on this quest for a Velvet Elvis for a long time (probably since the time they haven’t been around). Back when I was in college I spent most of a summer in Turkey trying to learn the language (um didn’t take) and hanging out with my weird friend on the Black Sea. On one of my last days there, I was in Istanbul wandering around the covered bazaar when I spotted the most wonderful Velvet Elvis hanging about one of the stalls. Let me tell you it was magnificent, if it were a fresco in the Hagia Sofia it would have been restored and show off to the world. What did I do in my infinite wisdom? I walked on by looking to find something more authentic to bring back. I gotta say I was quite the dumbass and it’s something my Dad hasn’t forgotten. I have seen them for sale on the internet occasionally, but you gotta buy one of these in person to get the full effect.

2439325319 f021f94e35 Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome The Velvet Overcoat!


The coat, yeah that, what we were talking about, turned out really well. It is incredibly comfortable and walks the fine line between being interesting and being stupid. I used some leftover fabric to make the pockets (er, well Sarah and I made the pockets together would be more accurate. I fretted over making them for a month before I decided to just ask her how to do it) and the paisley pattern peaking out of the welts gives it a nice vintage look. I also found coin buttons at Bolt that were originally chained. Sarah and I both decided that it would look to Sgt. Peppery to use them attached together, so I cut off the chains and used them as normal buttons. The coat has a great fit and I will probably end up making a rain coat or something similar out of a lighter weight fabric for the summer. All in all a very fun project and it was great to be working with the Sewist again on a project from beginning to end.

2440150414 5090b9b4b7 Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome The Velvet Overcoat!

~Josh

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5 thoughts on “Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome “The Velvet Overcoat!”

  1. found my way here from craftypod, love your blog guys, it’s great that you write it together. the coat is indeed a mix of stupid and cool – but very much leaning over the cool side I think! :-) Fun to read the story that goes with it too, thanks for sharing!

  2. Pingback: Golden Globes, J-Boy Style | Sewer-Sewist

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