So this is my new Rumana coat from By Hand London, and I am absolutely chuffed to bits with it. Rumana was released this time last year, and I loved it so much I think I bought the pattern the day it was released. A word of warning – it is a very large pattern. There are 5 AO sheets and lot of pieces to trace and cut. I would recommend getting them printed by Print My Pattern, so do consider this extra cost if you are thinking of making it – that or you’ll be sticking sheets of paper together forever. I chose to make the coat up in a size 12 – I don’t know what it is with By Hand London patterns, but they run so small – I always have to cut at least one size bigger than any other pattern.
Before I go any further, I have to admit that this is my second Rumana. The first was made in a lovely sky-blue linen for a wedding this summer, however I completely and utterly cocked up the lining and it was a bit of a disaster. After a lot of time spent trying to fix my mistake, I did eventually wear it out and surprisingly got so many compliments I thought that I would give it another try. This is it on its first outing at our friend’s lovely wedding in Devon, with my fiancé James. While it would appear none of the guests at the wedding noticed, all I can see in these pictures is the bubbling hem. I will replace the lining one day, as the shell is too lovely to not wear.
Moving swiftly on, I decided to give Rumana another try, as I really wanted a full-length coat for the winter. I chose the nice and relatively inexpensive wool (by comparison to other coating fabrics) which has been popping up in lots of different colours and fabric shops recently. I bought mine in a navy colourway from Guthrie and Ghani, and used a viscose lining from Merchant and Mills. The fabric is lovely, although as it’s loosely woven, it frayed almost as soon as it was cut. I overlocked every edge, however even that was occasionally a little problematic and alarmingly even broke two needles when stray strands got caught up in the feed!
These small problems aside, it was relatively easy to make up the shell. It’s a really satisfying sew, especially watching the lovely shape slowly emerge with those princess seams – I am particularly pleased with the collar, which turned out even better than on the first attempt. That said, I STILL had problems with the goddamn lining. Just like last time, I found that it pulled the shell hem up and caused this bubbling effect. So, once again, I had to let it down and re-sew it, and whilst this was time consuming, it sorted the problem. I don’t know what I am doing wrong, no-one else seems to have this problem!
After finishing, I thought about adding a button, but it felt like I would have had to pull it too tight to close it, so I left it without closures. I’ve now worn it out a couple of times, and it is a little impractical. However, I am not sure whether making it up a size bigger would have fixed this problem, as it fits well everywhere else. I see in some of Elisalex’s versions of the coat she has widened the fronts which would definitely fix this problem, but hey, I still love it and oh my… it’s so swishable!