Monday, February 13, 2023

Moonrise Kingdom Coat

I can't believe I'm here. Inside this coat that I've been dreaming of for I don't even know how long. 

The Wes Anderson movie Moonrise Kingdom came out in 2012, ironically the year I started learning how to sew. I'm not sure when I first saw it, but I certainly fell in love right away. As my sewing skills grew, I realized that if I could find the right fabric, I *probably* could recreate the iconic pink coat that the main character Suzy Bishop wears in the climax of the film.

Every time I got an email from a fabric shop about new wool coatings, I looked for the right fabric. Pink and white small scale houndstooth. Fabric Mart. Emma One Sock. Mood. Blackbird. Places that I knew I could count on for quality wool coatings. Every winter became a sad treasure hunt that never paid off. 

Until 2022.

Finally, finally, finally...Emma One Sock stocked THE ONE (it's sold out, I'm sorry). The one I had been waiting for. It was 100% perfect. It has since sold out, but at $25/yard it was even reasonably priced (it's a blend). I ordered it, it arrived, and it was still perfect in person. Thus began the search for the perfect pattern.

If you've been around the sewing interwebs long, you've probably seen the Tilly and the Buttons version of the Moonrise Kingdom coat. Tilly used the Watson Jacket pattern from Papercut. I attempted to track down a copy of this pattern, but it's no longer in print. It has notable differences anyway, so I decided to go ahead and find a good coat base and hack it from there. I landed on Lisette for Butterick, B6385. The length was correct and the collar looked similar. Even though Big 4 patterns aren't my favorite, I've worked with some Lisette patterns in the past and trust Liesl+Co wholeheartedly. This pattern also comes with multiple cup sizes, the front center pattern piece (with the dart) are the pieces that are drafted differently. I used a C-cup piece.

I made a muslin because I often have to grade out in the hips with long coats. The bodice is a 10 and I graded to a 14 in the hips. It was a pain in the arse because there are so many panels to the pattern and I wasn't sure of the easiest way to accomplish the grading. I ended up only grading out on the side seams.

I played around with muslin and draping and looked at pattern pieces for capes online (I have some resources saved on Pinterest). I wish I would've actually drafted something on paper but I hate math, so, there. In the end, the cape is fine. A little more swish would've been good but I'm okay with it. The neck edge of the cape is the same as the neck of the coat. I basted them together and sewed the coat like normal. The cape is a single layer and the edges are finished with rayon seam binding.

I also increased the height of the collar by 2". Suzy's coat looked like it had a very tall collar, tall enough that it could flop over and be buttoned into the cape. Two inches ended up working out great.

I omitted the welt pockets and changed them to in-seam. I used the pocket bag pattern pieces that came with the coat and they are a bit small to use as in-seam pockets.

The pleat is sewn down in a few places and open in others

This pattern has some nice details and finishes that you won't see in all coat patterns. The lining is hand-sewn, there is a very particular back lining pleat, etc. The only thing I disliked is that there is no shoulder seam, it has a yoke that comes over the shoulder into a forward seam. I would have preferred a traditional shoulder seam just to make my cape-drafting easier.

I only saw one "mistake" and that was that the back pleat in the lining was basted closed, but then you were never told to remove the basting stitches.

My lining is a cotton lawn that I got in a $5 mystery box from Michael's (watch the unboxing video here, it's hilarious). For the sleeve lining, I used a poly woven leftover from a previous coat (I think it's the same as what's in my Oslo coat). The buttons are from Jo-Ann's.

This was me trying to make Suzy's face

The beret. Oh Lordy this beret. The only reason I made it is because I already had the most perfect fabric. It's an expensive, thick, reversible wool coating from Blackbird and I absolutely ruined it trying to make a poncho thingy. I managed to make this beret from it but it took a LOT of trial and error. If you review Suzy's beret, there are no visible seams on it. If you look at beret patterns online, they all have seams. I should've just made one with seams and been done with it, but I'm a glutton for punishment. Anyway. This is as good as it's going to get and that's that.

I didn't intend for this coat and beret to become a costume, but now that I've put all the work into it, that may happen come Halloween. We'll see. It's sort of an obscure reference if you're not a Wes Anderson fan. In any case, it feels amazing to have had this goal for so long, and to finally see it come to life.

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