The 80s called, they want their coat back: Vogue 1767

So here it is, my coat from a 1986 Claude Montana pattern, worn in 2022. Just for fun I’ve amped up the 80s styling with the scarlet lipstick and sunglasses. I haven’t been able to find any other images of the exact original design beside the pattern envelope photo below; however there are lots of similar brightly coloured Montana coat designs from 1985 and 1986 which are usually photographed styled in a similar way.

A sewing pattern envelope with a lot of wear. Thr cover art has a photo of a woman wearing a yellow coat and black trousers with turnups,and a sketch of a woman wearing the same style of coat in grey and black trousers without turnups.
Vintage Vogue 1767 pattern envelope (originally issued 1986)

I was trying to reproduce the pattern envelope pose here but now I look at it again it’s not quite right. It does show off the strong triangular shape of the coat though. I think this one was from the peak shoulder pad era.

A woman wearing a short oversized green coat, black dress and sunglasses, leaning forward. The coat has a single button visible and large patch pockets.

Disappointingly it’s less warm than I’d hoped. These pictures look like we took them on a warm day but it was bitterly cold despite the sun and I was freezing. The good news is it’s such an oversized style that I could easily fit a couple of sweaters underneath it. My pattern was a size larger than I’d normally make but I didn’t bother trying to grade it down as I didn’t think it would make much difference to the end result. The only pattern adjustments I made were to add my usual extra length to the body and sleeves and to extend the back half-lining into a full lining.

Back view of a woman wearing a oversized short green coat and black dress. The coat has vent and top stitched seams.

The lining is surprisingly discreet considering it’s bright pink. The facings of the coat are very deep so there isn’t a lot of it. I’m glad I went for the contrasting lining; I normally prefer to match the lining but I suspect I wouldn’t have found a similar green and the two colours do look good together.

A woman wearing a short green coat over a black dress. The coat is opened to reveal a bright pink lining

This shot just shows the edges of the fly that hides all the buttons except the top one.

Like the other Montana patterns I’ve made there’s an element, in this case diagonal lines, that occurs throughout the garment. The front closure, the bound buttonholes, all the pockets, the angle of the neckline are all slightly on the diagonal. It’s very harmonious.

What I didn’t like about the pattern was the order of construction suggested. For example, sewing the front facings on around the front edges all the way to the side seams, and then asking to attach the patch pockets to the front without sewing them through the facing layer. It makes much more sense to sew the pockets on before applying the facing. This is a much easier way to get the pockets on because the coat front naturally lies flat at that point. If the facing was already attached it would have to be turned to the outside to avoid sewing through it, and then you’d be trying to put the presser foot in between the facing and the coat front; the facing would get in the way and pull up on the front.

That wasn’t the only construction issue; I also had to rip out the under sleeve seam in order to topstitch the upper sleeve seam. In that case I can see that the cuff construction is easier with both seams sewn and the hem facing already turned in, but it’s not impossible to do it my way, whereas topstitching the upper sleeve with the whole thing already sewn into a tube definitely wasn’t happening.

I didn’t think I’d want to wear this open but it actually looks OK in this picture. I’ll have to experiment when the weather warms up (so June then…)

This was a bit of a stunt project; I loved the pattern but I likely wouldn’t have got round to making it if I’d had to buy new fabric. As it happened I had the green wool and the lining in stash, and no other plans for either of them. However it’s surprisingly wearable. It needs the right outfit underneath, so it won’t completely displace my beloved silver quilted coat, and it’s probably best for spring and autumn rather than the depths of a UK winter. I’m glad I made it. I’ll report back on how it wore later on the year.

Thanks to my husband for taking the pictures as always.

53 thoughts on “The 80s called, they want their coat back: Vogue 1767

  1. I was there, and recall this pattern when it first came out. Yes, we really did wearing shoulder pads so big that sometimes (on my little frame) the pads fell down the arm…and you’ve done a fabulous job, including the lining. In fact, you’ve inspired me to revisit many boxes of old Yves St Laurent patterns and other 80’s Vogue designer treasures. My problem is accessing quality fabrics without hefty customs duties here in Switzerland, but your masterpiece takes me back to silk-by-the mile at China Products during my working days in Hong Kong as well as quality imported British suiting wools in the Hongkong hotel lobbies’ tailoring shops catering to business tourists. Another great designer from that era was Ungaro…also big on shoulder pads and the inverted triangle shape. So worth subscribing to your updates! Thanks

  2. I love this look on you! Wear your new coat with the ‘swag’ it deserves. Almost makes me want to move to a cold climate just so I can wear a similar coat!

  3. Looks great on you! I’ve looked forward to following your progress each week and I’m glad to see the finished piece. How cold is it there, anyway???

  4. It looks great on you! I’ve looked forward to your progress each week and I’m glad to see the finished result. How cold is it there anyway???

  5. Looks great. Black and chartreuse work well together. The back view really shows the wide sleeves/deep armhole so typical of the 80s.

  6. Love Love Love it! I was so looking forward to seeing this and you have absolutely nailed it. I wondered if it would look dated, too 80s, OTT but it looks absolutely perfect!

  7. Fabulous Catherine!-if you post it on IG you should tag @claudemontanaarchives as I’m sure they would like to see it. ( now I must make one for the spring!)

  8. Love your colors! Loose-fitting clothing will always be colder in cold weather because cold air can enter so easily. No warm pocket of air around the arms, chest, back, etc.

  9. Wow. You were so right about this one – ‘surprisingly wearable’ is spot on. I love the drama in this garment, and I hope you get the right weather for it very soon.

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