UK Elle magazine August Runway Edit and Style.com/ US Vogue both pick out the parka as a key item for the winter 2011 season. A good example of ‘street’ influencing ‘runway’ style.
The iconic parka is from Altuzarra.
If that’s a bit much for you, there are many high hip and hip length casual jackets with big fur collars. This one also from Altuzarra.
Last year I had difficulty finding a parka pattern, but there are a whole lot tucked away in corners of the pattern world.
For the most basic style, the pattern is quite simple :
Basic block : the casual-dartless block (see previous post). Enlarge to outerwear size. Thigh length.
Added style elements : front zip or buttons/snaps; hood or deep collar; big patch pockets; casings at waist, hem, wrist, collar/hood.
As usual it’s surprising how many different versions designers can come up with. By varying the style elements and adding seam detail or gathered sections.
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Paper patterns in English
The closest to style is Hot Patterns 1030 Weekender Shine-On-You-Crazy Parka.
Add square cargo/ poachers pockets if you prefer.
Or for a less gathered version with detachable hood : styleARC’s Safari Jane jacket.
(Shams has a blog entry on making this jacket in beautiful fabrics )
If you like raglan sleeves, there’s Vogue 1097 by Sandra Betzina.
If you prefer : Make thigh length. Omit in-seam pockets and add patch pockets. Add waist/ hem/ cuff casings.
You may like to add a hood to Simplicity 2153, and lengthen to thigh or knee level.
Or if you prefer something a little different, there’s Marcy Tilton’s new pattern, Vogue 8752.
MacPhee Workshop has several parka patterns. The pictures are too tiny to be worth reproducing, try styles 289 and 450.
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Paper patterns in other languages
Au Bonheur des Petites Mains Imperméable long (French) (P.S. this company is now closed.)
Stof & Stil 24006 (Danish, ship only to Scandinavia and Germany).
Burda are marvellous for parkas, many in their pattern magazine. But for some reason none in their main paper pattern line. Here are a couple from their Fashion Line.
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Download patterns in English
The rest of the parka patterns I’m mentioning are all downloads from Burda.
US BurdaStyle has Style 101, with hood and back waist casing.
Another two available through SewingPatterns.com
Go to Downloads > Burda downloads > Coats
for Burda 7711 (left) and . . . . . . . . . . Burda 7750 (right)
Beware that Click2Sew patterns aren’t pdfs. The software is for Windows.
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Wear your parka with a dress to be high style (see the first photo). If you prefer, wear easy fit or skinny pants, and comfortable brogues or loafers. Flat shoes are fashionable, hurrah !
And a felt hat – fedora or trilby.
Sadly, I don’t look good in a felt hat
Which one do you like best ? What do you look at first ? Does the styling draw the eye up to your face ? With many of them, my eyes go straight to the hips – oh dear Now imagine them without the pockets. . . On the runway styles, it’s the big hood/ collar with fur trim that draws attention away from the pockets. Could you add a fake fur collar, hood strip, or hood lining ?
Obviously a parka fits in easily with a casual personal style. But if you look, some of them are crisper and some softer. If you’re a pure Classic, think of this as a classic casual style. Avoid any sewn gathers, and wear it with tailored trousers and a crisp shirt.
And how about flattering your body shape ? Much though I love big pockets, I know they aren’t good emblazoned on my big hips. But several of the pattern shapes are larger below waist than above, so wouldn’t look strained on me. Which would work for you ?
Look forward to being relaxed and practical and high fashion in the coming winter
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Patterns and links available July 2011
Photos from Style.com