To quote Katharine Hepburn, “I wear my kind of clothes to save me the trouble of deciding which clothes to wear.” See the jacket below? it’s from the movie “Desk Set” starring Katharine and Spencer Tracy. It’s a gorgeous fur coat that crosses over in the front, and flows beautifully as she walks.
Of course this movie was playing on TCM (one of the best channels ever lol) during Christmas. Not that I need to wait for it to come on TV, my mom and I each own the DVD. I was inspired to make my own from the fur I stashed away this summer.
One of the things I love about Katharine is her body type is similar to mine, in that she’s tall and slim. So, she’s more of a silhouette ideal for me than shorter or more buxom actresses.
For this fur coat I decided to use Butterick pattern B5966. This pattern has a choice of cup size, which is nice for a more custom fitting jacket. It wasn’t designed for fur, but that hasn’t stopped me before, remember the green fur one? I used View B for the length and the tie from View C. I made the muslin out of an lightweight satin print that will never see the light of day and although the fly instructions seemed easy to follow, I decided to omit that entirely, since the fur is already bulky and i would use fur hooks if necessary.
Now, when I made my first fur coat (the green one), I didn’t underline it. My thinking was that the crepe back satin lining in conjunction with the fur would be enough. On windy days I felt the wind more than I wanted to, so I decided to underline this one in fleece to help with that. The lining that you catch glimpses of is hot pink crepe back satin.
I love this black and grey fur, but that long pile plus underlining was definitely a beast to work with when it got time to set the sleeves in. I attempted to machine stitch one initially, fought with trying to get all the layers under the presser foot and then gave up and attempted hand stitching. A note to the world, I hate hand sewing and avoid it whenever possible. My hand sewing stitches are tiny and close together (think Cinderella’s mice stitching her gown for the ball small) and take forever because I like invisible seams. Any pattern with instructions that include the directions SLIPSTITCH or CATCHSTITCH for long seams gets put back in the cabinet, and I wait until someone comes out with an easier version.
I did half a sleeve, but got frustrated and decided to sleep on it. I awoke with a new plan on how to machine stitch them, tested it on the other sleeve and it worked! I ripped out the hand stitching and restitched the first sleeve with the machine. So another note, don’t sew tired, sleepy, or frustrated. Take a break, trust me, it’ll go faster after you come back to it fresh with a new plan of attack.
I love this coat. It’s heavy, thick, and feels sumptuously luxurious! It reminds me of the women’s coats in movies from the ’40s and ’50s. Where ever shall I wear it? There is always Saturday Night Ballroom 🙂 I’d say I need an excuse to wear it, but I have no shame. If the weather channel says the high for the day is anything below 45 degrees, you will see me in this coat. 🙂 I’ll close with a final picture from “Desk Set” of Katharine and my fur coat inspiration.