Sometime before Christmas, a lady on Etsy contacted us and said she wanted a coat for her 1960’s Soviet doll, Yeva. She sent along some pictures (you can see them right below this paragraph), and Melody and I both thought it was super cute! Without much deliberation, we agreed to do it. This morning, I finished the coat. And we all think it looks smashing!
Yeva and her owner, Colette, very kindly picked out their own fabric and buttons and sent them to us. So our job was to turn the materials into a coat exactly like the photographs.
I did most of the sewing work. I started with a basic pattern for a jacket, and altered the pieces from there. I had to make two-piece sleeves from one-piece sleeves (which is a little harder than you might think!) and create the skirt pieces, complete with pleats, as well as shortening the bodice.
After I finished the patterns, the next step was a ‘mock-up’, which is basically a rough draft for patterns to make sure they’re all doing what they’re supposed to. The collar was misbehaving and the sleeves were too tight, so I fixed both those things for the final round.
Melody was invaluable during this process. She patiently tried on the coat at every stage of production to make sure it fit correctly, and helped me decide if the proportions were right or not.
Finally, I had the pattern just right, and it was time to cut into the real fabric. Yeva and her owner had sent us a deliciously thick, soft wool for the outside and some smooth blue fabric for the lining. Melody and I fell in love with the wool—absolutely luscious, and the perfect weight for a coat!
As I was putting on the buttons, we all brainstormed about our favorite part of this coat. Was it the super-cute pleats in the back, or the hand-stitched, functional buttonholes in the front?
The question was finally settled after I’d finished the coat and had the photoshoot.
I left Melody and Lisette to package the coat while I went to email Colette and Yeva that it was done. When I returned, some fifteen minutes later, the coat still wasn’t in the box and Melody and Lisette were taking turns wearing it and dancing around the studio! I guess wearing it beat any technical glories the coat could boast!