Tout Fini! – le Faux Givenchy

I started this project right around Halloween after seeing the new Spring 2021 menswear from Givenchy. To be quite honest I really don’t know much about Givenchy. Only two things come to mind when I think of the house.

1. The logo of four G’s. (I had it on a necktie once)

and…

2. Audrey Hepburn’s black dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Oh……and there seems to be a revolving door of designers that come and go. The newest is a young guy, Matthew Williams. If there’s a signature Givenchy look, I fail to recognize it. But I’m always curious to see what the fashion powerhouses are up to, so I decided to take a look see. Here’s a link to the collection if you’re curious.

There’s a long wrap overcoat in the Spring collection (how this is a Spring / Summer look is a mystery to me), which caught my eye immediately. Here it is again for reference.

This minimalistic coat with its metal closure, and Closet Core’s Sienna Maker Jacket, instantly collided in my “sewist’s brain”. Kaboom! I knew after making the short version of Heather Lou’s pattern, that I would eventually return to make the longer wrap version. And suddenly that time was here!

Even though we were well into Fall, Kashi at Metro Textiles in NYC was still running his Summer sale. 50% off. So I scooped up 4 yards of boiled wool which he described as “Indian teal with an interesting texture”. It exceeded my every expectation. And even though I’m “stretch fabric adverse”, it was a breeze to sew.

Of course I made a muslin!

Because I made the short version of Sienna last year, most of my fit issues were already solved. Here are the adjustments I made this time around.

  • Dropped the waist 1 inch
  • Increased the width of the belt to 2 inches
  • Lengthened the coat by 6 inches and added a generous 2 inch hem.
  • Used the vent pieces from the cropped version, lengthened and dropped them lower at the back.
  • Added a slight bit of waist suppression at the center back to reduce the fullness.
  • Moved the belt opening from the left front to the left side seam.

The biggest change by far, was to make the belt detachable at the right front. It makes getting in and out of the coat much easier. When making this coat according the the directions, the belt would be sewn to the right front. It would then need to be threaded through the slot in the left front, wrapped around the back and secured at the right side with D rings. It looks great, but seems a bit cumbersome. I wanted to be able to get in and out of this coat quickly and with less work. I accomplished this by adding a second buckle which ends up inside the coat when worn.

The belt passes through a wide belt loop in the lining before going out through the side seam. So far this is keeping the belt from falling out through the side of the coat.

Here it is in use. The belt is going out through the left side seam and around the back.

The other end of the belt is held in place with a belt keeper and a thread bar at the right side seam.

I made the belt keeper from a scrap of lining material. It buttons onto the back of the belt, and is completely hidden when the coat is worn. The thread bar that it passes through acts as a hidden belt loop. Together they hold the belt at the right side of the coat, and it’s simple to grab the belt and attach it to the buckle. So I have the look of a wrap coat with much less wrapping!

But enough with the details! Here it is. The 1980’s “big coat” for the 21st century.

From my home to yours, all my best for this holiday season. For all the difficulties that we’ve endured in 2020, I’m still grateful for so many things, and hope you can find that same sense of gratitude. The sewing community has been a true blessing for me. It’s not only a source of endless inspiration, but has been so encouraging and supportive of my projects. There really are no words to express how life changing this journey has been. Peace.

Duane

44 thoughts on “Tout Fini! – le Faux Givenchy

  1. You need an awesome job as usual. Love the inspiration and the color of that material looks really good on you. I wish you would do a step by step tutorial on your tailoring techniques (i.e., the coat). Thank you again for sharing your talent.

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  2. Merry Christmas, and better things in 2021. The coat is just beautiful, especial against the white snow, the belt technique is so fascinating, you are a true clothing engineer and great tailor. Maybe this year i will have more patience for tailoring. I even went as far as to purchase some tailoring supplies and a good thimble, me a thimble, now that is a first. Have a great Christmas, maybe in the new year you will consider adopting a new friend to join you on your journey’s. All the best!!

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  3. Wow that looks super on and a great job, love the belt fastening so clever and for the weather you have will be nice and warm. Thanks for sharing all your ideas and brilliant sewing skills, my best wishes for Christmas and hope 2021 will get back to normal as soon as possible for all of us.

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  4. I love this coat! I’ve never made one and have been contemplating one for a bit. Your work is just beautiful, and I have enjoyed watching your skills progress over the years. Happy holidays from the other side of the continent. 😉

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  5. BIG WOW! Looks fantastic and love the belt design. Color is great and the boiled wool fabric is cozy. I know you’ll be warm and stylish this winter. Happy Holidays!

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  6. What a beautiful coat! Love the color and the wonderful craftsmenship……especially the lapels!
    I wonder what your next project will be?????

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  7. As always, your work is meticulous and an inspiration. How anything similar to this coat could be “Spring/Summer” is beyond me, but it looks perfect for our current season. Question: do you weight the hem? (Was following Kenneth King’s IG of his reverse-applique frock coat, and he says he always weights his hems… Hmmm.)

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    1. I have never done that, but I’m a simple amateur home sewist. This coat is heavy enough that I don’t think it would be necessary. That said, I can see how a little weight in the vents would keep them in check. But then there is the drama of a big coat blowing around that would be lost.

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  8. Your coat is stunning! And the color choice so very interesting….. a nice change from the conventional neutrals usually seen in men’s wear. And oh my….your belt solution is genius! A bit of engineering I’m still trying to wrap my head around! In addition to capturing the “Givenchy look” you appear to have made a super warm coat that can take on all the cold and snow thrown at you! Your work’s an inspiration!😁

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  9. Fantastic coat, what a great color and I love the winter wonderland photos. Happy Holidays and here’s to a better 2021

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  10. Fabulous coat. I recently made vintage Butterick 5077 (tie on jacket) with similar detail requiring the belt be pulled through a side opening. As sewn, the jacket is slightly awkward to put on, though I like the style quite well. Your adaptation not only eliminates on/off issues, it presents a great couture look as well. I also used boiled wool and found it a total delight. What are your thoughts on the pocket change you made?

    Merry Christmas, thank you for the entertaining and informative posts in 202. All the best in 2021!

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    1. This was my first time working with boiled wool and loved the fact that it doesn’t ravel. Made my life so much simpler! I love how the pockets turned out. I was trying to keep everything as minimalistic as possible, so anything with flaps was out. A simple patch pocket would have worked as well. A chunky zipper could also be very cool.

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  11. I was so focused on the ingenuity of your belt design, I forgot to mention the coat lining is outstanding. Totally high end color choices and application.

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  12. Really stunning! Thank you so much for sharing the fascinating details for this coat and your other projects. All the best wishes for the holidays!

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  13. Beautiful work. Your assemblage of the belt etc. mystifies me but congratulations on working that out. Also like the muslin; it looks like a classy lab coat. If you ever teach, wear that for immediate authority.

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  14. I love your coat. I really like that it’s not the usual neutral colours. I love the ingenuity of the wrap belt and your workmanship is beautiful. I hope it gets cold enough here next year as I have a beautiful piece of kelly green wool that I want to use. I hope the holiday season is great for you. I also have a lot that I’m grateful for – and I hope it gets better for a lot of people this year.

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  15. Another stunner! Great workmanship, fit and that ingenious belt / wrap solution! Including the belt keeper. Thanks for sharing Duane. Happy holidays, and best wishes on the next adventure! 😊

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  16. The belt design is genius and the lining looks fantastic with the piping.

    Thanks for sharing your projects on the blog, it really is inspirational. I hope you enjoy the holiday season and a happy new year.

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  17. I hope Heather sees your design change on the belt. It is a very good solution. I love the color and that color loves you. Looks fabulous on you.

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  18. I love this coat and especially all the geeky tailoring stuff. Do you canvas all the way down the front of the coat or just to the waist?

    Happy New Year.

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    1. David, the canvas (and the taping) goes all the way to the hem. It provides the structure and extra weight to keep the coat from flapping around excessively. The pocket bags are also secured to it, and that helps keep them in place.

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    1. Yes. After the welts are formed I do an invisible backstitch “in the ditch” to secure them. It takes just a few minutes to do and looks so much better than machine stitching IMO.

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  19. This coat is stunning! The color, fit, and details really make it something special. Thank you for sharing the process and explanation of how it all comes together. Best wishes for the new year!

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  20. The coat, and that lux satin lining, is gorgeous. I am curious, are boiled wool and a lining enough for a real Maine winter coat, or do you have to put an interlining in as well, thinsulate or something?

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