Dienstag, 20. Januar 2015

Fire Cannot Kill a Dragonfly

Hi my dears,

this weekend we'll have a Lolita meet-up at the Belle Epoque week in Kandersteg (we went last year and the year before too, maybe you remember). For this occasion, I desperately needed to sew something that's been on my to-sew-list for some time: a new coat.
Of course, not just any coat.
Last year, I inherited a fur coat from my grand-grandmother. It's real fur (fox I guess...?), and while the coat itself was still in excellent condition, neither the size nor its shape suited me.

So I decided to use the fur on a new coat. It took some time to assemble all the materials, since I wanted the new coat to be quite elaborate, but also needed to work out the exact design. Sometimes, it takes a while until I can decide, but seriously, it's also what I love most about the design process (^.^)

Sorry for the overexposion, during winter good lightning is scarce (-.-)

Inspiration came (as you probably already guessed from the title*) from Game of Thrones, not only a great series, but also equipped with amaaaazing costume design. For this particual project I drew inspiration from Catelyn Stark's wardrobe. She's often seen with long, flowing garment, adorned with fur trim in dark, natural colours.

kinda hard to find a good picture of her costumes, but I hope you get the picture

So I used the fur of the old coat for trims on my new coat. I rarely ever say that, but I really love the outcome! It turned out event better than what I had in mind (and that doesn't happen very often).

I'll say it right in the beginning, it looks super crumpled because of the impossible shape of the sewing dummy. I feel like I say this everytime, maybe it's time to finally invest in a better one...

The coat looks much better when worn with Lolita and a petticoat. So therefore you can see a sneak peak of my outfit I've planned for the meet-up! (^.^)

For the lining, I used a gorgeous cotton fabric with brown-black argyle pattern. It's a patchwork fabric and I've originally bought it for another project, but then I felt it would compliment the coat perfectly. Since the outside is rather blank, the inside is a bit more exciting.

 The coat is cosed with leaf-shaped buckles. With the fur and brown colours, the coat has a very nature-ish feeling to me, which I wanted to empathise with these buttons.
Unfortunately, while they're prettier and more special than normal buttons, they're also a pain in the a** to handle. Which I didn't notice until I actually started sewing them on.
Oh well.
In German we say Schönheit muss leiden (which could be translated as "beauty knows no pain", maybe?)

I sewed on the upper hem of the fur trims by hand, which took quite a while. I apologize for the scrubbiness and the lints everywhere, working with real fur inevitably makes quite a mess.

I made the sleeves flared (not as much as in the original though, that would be impractical).
Also I've had these lacey dragonfly ornaments among my lace supply (you can't have enough lace!). I chose the coat fabric so it would match the ornaments, giving the illusion that the dragonflys may be embroidered directly on the fabric. I like how this is a more subtle detail, despite the dragonflys are quite large.
I sewed one each on every sleeve and on the hood.

When I settled on a design with hood included, I was first afraid it might look too sporty. But on the other hand, lapels felt a bit too frumpy, so I risked it. I'm glad I did, I think it makes the coat look super wintery and comfy (*.*)

I had never actually worked with real fur before, so I was a bit scared of that. But I did some research beforehand and I must admit, it's a great material. Thanks to the fact that it has been a coat before, it was already lined and nicely tailored and everything, which helped a lot.
Although fox fur is available without problems here in Switzerland (we have rather too many foxes), I would never buy real fur new, same goes for real leather. Which doesn't change the fact that these natural materials are amazing to work with.

So, that was a lot of text and pictures. Congratulations if you made it till here! (^_^)

*You can't imagine how many titles with references and puns I had in mind for this post!


  1. OMG~ der Mantel ist soooo genial *O* Ich bin schon echt gepannt auf dich im kompletten Outfit :3

  2. Wow, der Mantel ist wirklich ein Meisterwerk!
    Ich finde es total schön, dass du dem alten Pelz einen neuen Zweck gegeben hast und die ganzen Details runden das Gesamtbild einfach perfekt ab :D

  3. Der Mantel ist wunderschön <3 Woher hast du den Innenstoff der Kapuze?

  4. Eine schöne Idee! Und ein schönes zweites Leben für den Mantel!
    lg ette

  5. Der Mantel ist unheimlich schön geworden.

  6. Den habe ich ja noch gar nicht gesehn :o
    Ein unglaublich schönes Stück, das Ergebniss sieht total toll aus :D

    (Darf ich mal fragen woraus du deine Lolita Kleider und Röcke nähst? Ich tippe auf Baumwolle aber ich hatte damit noch nie Erfolg >.>)

  7. A really beautiful coat! Which pattern did you use? Or did you draft your own?