We are thrilled to have Sew Chic Patterns, run by Laura Nash, back as a sponsor for our FOURTH year in a row! Sew Chic has made its name with a whole selection of beautiful, unique, vintage-inspired designs. Perhaps best known are its stunning, intelligently-constructed dresses (several of which are also available through a partnership with Simplicity Patterns), but there are also patterns available for key vintage styling pieces like a slip, a petticoat, & a cloche hat, as well as FREE patterns for unique pieces like a men’s formal tie & a fur muff! The Noelle coat is the most recent release & Sew Chic’s first outerwear offering. Ciara caught up with Laura to learn more!
First, can you tell us a bit about your style and range of patterns, for people who may not have seen your brand before?
I’m pleased to say that this year marks 10 years since I began promoting the art of good sewing and started Sew Chic Patterns I am especially grateful to The Monthly Stitch and the sewing community at large who has helped make this possible. It’s my privilege to design modern originals of vintage classic styles for women. Everyone wants to look and feel beautiful and how better to do that than with the silhouettes from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. They have something for every figure type and turning the classics into unique, interesting, and relevant clothing for to today is always my main goal. Pattern sizing and drafting has long been a problem in the in the industry, so I work really hard to make sure every pattern draft and grade is of the best quality, eliminating adjustment and construction time, and every pattern is “true to size” as we say it. Be aware that the size chart is similar to bridal ready-to-wear ranging from 2-18, with patterns for everything from accessories such as hats and aprons to lingerie to separates and dresses for day or evening at every sewing level from beginner to advanced. I’m really pleased to offer our most recent style addition in a whole new category–outerwear!
We’d love to hear more about the new Noelle Coat pattern. Tell us more!
Our newest pattern for fall/winter, #LN1721, is an oversized A-line wrap coat in two lengths I call Noelle. The shape is the main wow factor for this easy to fit lined coat with kimono sleeves, welt pockets, and hood. I was designed for quick assembly with minimal seams, some light tailoring, and no closure, which is why I call it a “wrap” style. This was a typical feature of evening coats in the 1950’s. I remember making my first coat at the age of 17, placing the buttonholes on the wrong side! Of course I wore the coat anyway, but it was an embarrassing memory. Considering the coat fabric with this pattern is of some importance. Though the pattern can handle a heavy fabric, it will look stiff. Choose a lightweight fabric and it may look wimpy. A firm medium weight, or a lighter heavyweight will look best and service well.
What inspired you to create the coat?
Many years ago my sister-in-law gave me a 1950s style vintage coat that someone had given her. I wore it for many years and got compliments every time I wore it, but after years of age, it wore out. I enjoyed that coat so much that I began developing a pattern of a similar style for my own use- easy to throw on, fit over everything, and went with anything, casual or formal. It took about 5 years to complete the pattern. I felt it would be too difficult for the average seamstress. Then my customers started requesting a coat pattern, and I knew it was time to pull this pattern out and look for ways to simplify it. That took about 2 more years, but I finally finish the job! I’m glad I did, as it has been well-received.
It’s such a lovely style, and has some great details, such as welt pockets. How
hard is it to make?
At first, I called this pattern an intermediate pattern, but one of my testers disagreed with me. Happily, she thought it more at the advanced beginner level, and I have to agree that there is some merit to that rating. The most difficult part of this coat is the welt pockets. It has very few seams, no closures to deal with, and a little bit of tailoring. The main challenge will be choosing the fabrics! In the pattern group, we have a sewalong for this pattern. My group leader has put together an excellent video showing how to do that welt pocket for anyone who had not crossed that challenge yet. Anyone is welcome to join the group and the sew along, but please do answer the group questions so that we know you are a real person! Join the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sewchicsupport/
There are some gorgeous versions floating around on the internet. Can you share some of your favorites?
I only have photos from one of my testers. Her name is Jenny and she blogs at
Michelle has made this coat once, but didn’t provide photos. This
partially finished coat is from the sew along that she is leading.
How about your own wardrobe — how many coats do you have? Which is/are your favorite to wear?
I have made this coat twice. One is corduroy and the other is houndstooth. The corduroy coat is lightweight, great for spring, fall, and cool summer nights. I do tend to wear this one mostly for formal occasions worn over dresses. The fine wale could almost be mistaken for velveteen. I created the “contrast” trim fabric by sewing pin tucks and then pressing them in opposite directions. Always create the texture THEN cut the pattern piece. It’s impossibly difficult to do it the other way around.
The houndstooth coat is a little bit heavier, and I feel like it’s the perfect weight. It’s soft and loose but feels warm and cozy. The contrast piping is made from a stretch velour. The stretch substitutes for bias and the velour takes on the appearance of velvet, creating an equal weight to pair with the coat fabric. 1/8 yard of velour and a length of upholstery cording will do it! I wear this one for all casual occasions over my jeans and sweatshirts, or over slacks and heels. It can become an overcoat when I have on business style suit and jacket in boring colors. This coat adds pizzazz where it might be lacking in any daily wardrobe!
Thank you so much, Laura! The Noelle coat is a beautiful pattern & I imagine it will be a big hit, particularly with sewists who have been looking for the perfect coat to pair with their vintage-inspired looks. & I love seeing independent pattern companies continue to push themselves & raise the bar with unique new designs that enable us to create fully handmade wardrobes. One lucky winner of the One Pattern, Two Takes challenge will win TWO Sew Chic patterns of their choice, & all of us can indulge in a 20% discount code until November 4: MSTITCH2018.