Wednesday, November 30, 2016

My New Favorite! The Pilvi Coat and Sewing Out of a Book!

We are always looking for great books and magazines to inspire us on our sewing journeys. Sometimes it's just a photo of a dress in a catalog or fashion magazine that we wish we had a pattern for, and other times we find a sewing book with a photo of a cute pair of pants to be made. When we first got Lotta Jansdotter's new book Everyday Style, we knew we had to make something!

Thumbing through the beautiful pages filled with stories of real women and exotic travels we found the Pilvi Coat, a simple design for either a coat or a shorter jacket.  It's perfect for the beginner (look out for a sewalong!) because it is unlined, with raglan sleeves and no closures.

Lotta's Everyday Style has five basic garment patterns and several bag patterns. They are all printed on two large pieces of pattern paper stowed away in an envelope in the back of the book.  Each pattern piece should be traced onto a new piece of paper for your pattern use.

We chose to make our Pilvi in a soft lightweight boiled wool/viscose blend in a gorgeous orchid color. Radiant Orchid was Pantone's Color of the Year in 2014, and we're trying to understand why we haven't used it until now!

Boiled wool fabric is made by felting knit or woven wool fabric. It comes in varying weights and since this one has viscose blended with the wool, it has a beautiful weight and drape. Although it is a knit fabric, it is very stable, making it easy to sew and requiring little finishing, as it doesn't fray.  Even though it is difficult to see, it does have two sides, just as a traditional knit does: the "knit" side and the "purl" side. While both sides are beautiful enough to show, we chose the knit side to be the "right" side of our Pilvi.

Because of the thickness of a heavy wool, grading the seams is important. It also means that you should press, press, press as you go along!

We have made other jackets in boiled wool and we have treated the seams in the same way - top stitching a scant 1/8' away from the pressed seam, on both sides. This makes it lie flat, and is a beautiful professional finishing technique.

We also understitch the neckline facing, helping it to lie flat.

Again, you don't really need to finish of the fabric edges, but we chose to serge the edges of the facing, the sleeve hems and the hemline of the coat. We thought it would make them lay flatter. We added top stitching and sewed the hem by hand.

This might be our favorite new coat! Did I mention that it has pockets? This beautiful boiled wool almost feels like a long sweater rather than a coat. It can be made in a range of fabrics including woven bottomweights or a sweater knit fabric from our collection. Try it in a range of lengths. The possibilities are endless!

Creatively yours,
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  1. Did you make any alterations to the pattern? My client loved your coat so much that I'm making her one! I'm trying to get a better armhole fit, but it my muslin looks the same as your coat does on you, so maybe the raglan sleeve just has more fabric near the bottom of the armhole than a set-in sleeve?

  2. Hi Kathy...Laurel here. I did not make any changes to Zan's Pilvi coat, but I did notice the same thing you did with the raglan sleeves. I think it's the nature of a raglan sleeve to bunch a little under the arm, unlike a set-in sleeve. I'm making a Pilvi for myself in red boiled wool and I am lining the sleeves, so I will be cutting the arm hole a little deeper at the bottom of the arm hole area and then treating it like a set-in sleeve (sewing up the seam first then attaching a finished sleeve to the arm hole). I hope that helps. FYI, we are also making a Pilvi out of Italian wool (woven)and I'm putting cuffs on the sleeve - Watch for a follow-up blog! Thanks again for following Fabriclady:)

  3. Thanks Laurel! I like your thinking with the lining...