Sewing & Style Inspiration: Kate Middleton

The tricky thing about sewing is that we have to plan way ahead. It's still super hot here but I'm already thinking about fall clothing--kind of. Thinking about wool makes me feel itchy but also productive. So I guess that's about even?

Anyway, I've been busily planning my fall/winter sewing. I've been on a big Kate Middleton kick after reading The Royal We (which is super entertaining, by the way!). She obviously looks gorgeous all the time, but I especially like her maternity fashion--the A-line shape she favors for maternity-wear (for obvious reasons) is more vintage-inspired. She's part of the royal family so we can't expect really bold sartorial choices from her, but she's worn a few coats that I would even call almost "mod"! My fall sewing plans are part classic Kate and part maternity Kate, for that retro flair. Disclaimer: none of these are promises! I'm super bad a follow-through in sewing since there's always something new to distract you--but these are a few things I hope to sew in the next few months. Call it my Kate Capsule wardrobe maybe (even though they don't really go together, necessarily...)

1. A Classic Blazer:

Kate Attends SportsAid
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Simplicity Misses' Unlined Jacket with Collar and Finishing Variations 1421Line Drawing

I want to tackle some more challenging projects and expand my skills, no easing into it with a retro-inspired dress! I have a little white-tipped navy ponte blazer/cardigan but unfortunately I spilled tea all over it (on the morning of an interview, naturally) and I'm afraid the tea hasn't quite come out of the white parts. Kate looks great in hers, and its a good excuse to try out some tailoring techniques. I've been muslining this one already and I think it looks pretty good! I'll be making it in navy lightweight wool with self-bias instead of white. I'll probably ditch the buttons, too. This is an unlined blazer, but I've been thinking of trying to add a lining... is this crazy? Please tell me if this is crazy.

2. An A-line Coat:

Kate Middleton wears a yellow coat and ivory hat at the Queen's tea party
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Simplicity Misses' Vintage Dress and Lined Coat 1197Line Drawing

Look at that coat! While I love the print on this one, yellow isn't really my color. I'd like to use this retro simplicity pattern as a jumping-off point for my version of this A-line coat: ditching the collar, swapping the buttons for interior snaps, and possibly adding a bow at the neckline like these two coats I've had pinned for ages. Also possibly in navy? I do love navy.

3. A couple great dresses:

Kate Middleton Child Bereavement UK
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Size 14 60's A Line Dress With Mandarin Collar Simplicity Vintage Sewing Pattern 7737 Misses' Size 14 Bust 36 How To Sew Pattern

Here are the retro-inspired dresses I disparaged above. You knew they would come, after all, this is a sewing blog and sewing blogs lovvvve dresses, duh. You can't see her dress very well in these pictures, but its a plain black shift with a white peter pan collar--I picked this picture because I love the rounded hem detail on the coat she's wearing (with the peter pan collar poking out, too--adorable). The dress is apparently from Topshop and is a poly/elastane blend, but I think it would be nicer in a challis or a crepe or something.

I have made this pattern from 1968  once before (to look exactly like version 3) and would love to make it again in black with a peter pan collar. I'll have to draft the collar but that shouldn't be too tricky--I know Gertie has a tutorial on it. For a less spot-on Kate look, I have Victory Patterns's Hazel, which I got from Fancy Tiger Crafts as part of my winnings from Shorts on the Line. It's a pattern I've been drooling over since it came out, but I never bought it--because I was scared of using slippery fabric! I think it's time I got over my fear, don't you? I also got some lovely rayon challis in navy and cream to make it up with, also from SotL winnings, from Imagine Gnats.

Bonus project:

Just look at this amazing animal print coat. If my A-line coat is a success and I find the right fabric, how fun would this be? Answer: so fun. Disregard the fact that I already have a leopard trench and really, how many animal-print coats does one girl need? Probably only one. I suppose I could also make a dress instead of a coat.
royal due date
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Sewing plans can be much more fun to think up than they are to execute, but I really like these pieces, so hopefully I'll get through all of them and pick up some new skills along the way--some light tailoring and sewing with more delicate fabrics.

Do you love Princess Kate? If you live in the UK, do you think it is dorky that we Americans love her so much? Have you read The Royal We? If not, you totally should--it's very fun.

xoxo,
allie

ps: if anyone wants to mail me $5000 i'd also like her shoe collection. thanks in advance!

allie J.

16 comments:

  1. I like all of these outfit especially the A-line coat in yellow, it looks gorgeous! Simplicity 1168 is also a great pattern for this style I think, although I am not confident enough to sew a coat yet. Maybe next Winter :)

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    1. I'm very nervous about the coat, but I think the blazer is more intimidating, which makes the coat seem simple in comparison... we'll see how it all goes!

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  2. its great reading your sewing plans. I have some coats to do this autumn and that a-line pattern is lovely - thank you for the share . some great choices you have there, looking forward to seeing your makes.....

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    1. hopefully they will all be realized! I have fabric and patterns for 2/4 already so no excuses! :)

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  3. Hmm... I'm from the UK and I have some mixed feelings about the royal family. Wills and Kate have particularly annoyed me recently because they seem so nice and normal, but then spend taxpayers money moving their tennis court around. Americans seem to be much more into our royal family than we are :)

    Having said that, she does always dress nicely, and I think your ideas sound lovely

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    1. I heard her clothing "allowance" is like 50,000 pounds or something, so she better dress nicely! I know the president of the US makes $400,000 which seems like a lot to me but you couldn't pay me enough to be under so much scrutiny, whether its for making policity descions that at least 50% of people are bound to hate OR for whether or not you've gained 5 pounds/look tired/changed your hair. Nope! I'll stick to shamelessly copying her clothes :)

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    2. I agree - copying her clothes is much easier, and the pressure must be awful. It would be nice to have her clothing allowance though (or, you know, even earn that much!). :)

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    3. Think of all the fabric you could buy with that salary!! haha

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  4. Oh gosh they spent your money to move their tennis court? Yikes. I have Simplicity 1197 and I really want to sew the dress in two colors but I have really struggled to fine the right fabric. If you have any good ideas please feel free to share them with me. The A-line coat is going to look great on you by the way. Really can't go wrong.

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    1. The only thing I can think of are two low-contrast colors like a charcoal and black or something like that, it seems a little fussy for me otherwise. It's hard to find coordinates, isn't it? Regarding the court, the Daily Mail says it will be paid for "privately" but I guess all of the royals' money traces back to taxpayers eventually, right? I have no idea how that work.

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    2. I think the majority of that is coming from private funds, but some from the tax payer - but I'm not really sure if I understand where the private funds are from...

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  5. I was doubtful it would actually happen, many things had to fall in place and I didn't really get excited until I landed in LA. But just in case I made myself a dress, because you need a new dress when going on vacation. Right? http://sewingmachinejudge.com/

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  6. Great post full of useful tips! My site is fairly new and I am also having a hard time getting my readers to leave comments. Analytics shows they are coming to the site but I have a feeling “nobody wants to be first”.

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  7. it would actually happen, many things had to fall in place and I didn't really get excited until I landed in LA.
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  8. ooooo...such great ideas! Kate Middleton is so stylish! So are you by the way! ;)

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