The Ellsworth Coat. Had fun. Now it’s DONE!


So last year, as some of you may  know or had seen pics of me, I attended Camp Workroom Social  in fall 2016( ok honestly people–I feel like the middle “Radio City Rockette” in that current WS  camp webpage picture).  Anyway…

I took Christine Haynes Ellsworth Coat class at 2016 camp. Fun class to take. Fun group of people to sew with.  Good pattern to work with.  Christine’s a great teacher. Easy to create the coat in one weekend as you make the time  for yourself and  follow the instructions given with the pattern( yes even with inserting the lining..)  Many  in the class did have a finished coat or, depending upon their own skill level, a majority finished coat by the end of the weekend retreat. Or in my case  it may have been how much I was being “social” at Camp Workroom Social  and didn’t get work done.

But I decided to challenge myself and see how much I could “beef up ” my own coat in one weekend sewing session by adding some light tailoring details to the existing coat pattern.  I decided to do this quietly– not disturbing the rhythm of what Christine was showing the rest of the class. Just wanted to have fun with the pattern and see what would become of it all. OK –I WILL OWN IT!! In some ways that was a good idea of mine. In other ways- not so much!


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Here’s a bottom line: Tailoring takes time!!  Especially if you  desire to do the work of hand sewing the details.  YES-I was ( and am ) an experienced enough sewist to KNOW  THAT going into the project for the weekend, but as I said, I wanted to try and challenge myself within the timeframe I had.  Ya know— if you don’t challenge your sewing skills, how do you ever flex that sewing “muscle memory” in your fingers and  sewing skill set you’ve got in your head, and make it grow up to the next level?? OK preaching done!

What you don’t know about me in my coat in all the pictures from 2016 Camp WS is that the coat I am wearing is half  done: lining not inserted yet, hand stitched twill taping not done,   hand sewn bound buttonholes show that they were “rushed” and kind of rough at the edges etc, etc, etc. Sorry if I sucked all of the “magic” out for you, but I am just keeping it real.

On a more jovial theme–Because of my ardent attempts  at doing all of the light tailoring work on this coat  that I tried to accomplish the one weekend, and  for my decision to “go rouge”  and do things “outside the box” of the standard  sewing instructions given for the Ellsworth,  friends at Camp WS gave me the  “Queen of Rouge Couture  Award”.  LOL  and So wonderfully “camp-y”. The patches sewn into the front flap of the coat were given out at camp and reflect activities that I participated in while at camp. I think a lot of us “campers” got them. I got similar patches like these when I was a kid camper  at sleep away camp. They serve as memories of the experience and I just thought they belonged in this coat. Yes- very camp-y!!

Well now I took the time to finally piece the thing together  and it’s done. There are some things that will never be pretty on this coat for me ( YEP- once you cut that bound buttonhole opening, it IS what it IS. And the general rule is  that bound buttonholes—those suckers should NEVER be rushed)  I tried to redeem the “look” of  what I thought were outward flaws on the coat with topstitching or pressing or other sewing tricks I have learned along my sewing journey.  MEH– But  whatever–the coat now IS what it is.

I now have an early fall coat that I can quickly “throw on and go” and  be comfortable in.  Love the Burberry stripe lining.  I can still claim I made it- even though I know I did not have the time to put my best sewing skills forward into it because of overall too little time and too much ambition in making it. No matter. The coat’s not for a client. It’s mine.  I will wear it  happily  and go apple picking.

Chuck it all up to to another sewing experience, grateful now in 2017 to have another  year old sewing project OUT of my sewing room and into my closet- FINALLY , and  then move on!!


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6 thoughts on “The Ellsworth Coat. Had fun. Now it’s DONE!

  1. I love what you did with this coat…and I love that you are “Queen of the Rouge” as you wrote… I like Queen of the Rogue, it speaks to my own wild child, better but my image of you rouging up as my mom used to do and tossing on this jacket is priceless! You are really very good at tailoring and more brave than most of us. Well done!

    1. THANK YOU so much patsquared2! I always tend to want to sew “outside the box” and try to challenge myself. Not easy sometimes to get the success I want, but I DO have fun in the process. Sometimes I wonder how brave it is versus calling it just plain “crazy”, but hey I’m having fun and my sewing machine doesn’t care. Whoo Hoo!

  2. I love your coat and all the details you’ve added to it. I was really impress by your skills at camp. Thanks for your patience, your kindness and all the help you gave to me with my own Ellsworth coat.

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