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INSPIRED BY: Denver

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I've been exploring historic, inspiring downtown Denver, Colorado. It is influencing new direction in my work. The charming architecture, a blend of old and new, is very cool! It was the seed for this recent camelhair coat ReMake Project: The Welton Street Coat

You Ask: How can anything that inspires me be 'turned into' something else? DESIGN TAKE-AWAYS are an easy way to start. Here are some Design Take- Aways from my adventures in downtown Denver.

bold, angled shapes & vertical rectangles

• dark accents: window shapes, iron hardware and textured walls

• color combinations 

These 3 categories would inspire each of us in a different direction. I was inspired to remake a camel hair coat... just the kind of big puzzle project I like! Totally inspired by the colors of the building, I assembled a collection of favorite wools to work with. Here are some of the decisions I made in this remake process, starting with: What to keep and what to take away.

#1 Layering? Inserting? Replacing? These were all techniques I used on various parts of the coat. Mostly, I replaced pieces of the camelhair to keep the weight of the coat reasonable. I reduced the size of the armholes and replaced the original sleeves with ones of my own design. Adding a thin batting under-layer in the sleeves brings them up to a similar weight as the rest of the coat. By opening the side seams, the silhouette was shaped and new back panels were added and a  panel inset above the belt. The  belt was moved up to a more flattering position. Every decision hinges on the next and is part of the overall success of a ReMake.

#2  It was a mans coat....so very bulky in the torso with wide shoulders and big shoulder pads. The coat, lining and its structural pieces ( sleeve headers and shoulder pads) were in great shape, so I removed the shoulder pads and reworked them into thinner ones. The angles of the shoulder were cut down and re-sewn (above arrow) for a more feminine line before replacing the pads inside. The original coat, with 2 pockets, was replaced with one pocket to complete the asymmetry of the color blocking.

#3 The biggest change was removing the collar/front facings and making new ones from my cool paisley fabric. Love the results!!! I hand-stitched around the original buttonholes to keep them in use.

#4  Details can be the accents that finish a garment. Horn buttons and hand stitching were the finishing details here. I often use hand-stitched lines in various thickness and colors of thread. 3 strands of thread give a lighter line...while the stitching up the back of the sleeves is 6 strands for a darker line. 

My Denver notebook is full of ideas for future projects....The Welton Street Coat is  a great way to start my year! Have a wonderfully creative and playful year!!!  Diane

11 comments

  • Gayle Ortiz: February 15, 2020

    Love this coat!!

  • Art Glenn: January 27, 2020

    Love the story here from beginning to end.

  • Carolyn: January 07, 2020

    Looking forward to seeing some inspirational creations and how you got there.

  • christy wallin: January 06, 2020

    Diane…. moving to Denver in March and had lots of walking round town, and a handful of neighborhoods in mind for sewing and writing inspiration.

    Cheers to new adventures!

  • Stephanie: January 06, 2020

    Happy new year. I am always inspired by your clarity of thought in getting from what you have to what you want. The finished coat is wonderful, stylish and I imagine toasty warm. Thanks for taking us on your adventures and providing us with the inspiration to look at the world we live in more creatively.
    P.S. Love the last picture – verve is a noun I strongly associate with you.

  • Ruth Lickteig: January 06, 2020

    LOVE what you did with the coat. You give me inspiration to start a new fun project.

  • Dixie: January 06, 2020

    I love how you took that cool city scene and built it into the coat. Masterful, and inspiring.

  • Deirdre A Murr: January 06, 2020

    I would have loved seeing a picture of the coat as it was originally. Love the final results. Such fun to see a project come together successfully.

  • Lexy: January 06, 2020

    Diane!
    How very wonderful to see your latest inspiration/ creation!
    My creative fires are stoked for the month!
    Have a wonderful year ❣️

  • Darcy Berg: January 06, 2020

    Interesting and inspiring.

  • Judith Rickard: January 06, 2020

    I appreciate so much the time and care you take to describe the “inner workings” of your design process. I’m a good technical problem solver (and I know that is a form of creativity), but I want to grow in the direction of the kind of creativity – fair to call it more “free-form”? – that you are practicing.

    Your posts inspire and educate me. (And your seminars at Sewing Expo that I attended several years ago were so wonderful!) Hope someday to join you at one of your workshops!

    Judith

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