imagining the future: Colette Patterns’ Albion

One of my favorite clothing items is a black wool duffel coat I bought at The Gap five years ago. It’s one of a few pieces in my closet that I reach for time after time, and always feel comfortable and stylish in. At least, I used to feel stylish in it before it started wearing through at the seams from all the use it’s seen! I toyed with the idea of making a pattern from my perfect coat  in order to sew up a new one, but seeing as I’ve never sewn any outerwear, the idea of drafting my own pattern was overwhelming.

Lucky for me, Sarai and her team of lovelies over at Colette Patterns came out with their rad new Albion pattern & saved me! This pattern looks like the perfect starting place for my new duffle coat. Plus, there’s a sewalong launching January 24th! I spent some time this past weekend scoping out fabrics and sketching up some initial plans, which I thought I’d share with you.

Sew U cover

Since this is one of the most ambitious sewing projects I’ve undertaken to date, bringing some order to it has helped me feel more confident and excited about the steps involved. To help with my planning, I used the template from Built by Wendy’s Sew U.

Sew U blank templateI like how Wendy indicates some of the key things to think about when planning a sewing project: trims & finishing, pattern alterations, and any changes to the construction plans in light of the alterations and finishing plans. In the upper right hand corner of the template, there’s a place to add fabric swatches and trim samples. And below that she’s got an area where you can sketch in your design ideas.

Sew U template filled

Here’s an example of a completed template from the book.

My Albion templateAnd here’s a version of the template I drew up in my notebook (along with a rather sad sketch of my imagined Albion)!

photo 3I guess the main thing is that I’ve captured my ideas, right?! And I can be pretty damn sure that no matter how my new coat turns out it will look better than this sketch!

photo 2The blue sticky note is my shopping list. I wanted to make sure I could stick it in my wallet or otherwise carry it around in the likely possibility that I’ll want to shop without dragging the whole notebook with. And on the back of this note I’ve started tracking what I spend on the project. This is something I’ve never done before…not the planning, and certainly not the tracking of project related costs, but I think it could be a good habit to try getting into.

So, have you seen the new Albion pattern? What do you think of it? Will any of you be joining the sewalong later this month?