The Burda meets Armani coat – muslin FAIL

I absolutely LOVE the Burda magazine September 2010 issue. Loved it from the first second I saw the technical drawings, and now, several issues later, I’m still not seeing much that tops it. I literally have 11 or 12 must-sew patterns from it, and one of them is the Tall coat, #118.

As you recall, when I was in New York, I saw an eerily similar coat in the window of the Armani 5th Avenue store, and this sealed the deal – I must make this coat using my super thick, ex-Burberry dusty teal coating that’s been in my stash since last winter!

I don’t make muslins for a lot of things, but when the fabric is expensive, or can’t easily be resized (like leather), or if there’s a lot of work involved before a fitting can be made, then I’ll grumble and moan and make a muslin first rather than waste my nice fabric (and time!) and get any fitting issues out of the way first.

Let’s get down to the instructions first – Burda’s instructions aren’t too bad on this one EXCEPT for the zippered inseam pockets – they are absolutely nuts, and account for a good third of the instructions for the entire coat. But the instructions are besides the point, because if you jam your hands into your winter coat pockets when you walk like I do, you really don’t want metal zipper teeth digging in to the backs of your hands! So leaving off the zippers not only saves you time, but makes for a much more usable coat.

On to the obvious now – this coat muslin is bad. Really, really bad. Oh god, I almost didn’t want to show these photos, but I know others were in love with the pattern, too, and I don’t want anyone else to waste any gorgeous coating on this monstrosity. So you’re just going to have to forgive the “Sunday no makeup and glasses” face and the piles of building work in the hold here…

The overall coat is boxy (as expected! That’s okay) and the collar is a bit too big, and the CFs don’t quite want to match up properly, but the sleeves are the unforgivably awful bit.

I should’ve know from looking at the pattern piece that a one piece, symmetrical sleeve was never going to be a good idea. I really dislike drop shoulders anyway, but this is awful – the shoulder seam is midway down my bicep, and the sleeve length is about 5 inches past my fingertips. Which makes me think that whomever drafted this forgot that the shoulder seam was dropped and just added the usual Tall length sleeve…

The side view is really bad, too. Not only unflattering, but the front leans out and the back leans in (as seen with my yellow lines). I’ve also marked out the waist, but that’s really all just academic with a pattern like this…

Coat, there is no way I’m making you now.

But that being said, I think everything that’s wrong with the coat version is absent from the jacket version (#117) so I’m thinking I’ll alter my muslin and see if that’s any better. One thing I noticed about the instructions, though, is the odd use of petersham ribbon on the zippers of both these patterns. I think this is just to stabilise it since the pattern calls for spongey wool fleeces that might stretch, so I was just planning on omitting that anyway.

So if I’m not making this coat patttern, which pattern will I be making? Well, I’ve gone through my pattern magazine scans, and I’ve got a shortlist to show…

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