pattern review · review · sewing

{ VOGUE 8550 } Red Pea Coat, this girl is on fire…

For those of you that have been following my blogging journey for a bit, you’ve probably seen me talk about the red Vogue 8550 pea coat that has been haunting me since I started way back when in late 2010. Im not proud to say I started so long ago, the truth hurts. I had terrible trouble with the sizing (of which Vogue referred to as ‘ease’) &  lost interest which so happened to (thankfully) co-incide with our relocation out of Holland so the sad pieces were boxed up. This box did not make the “cut” to our move to the UKso it stayed at home & waited patiently while we completed our work on the island. I should have known the pattern would give me nothing but trouble, the moment it arrived I noticed page 3 of the instructions  missing. It took a few weeks for it to be sent on. Was it a sign of things to come ??….

Anyway, fast forward 2 & some years  –  January I mentioned the red coat had been retrieved from its box & lovingly pressed, ready to tackle once & for all. I trimmed, re-measured & marked but then all the other sewing got in the way & I quickly realised this coat was going to have to be nursed, slowly & calmly…inch by inch…

Im proud to say, its { DONE } & Im so proud of myself for buckling up & getting it finished. (Ok ok, its missing its buttons…but more on that later).Vogue8550_front

Buckle up – a kinda long review but here are the details & more info on the process :

{ DESCRIPTION } Vogue Divine Details – fitted, lined coat with front & back tucks, standing collar, princess seams, full length sleeves and shoulder pads. Above mid-knee length, button closure and belt.


{ FABRIC USED } A medium weight red wool found at Schröder Stoffen in Rotterdam, Holland. It was quite expensive but I loved this particular shade of red. I had been looking for a red wool to make another coat (using the V8438 pattern I had sewn before) but after seeing the V8550 in red, I was sold.

At first I was quite tempted to use a “WOW” lining, something wild & unexpected, but once I finished constructing the outer, I realised the red is { WOW } enough & my SIL had gifted me with this black fabric & I thought would be perfect for the lining so I went ahead & used it. I did however use the red thread to stitch the lining up which adds a very subtle accent to the black & ties the two together.Vogue8550_lining_front

{ SIZING } This was my biggest headache & I have left my original Pattern Review WIP as it was so it can still be read. I very rarely do muslins because I find they sap me of the excitement of making the real thing. Ive been sewing for long enough to know which measurements are important for me & I thought I had gotten quite comfortable with the Big 4 sizing that cutting my usual size would be ok. I was kinda wrong. This was grossly { HUGE }. I immediately thought I had farked up with my cutting so I double checked all the pieces had been cut the right size before contacting some other sewers/bloggers who I thought may have sewn this coat to enquire if they had similar problems. Unfortunately, no-one had sewn this so I had no sewcialist assistance . I then contacted Vogue directly. They came back saying the pattern had a “fair amount of ease on a FITTED coat but that they did not think there was anything wrong with the sizing”. So I got on with chopping, trimming & wasting expensive fabric to fit. Its not the ease that annoys me, its the fact that the pattern does not mention the ease at all. Anyway, moving swiftly on…

{ INSTRUCTIONS } Overall the instructions are not bad however some steps were not as clear as I thought they could be. Nearing the end, I battled to make sense of how the lining fits to the wool at the front seams. I gave up & constructed the way that I thought made sense.

{ CHANGES } The only little change I made was to the pockets. Instead of having them lined & sitting on the inside of the coat, I sewed them into the wool layer but did not bring them through the lining….in other words, they sit between the lining & the outer. I did this because I dont like pockets flapping on the inside of my coats. The pattern called for the lining to be made with the same pieces as the outer however instead of tucked like the outer, rather just pleated in. At first I thought all this extra fabric on the inside would be quite bulky however once pressed & stitched down, it gave a good weight to the inner & supports the wool well.

The coat has no loops/guides for the belt/waist tie! WTF am I meant to do with the tie when I take the coat off? I eeeked out every last bit of red wool to make the tie so I really hope I dont lose it in an absent minded outing…I might still go back & make chain loop guides…

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } ***Although it took me so long, it was not because of the level of difficulty per se. The tucks have a fair degree of complexity, even with the markings, however apart from the tucks, this is a standard princess cut coat. It was not an easy sew, but I dont think it was an advanced sew either.

{ TIME } HAHAHAHAHAHAA really!?  I normally keep a time card for kicks …I kicked this time card into the bin!!

{ LESSONS LEARNT } Take your time. I was eventually having nightmares about the coat but I knew if I rushed it would end up being a rubbish looking garment.

{ SUM IT UP } This is a lovely coat, the tuck detail is gorgeous & Im so pleased I finished it….all 2,5kgs of it!! Initially I had my doubts about whether it would keep me warm enough in the winter but once I joined the lining & felt the weight, I knew this would be a great winter coat… & I do love the RED. I had purchased big red buttons in Holland before I started but once it came time to use them, they just looked too big & the coat felt kinda clown-ish. Im hesitating with sewing them on until Ive managed to make a trip to Komolka to see if they have something slightly smaller & more suitable. Once the holes are cut, they cut so I need to be 100% sure.

I have hemmed the coat but I have not attached the lining to the wool as yet – the reason you ask? Well, Im not 100% happy with the darn shoulder pads. I feel like they are limp & lacking in the stiff department. I think Im going to change the shoulder pads. Im sure on my next trip to Komolka, I will have luck with finding alternative buttons & shoulder pads.

I might also go ahead & move the pockets from the side seams to the princess seams. I know this sounds crazy but the side seams seem too far back for me to get to the pockets. I may also just remove them completely!!

In hindsight, the problems with the sizing was almost two-fold. I still think the pattern has way too much ease however I also think my choice of wool did not help, especially with the extended periods where the WIP sat on Poppy pleading for attention. Even though this was post-tuck production, I think the wool may have stretched slightly adding to the list of problems.

I would recommend V8550 especially if you love the tuck details however, I would urge you to make a muslin first just to make sure of the sizing. I know I know, me advising making a muslin – I must be drunk! I think this coat would look amazing done in cream, but I dont think Im gonna be the one to make it!

This image clearly explains what got me through some painful & frustrating moments { Nespresso Vanilla Infused coffee }coffee_break

& elation at finally finishing! I had made a deal with myself that I would finish this before starting on something new….Im so excited to start fresh 🙂Vogue8550_elation

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37 thoughts on “{ VOGUE 8550 } Red Pea Coat, this girl is on fire…

  1. Well done on finishing! It’s so beautiful…… I can appreciate how you feel with it done. I’m wearing a jacket today that I started 3-4 years ago (I think..!!) and finally finished it last week. Great feeling to get something off a shelf and finally be able to hang it in the wardrobe. Well done! Laura xxx

    1. thanks hun…yeah, profound satisfaction even though I know its technically flawed in places. Even though I still need to do the buttons & re-do the shoulder pads, I know these are small things in the big scheme. besides, with 30+ degrees at the moment, I doubt I’ll be needing it for a while still :-). thanks for following my journey. xx

  2. Great result in the end! I always cut at least 2 sizes below what I should according to the table as a measure and that works. Why they size they way they do puzzles mr, especially with all the feedback they MUST be getting from us all but….

    I love the coat and hope you get lots of wag our of it!

    1. thank you – i dont normally have trouble with their sizing so Im still convinced the sizing on this coat is way off – but we will never know will we!! 🙂

  3. Outstanding, this coat is beautiful! This reminds me of how my mother would tell me to step away from a project when I got frustrated with it. She would say, ” You need to put it down and walk away from it, then when you’ve rested you can think more clearly”. You tool that to another level, lol! However, you didn’t give up and the results are amazing!

    1. thanks A – yip, another level…sometimes i wonder whether i live purely in another dimension lol…but its true. you have to learn the discipline of stepping away & taking a breather. i find that i make all sorts of stupid mistakes (that i know i shouldnt be making) when im tired & or bored! x

  4. You’re coat is beautiful! I love the red, and the lining detail is pretty awesome–simple with a twist. 🙂 Good on you for finally getting it (mostly) finished! 🙂

  5. Oh My!! You have tremendous reason to be proud! This is just a work of art, well done. Love the pintucks and collar. And, well done on inserting the lining (not my forte). It looks great on you. Here’s to cooler weather and wearing your coat out!!

    1. thx, especially coming from you – i admire your me-mades all.the.time 🙂
      does is matter that my “break” was scattered with sleepless nights knowing it was still on the WIP list…er no! 🙂

  6. Just love the colour and the style, and pleased you didn’t give up and just throw it away. Did you gather the sleeves before easing? Wool is usually great at easing… I wonder if black would be a good choice for belt holder? Well done though!

    1. Hi Androo 🙂 & thanks for the lovely comment. I did not gather the sleeves, I shrunk the wool instead using the Claire Schaeffer method which worked well. Re. the belt guides, I think Im going to give the coat a few runs on the town before deciding what to do with them – you know, just to see how it wears & what I need from them & hope I dont lose the belt in the process. Look forward to seeing your “me-mades”!

  7. I totally admire your dedication in finally getting this finished after so long, but it was definitely worth it. The coat looks gorgeous on you. Great job 🙂

  8. I have this pattern tucked away, too. And red just seems like the only right color for it. What a great accomplishment. You look so happy and proud wearing it. I don’t know quite when I’ll get to the construction of a coat just yet…still a bit too intimidating.

    1. Thank you so much…yes, it was quite a project.
      I think this coat would look { FABULOUS } in cream too…but one of these is more than enough for me. You will have to give it a shot if you have the pattern 🙂

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