What I wear

The ‘Winter Boyfriend’ coat

Just the facts, Ma’am:

Fabric:  3 metre of 70 wool/30 viscose blend ($23 per metre), 2.5 metres of vintage acetate moire lining ($3)

Pattern:  Style 1671, frankensteined with other patterns

Year:  1978

Notions:  thread, 4 buttons (inherited from Nana), interfacing ($7 per metre)

And the insides?    Fully lined, with lace & bias hemming.

Hours:  13.  I swear I re-set those side seams half a dozen times each getting them to hang right.

First worn?:  Monday 20 August

Wear again?:  Yes, but I’m hoping that by the time I get back from 3 weeks in Hawaii I won’t need it again until next winter!

Make again?:  Nope.  No pattern love from me.

Total cost:  $77ish

Style 1671 1978 coat

Last week’s theme was ‘music’, and this week is ‘collars’, and while my garment for this week has a collar, the  real  inspiration was a piece of music: ‘Winter Boyfriend‘ by International Economy.  Sometimes life and sewing and blogging isn’t tidy and straightforward!

There is a story to this music. A year and some ago,  a dear friend of mine  (this friend) thought of a song. She wasn’t a musician, or a songwriter, but she had a song: a brilliant, witty, topical song. Instead of writing it in her journal and forgetting about it, which is probably what  I  would do, she decided to actually turn this song into something. And so she found a musician to form a band, and she learned to perform it, and then she went further, and decided to make a music video. So she found people who could do videography, and editing, and scripts, and she got all her friends together and filmed a music video.

This is were I come in. I was invited to be in the video, but I was madly busy working on end-of-semester-marking and a friend’s wedding (and dress) so I missed the shoot party. 🙁

And I am so sad. My friend did something mad and brilliant and creative, and I missed it. So this coat is my homage to my friend’s mad,  brilliant, creative idea.

It’s also my homage to my adopted city: my heart may belong to my little island in Hawaii, but I  do  love Wellington, cold and windy as it can be.

‘Winter Boyfriend’ is the perfect Wellington song: it’s quirky and ironic and quite modest and homegrown, despite how international it is, and you know pretty much everyone in it, and every locations. So I’ve tried to make a coat that fits Wellington, and shoot it in a way that would fit into the song.

Dear Tuatara, won’t you be my Winter Boyfriend?

C’mon and be my Winter Boyfriend

The coat is definitely more of a winter boyfriend coat than a life partner coat. I made up the pattern exactly as it is, and then had the horrified realisation that I looked like a big purple triangle.

So the coat came apart, and I borrowed the clever dart from another pattern and set pockets into the dart. It helps a lot in some ways, but messes with the line of the coat in others. It’s not bad, but I’ve had my fling with this pattern: you won’t be seeing me making it up again. I enjoy wearing it, but more in a ‘at least it’s warm and not black’ way, not a ‘I love this coat and how I look in it’ way.

It’s also having a nasty hem issue (that isn’t about the hem itself, but how the lower edge of the coat is hanging).  I know what needs to be done to fix it, I just don’t know if I can be bothered — yet.

It does have some bits that make me very happy, like the collar, the big shiny black buttons, and the sky blue lining!

Mmmm….sky blue lining…

The photoshoot was super easy: I just borrowed all the filming locations from the music video! They are all classic Wellington landmarks.  And I put on my biggest, silliest, most winter-y-est faux fur hat, for maximum madness.

And, of course, I had to have my own winter boyfriend pick-up line.  Do you like it?


  1. Lynne says

    Oh, yes! I loved the song when you first shared with us. Your pick-up line would have fitted beautifully.

    I think the coat looks great from the front – collar, buttons, pockets all great. How would it be if you top-stitched the back pleat down for a good six inches or so? Might improve the hang – easy to test with pins. You could make a feature of it with one (or two or three) of those embroidered tailor’s arrows.

    What a delightful tuatara! He looks as if he would be very pleased to be your winter boyfriend, but I do feel he would be a bit chilly. 🙂

  2. This coat needs the belt, apparently. I had a feeling something was not right about the front when you first shared the pattern, but I didn’t realise what. Now I see it. It’s not fitted at all!
    Still, it’s a fun, not-black coat; that has to count for something!

    And what a fun, not-black photoshoot!

  3. I love it AND the song, and your pick up line also reminds me of that other song we love about true love being accepting you having cupboards full of fabric, but I can’t remember the name of the group or the song!

    • Thank you! The band is Avalanche City, but I can’t remember the name of the song, though I love everything they (well, he) do (does)!

  4. I love the color SO MUCH! I envy your idea of winter too. Almost laughable here at my end of the world! In my end of the world you do not want a long belted coat because then you could not fit the undershirt, heavy over shirt and sweater under it. Or if you could, you’d look like the join between two sausages….. Also, as a bigger girl, I often remove belts on coats and dresses because the line across the mid section draws the eye to what I see as a figure flaw and disrupts the vertical flow of the long monochromatic color (which is slimming). Not an issue for you of course!

  5. LOL “I own lots of wool.” Hilarious. Love the color on you actually – it reminds me of my big pink fluffy winter coat! I like wearing colored coats because then cabs cannot hit me in the crosswalk, so of course, I am a big fan of your coat 🙂 The sky blue lining and black buttons are pretty stunning and definitely add a little bit of glamor to it!

Comments are closed.