The Brexit Coat, Part I: Referendum and Declaration

No no, don’t worry, this is still a sewing blog. Although, truth be told I am actually quite a political person – and in fact I used to have a political blog for a short while, but I wasn’t profitting much from it: I got worked up about things ranting and raving while my very few readers would, I suspect, quickly avert their eyes in what I can only imagine must have been exasperated embarrassment.
But given my history it is no surprise that Brexit has upset and saddened me. I personally profitted so much from Britain being a member of the EU, enabling me to study, live and work there and to make my journey into adulthood there. Living in Britain has enriched my life and while having these experiences will be still available for my children, they will still be more complicated to achieve and less within their reach.
But of course the UK has decided its independence is what counts, and so, in order to stop moaning and to get with the programme I decided to make the Brexit Coat.

  1. The Referendum

Now, really I had decided not to sew more coats. It really isn’t sensible, given that I have any number of coats, amongst them two spring/summer coats that I have rarely worn (one of them not at all in fact). So reason really dictated to stop sewing outerwear and concentrate on other things that are missing from my countr … ehem, wardrobe.

But ON THE OTHER HAND!!! Who am I to have my sewing dictated by outside influences?? Who am I to listen to experts about my wardrobe such as myself – or reason?? I just felt I needed to take back control of my sewing and so I decided I would, in fact, sew yet another coat.


Ok, I was also enabled to make that decision by a complicit shop who shoved some new and shiny boucle fabric right in front of my eyes when my resolve was weakest and I needed to be distracted from other problems. Plus it was cheaper than normal boucle fabric. I believe, the shop’s main interest wasn’t my well-being but its own bottom line. But that is as maybe, Brexit Coat it is.

2. The Declaration

Here I can show my committment to the cause and the fact that I have already learned from the Brexit process. No use in dragging things out, I bought the fabric on day 1 and declared for a coat on day 2. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Theresa May!

There was some sort of thought process going on: I think I want a coat like the one Stefanie from Sea of Teal made. Isn’t it amazing? She used this Burda pattern, which I don’t own.

Now, I  subscribed to Burda for years (though I brexited from my subscription very recently) and I feel that I should not have to pay for access to Burda in the future!

Incredibly, Burda decided to cheat me out of my rights and play tough and did not give me the pattern without payment. Quite a shocker how they continue with project Fear!
So I decided I make this at home for nothing, looked at some old Burda patterns and thought I could make it work relying on thepatterns I already have

This means I need a princess seam bodice and skirt portion. What springs to mind is the Russian General Coat which has just that.

However, I want a fold-over collar, so I might take the one of my Spring’s Around the Corner Coat.

But stop, because my fabric has a stripe, I think different stripe directions would look fun. Cue the Don’t Tell the Sewing Police Jacket: This has raglan sleeves that meet at the back to form the yoke, thus creating fun opportunities for stripe placement.

But then, the sleeves are a little pouffy here, so I might need to take a little bit off them.

So, to cut a long story short, because who needs a plan when you can have action, I started cutting the bodice this morning, before realising that none of the skirt pieces of the Russian general coat would fit, because they consist of four pattern pieces while the bodice only has three.

Tss, detail!!! The devil does lay in the detail! Who would have thought.

No problem, I thought,  I can just go back to Burda 9/2013 and trace the skirt portion that goes with another version of this coat. But hold on, I don’t have this Burda anymore, I threw it out in an ill-advised bout of Kondo-ing my sewing room a few weeks back.

So really, it turns out I have no plan and only the faintest clue of how to fake a plan with the Brexit Coat already declared and the first cut already made.
But a guy down the pub (you know, the one who downs a quick pint even at 11 o’clock in the morning and is happy to be photographed doing so) told me that while it was true he had no idea about sewing he was still sure it would be fine and I should just go ahead and do it already.

So that’s were I am today with the Brexit Coat.

Now, many sewists have stated how sewing has such a positve effect on other areas of life. Maybe this works too with the Brexit Coat? Maybe if I manage to make a success out of this coat, Brexit will be a success too? It might be worth trying, and it certainly isn’t worse than finding common values with the governments of the Philippines or Saudi Arabia, don’t you think?

So I will report on the progress of the Brexit Coat – hopefully this will happen in a lot less than two years.

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10 thoughts on “The Brexit Coat, Part I: Referendum and Declaration

  1. Tia Dia April 6, 2017 at 1:51 pm Reply

    Chris, this was a nice chuckle-inducing post…. excellent reading with my breakfast!

    My, the fabric is gorgeous. I’m so happy for you that the store owner was savvy enough to realize you were feeling a little ‘need to do something’ because of Brexit, and helped you along! And the frankenpatterning is brilliant. Why put out more for a new pattern when a little creativity and detours will get you what you want? This is going to be a beautiful coat. Can’t wait to see it!

  2. jay April 6, 2017 at 5:03 pm Reply

    I shall watch progress with interest, which is more than I can say about that most inane, upsetting, destructive process slightly …. ever so slightly, more than half of the eligible voters in Britain who turned out to vote have let us in for. (Can you tell that I’m one of the disenfranchised ex-pat Brits wondering if I’ll have a home in 2 years time?)

  3. Anne W April 6, 2017 at 11:06 pm Reply

    Well, if you’re stealing inspiration from me, can I reciprocate?? I love the coat you chose originally that Stephanie made, and I might be able to help you out with the skirt of your Brexit coat. I have that magazine and am happy to trace the skirt part for you.

    • Chris April 7, 2017 at 7:24 am Reply

      You would really do that? That is just the nicest thing ever! If you are really sure you want to go to all that trouble I would be delighted to accept your offer.😍😘

      • Anne W April 7, 2017 at 8:34 am

        What size do you need?

  4. Lori B. April 8, 2017 at 4:41 pm Reply

    Great post, Chris! Really enjoyed reading this.

  5. SewSouthLondon April 13, 2017 at 2:25 am Reply

    😆 loved your post, but makes for sobering reading.

    • Chris April 13, 2017 at 2:15 pm Reply

      Well, I’ m working on the assumption that the coat will turn out ok- and then so will Brexit, because that’s how these things work, isn’t it? !

      • SewSouthLondon April 14, 2017 at 2:42 pm

        Let’s hope so. Sometimes things have a habit of turning out better than expected, and at least not as badly as one fears!

  6. […] The Brexit has come on in leaps and bounds from its inception as a distraction from other things that should have been more important. […]

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