Sunday, February 1, 2015

African Print Coat with Leather Sleeves

I have mentioned before my love of African Wax fabric and designers who use them. I have pinned a million and one garments that inspire me. Pattern Review was hosting a  Bargainista Fashionista Contest  this month. I entered it at the start of the month with the plan to make something truly spectacular based on designs of the items I pinned. My lofty plans deflated a bit as I got super busy, but I was still determined to complete an entry.

Based on fabric and patterns in my stash, I used a Stella Jean coat as my inspiration for my project.

Back on BIRA
I used Simplicity 2311 as my base because it is a misses coat in two lengths with sleeve, collar, and belt variations. The basic silhouette is the same and the pattern has a large collar.
                                           Simplicity Misses' & Miss Petite Coats 2311

For fabric, I used an African wax fabric from Ghana. I was given it as a gift by a friend I taught to sew. I have had the fabric for years, but never used it. The design looked naughty to me (look again, do you will see it?). My hubby says it is in my head and that he does not see what I see, so I decided to finally use the fabric. For the lining, I used a polyester fabric from my stash.  After laying out my fabric, it was 1/8 a yard short for the sleeves. I recalled seeing a Burberry coat with contrast leather sleeves and decided to go that way. I chose to sew the sleeves with repurposed leather.

I did not like the instructions in this pattern. The jumped around so much, I felt I needed to put all of my energy into understanding it. I like background noise when I sew. Sometimes it is an audiobook, or  television show or a movie. I had to stop watching The Shawshank Redemption, a movie I know by heart, to not miss an instruction. It was very frustrating. I have never had issues with Simplicity PR patterns and assumed these would work like others in the past. These were the worst; I hate them like broccoli. The pattern was not completely bad. The lining instructions were better than others I have seen. 

I would sew this type of coat again, but not with this pattern. I am sure there are easier to read patterns out there. 

The Stella Jean coat cost $1190 

My coat 
$45 estimate for the African fabric from Ghana
$10 for lining
$1 for the pattern
$.25 for leather from repurposed jacket
An estimated cost of $56.25

Amount saved $1133.75 saving 95.27%

Conclusion: I am so in love with Stella Jean Designs. Her use of large scale vibrant African fabrics is drool worthy and completely out of my budget. I am happy to find a use for my gifted fabric. This pattern was a pain, but all in all, I am pleased with my result. I have a large collar, large scale African print coat that does not break the bank. The leather sleeves are interesting and a departure from the inspiration, but I am glad I went that way.

Happy Sewing,


  1. Beautiful coat! Love the colors.

  2. That coat is wonderful, and I didn't know about Stella Jean, that will provide ongoing inspiration!

    1. Thanks! I am so glad to introduce you to her :) I apologise in advance for your new obsession ;p

  3. Amazing coat... love the print.

  4. Beautiful coat you have there. U are very creative keep it up

  5. African fabrics is famous all over the world for its color, quality, amazing design, n gorgeous stile.I love your post n your colorful cloth very much.
    African Fabrics
    African Wax Print
    African George Fabric
    African Velvet George
    Guipure Lace Fabric
    Nigerian Lace Fabric
    African Head Tie