Sunday, February 18, 2018

Nannette Lepore inspired knock off! A Winter Coat

A couple years ago I ripped out a full page add of a Nanette Lepore advertisement. I came across it again as I was going through my tons of  'stuff'' during my move last May. It struck my fancy enough to put into my very small and well curated keep pile.

I decided over the summer that I really wanted to make this coat! I dig some digging and found that this is called the Oceanic Cape. Digging around a bit more and I found that you can acquire this cape through RenttheRunway .com This was a great way for me to see additional photos and views of the garment other than just from the ripped out magazine page!

The original advertisement that I ripped out of a magazine,
probably from Vogue and from several years ago.
I quickly decided to make several changes to the design which is why I cam calling this an 'Inspired Knockoff'!

Changes made to suit my design of making this a Chicago Winter worthy coat included:
    1. change the overall length to mid thigh
    2. Add zippers to the arms so I can close them against the weather
    3. change up the pockets
    4. slightly change up the overall silhouette to fit as a winter coat
    5. keep the same original proportions of the coat in regards to the sections and the horizontal seams.

The second challenge was to find the fabric. I loved the color but was not dead set on finding this color. We all know how challenging that can be! Back in August I walked into Michael's Fabrics/A Fabric Place in Baltimore and i'll be damned that I found the most perfect fabric to make this dreamed up coat of mine! That was it I had to buy that fabric! Of course it was the most beautiful Valentino napped cashmere wool. You know the kind that comes with the really high price tag PLUS the fancy label... that I never sew into my garments, I just put them on one of my magnet boards!

Needless to say, I had to take a very big breath to purchase the fabric and only after I made multiple muslins and was super happy with the fit, shape, proportions, did I even think about cutting into the fabric. It was nerve wracking! Once I made the first cut I powered through it and had only happy hands and happy brain. I tell you, making the multiple muslins really helped to booster my courage in cutting into the fabric.

The entire coat was underlined with a cotton flannel and lined with a plaid silk duiponi (but very fine, like a cross with a silk taffeta) and these gorgeous gold buttons! Both lining and buttons were also sourced from Michael's fabrics. The Buttons were perfect and of course the perfect button was $12 a piece!! Of well, at that point I didn't even bat an eye.

For the collar I decided to use a large gold sew on snap. I felt like the button would be too heavy both in weight and in look and using the large gold snap allows for a cleaner look at my neckline when closed and when open it blends into the button look.

I had the muslin completed in early November for the Sarah Veblen workshop. She tweaked the back a little bit and then I got started on construction. I was determined to get this coat done before I left for Europe on December 12th! I felt like a machine!! Why the hell I thought it was a good idea to make a coat with 6 front pieces, 6 back pieces, 6 sleeve pieces for EACH sleeve, 2 collar pieces and separate pocket pieces and times all those by 3 for the lining, underlining and fashion fabric, never mind the interfacing pieces! Sooo.. for those that are mathematically inclined.... it was a total of 80 pieces of fabric that I had to cut out and keep track of and hand baste and line up all those damn seams... and just think of your eyes popping out of your head  AND doing this all during the holidays between Thanksgiving and December 11!!

I took hundreds of pictures during every phase from first draft of pattern, through multiple muslins, all the cutting and construction process, all the way to the finished garment you see here! Next blog post will be a photo tour of the process and construction.

I found these winter rain boots quite by accident in the perfect color to match my coat!
How fortuitous!!

It was SOOOOOOO worth it!! The coat fits like a dream and is so unbelievably comfortable and so many lovely compliments while on my trip to Europe.

Above- at Christmas market in Lieden, Netherlands
Below- walking with my niece, Roxie, in Utrecht, Netherlands
Happy Sewing!!


  1. This is fantastic! I am often inspired by one picture and intend to make a sewing project from it, but never quite seem to pull it off - you must be so pleased with the result, well done ��

    1. Thank you so much Annette! This was the first time that I feel like I really got the job done well in going from inspiration to garment. It feels good to bring a garment to life and have it look as I planned in my head :)

  2. Your coat looks so right on you. It’s amazing to me that you could get such an involved project done in such a short space of time. I’m looking forward to seeing your photos of the construction process, specifically how you installed the flannel interlining.

    1. Thank you so much Jean! I was just as amazed but somehow that deadline inspired me to move!LOL. Hoping to have the detailed blog post out this week.

  3. This coat! Is perfection....
    Gorgeousness!! You have made my DREAM coat!! Did you use a pre-designed pattern as a base from which to customize your own pattern or did you create the actual pattern for this coat from scratch only using the visual reference of Lapore's design? Thank you tons for showing us!


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