An elaborate blanket: constructing Vogue 1476

A dressform wearing a purple draped coat stands in front of bookcases. The coat is vintage Vogue 1476 by Issey Miyake.

Here’s my finished Vogue 1476 coat. It’s an Issey Miyake design from 1984. This one is a real classic – I think it was in the Vogue patterns catalogue for over 20 years. I don’t know exactly when it went out of print but it was before I started buying Vogue patterns so I had to buy my copy second hand.

Vintage Vogue 1476 envelope art

Like a lot of the Issey Miyake patterns Vogue produced the pattern cutting on this one is unconventional. Any unlined coat is topologically equivalent to a sheet with two holes in it to put your arms through. I once made a McCalls waterfall cardigan pattern that was literally a flat rectangle of fabric with two armholes cut out and sleeves attached to them. The Vogue is obviously much more sophisticated than that; there’s some shaping and the sleeves are an impressive batwing shape rather than tubes; but there’s a resemblance.

You start off with a big rectangle of fabric with an irregular chunk cut out. The first seam transforms that into a loop. Here’s the big piece folded in two along the edge at the bottom of the picture: those short horizontal edges towards the top left are the ones that get sewn together to make the loop.

Then you hem the whole thing all the way around the outside, mitring the corners. There’s nine metres of hem so it takes a while. Vogue suggests neatly turning 6mm of the raw inside edge of the hem under and then topstitching it down with two rows from the right side. I wasn’t confident of doing that neatly in bouncy wool coating so I left the inside edge flat and trimmed it close to the topstitching afterwards. The fabric doesn’t fray and I think it looks all right. Whatever hem finish is used needs to look neat because it shows when the coat is worn.

Next the two yoke/sleeve pieces are joined together, and then the long edges of the joined yoke/sleeve piece are sewn along the inner edges of the main loop and topstitched three times. There’s a certain amount of pivoting around the angles in the edges; you can see one of the angles in the picture below.

If you’ve done it right there are two small sections of the main loop edge left unsewn which form holes for your wrists to go through, one at the end of each sleeve, and you attach facings to finish those. Simple!

Of course it’s not so simple in practice: the sheer size of the pattern pieces makes sewing it a challenge. I spent a lot of time stopping and adjusting the huge pile of fabric so it fed smoothly. My machine doesn’t have a ‘stop with needle down’ function and it’s the first time I’ve ever really wanted it.

It’s vital to mark and match the notches and circles on the seams between the main pattern piece and the sleeve/yoke pieces so they end up correctly aligned. I couldn’t go by past experience to put this one together because the pattern pieces are such unusual shapes and they’re so big it’s difficult to see what’s going on anyway. The pattern illustrations are accurate but it’s hard to relate those neat drawings to the huge pile of crumpled fabric in front of you.

There’s a lot of topstitching involved. I had to wind three bobbins. I tried to keep it straight and consistently spaced by using my ditch stitching foot, which has a central blade which follows the line you’re targeting, and adjusting the needle position to one side to get evenly spaced rows. It worked pretty well but I failed to think about the order I stitched the rows in before starting, and more than once ended up having to sew with the bulk of the fabric to the right of the needle because my machine’s needle position will only adjust to left of centre.

I wish I’d done the centre back seam differently. I left the edges raw, topstitched down the seam allowances, but didn’t trim them back. The wrong side of this seam shows when the edge of the coat is folded back in wear, so it looks a bit untidy with that loose edge. I might have to go back with some sharp scissors and trim it. In a lighter fabric I’d flat fell the centre back seam. I’ve seen a great summer version of this pattern done in linen.

This is really more of a cardigan than a coat. It’s wonderfully warm and cosy but doesn’t have any closures. I think I’ll be wearing it around the house a lot though. Hopefully I’ll get some modelled pictures at some point.

33 thoughts on “An elaborate blanket: constructing Vogue 1476

  1. I don’t care if it’s a coat or elaborate blanket – I think it looks very wearable (maybe a reckless brooch could be a closure?)

  2. Hi Catherine,

    It’s beautiful. How big is it? I’ve made several Vogue patterns from Koos van den Akker which were so huge that I could easily go down to a size 10. I’ve seen this pattern on eBay but only in small sizes, mostly 10. Could it still work? I am a Vogue size 16, 18 normaal, with tight fitting cloths. But this seems to be a very loose fitting piece. What do you think?

    1. Mine is nominally a size 10 but there are no points where it comes anywhere close to the body and the front flaps are wide enough to reach halfway across my opposite arm. I read somewhere that the coat pattern is actually one size no matter what the envelope says, and I could believe it. I think you’d have no problems with it. Watch out for the sleeves; I have hugely long arms and still didn’t need to lengthen them. I lengthened the body my usual amount.

  3. Looks great! Dramatic house cardigans are always good to have on hand.
    I’m also loving these photos where you flex your board game collection!

  4. Ooh, it’s gorgeous–I love the deep blue color! So is it basically just two pattern pieces (not counting the pockets), but with a lot of origami folding?

    1. Thanks! Yes, only two ‘real’ pattern pieces and three seams. It must have been draped, I can’t imagine coming up with something like that with flat pattern drafting.

  5. I’m looking forward to the modelled photos. I think it was in the catalogue up until about 14 years or so ago. I bought it and tried making the coat in the years before I was blogging and then a few years later when I was blogging, hacked the pants into a skirt.

  6. Your coat looks very wearable. I also remember someone else making this in a water repellant fabric to use as a raincoat. Not sure if that would be very practical with all that flowing fabric down the front to act
    as a funnel into your lap? All the patterns in this outfit run really large/oversized.

  7. It sure looks stunning on the dress form and will look even more stunning on you. You’re always inspiring.

      1. One of the problems is that I don’t love the fabric I chose. So even if I make it I probably won’t wear it. I felt very bamboozled by the pattern and instructions but after reading your blog I feel somewhat more heartened to give it a try. It’s low on the list though. I did see one made up in a very lightweight showerproof fabric and it was gorgeous.

  8. Issey Miyake really was a master draper, wasn’t he? I read that Vogue sometimes had quite a time translating the design to a flat pattern. This did stay in print for many, many years. I think it was finally discontinued in the mid 90’s. I remember when it was listed on clearance for $5 in the catalog. I think it still holds a record for best selling pattern. Marcy Tiltons French housewife dress is probably a close second. I think you did a great job on the coat, especially with that fabric. I think your miters are perfect and topstitching very even. I bet it looks amazing on you. It would also be a great “dressy” coat/evening coat if you ever go to a formal affair. This will be perfect in early spring and fall…you could always make a cool buckle type fastener at the shoulder if you want it to close. Now you have me thinking how wonderful this would be in a mid weight linen…divine!

  9. Your version of this classic coat is beautiful, great colour and nice looking fabric. I think it will suit you well. I made this coat years ago when I was pretty inexperienced and hadn’t taken into account that the inside will be visible re back/shoulder seam. Eventually I turned under a a few millimeters of the seam (shortened through the top stitching) and sewed the edges under by hand.

    I find it quite warm as a fall coat, given amount of fabric in the front. Sometimes I hold it closed with a giant pin. If it is really cold I wrap it around myself, folding one corner of the waterfall collar over my shoulder where it is held in place by the other side of the coat front. Not sure if that makes sense.

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