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Announcing Carlita, the womenswear version of our Carlton coat.

6 years, 3 months ago

This one’s for the ladies --- and I’m not (just) talking about that picture of heart-throb Benedict Cumberbatch at the top of this post.

Instead, I’m talking about the release of our latest pattern: the Carlita Coat which is out in beta as of today.

Carlita is --- you guessed it --- the womenswear version of our Carlton coat, which recreates the iconic Sherlock Holmes coat worn by BC on the BBC series.

How did we do it?

For details on how this project came to be, I refer you to the Carlton announcement post. Here, I’d like to focus on the specifics of how we turned this menswear pattern into a coat for ladies.

We wanted to stay as close to the original as possible, so all we did was make changes to address one challenge: fitting the breasts.

Princess, meet your seam

We drew an extra princess seam in the front panel of the coat, through which we added shaping for the bust.

To be able to do that accurately, Carlita requires three extra measurements in addition to the measurements required by Carlton. They are:

We use your high bust measurements to draft the coat, and then do a full bust adjustment on the princess seam based on your (full) chest circumference, bust span and HPS to bust.

All of the pockets, but we had to move some of them

The addition of the princess seam made the map pocket placement a bit difficult, so we’ve slightly moved it, and aligned it vertically, rather than slightly tilted as it is in Carlton.

This way, the pocket can be integrated in the princess seam, somewhere in the underboob region.

One extra option: The princess seam smooth factor

Carlita also has one extra option that Carlton doesn’t have, the somewhat elaborately named Princess seam smooth factor.

This controls how sharply the princess seam will revert back after having added the extra volume for your chest.

A picture says more than a thousand words, so here’s the option sampled on the relevant part of the pattern:

The effect of the option as shown by our sampler service

As you can see, the option controls the urgency with which the princess seam reverts back to your waistline after passing the fullest point of your bust.

A low factor will make for a more fitted coat, but also a more curvy seam that is harder to sew.

A higher smooth factor will smooth this out so it’s a more sloped retreat to the downward seam. This will make the coat less fitted under your chest, and the seam easier to sew.

A reminder about made-to-measure patterns

This goes without saying for regular visitors to this site, but if you’re new here, it’s worth repeating:

This coat is not drafted with a certain cup size in mind. Instead, it will adapt to your chest based on your measurements.

Ladies, we need your feedback

This is our first womenswear pattern with a fitted chest. As such, we’re breaking new ground here, and I’d be interested to see how this pattern adapts to a variety of body shapes/cup sizes.

If you’re planning to make this coat, or a muslin of it, please share your experience, and don’t hesitate to get in touch should you run into any issues.

I plan to design more womenswear patterns, so if there are any fit issues, I’d like to know about it sooner rather than later.


Last but not least, I’d like to thank Anneke for her help throughout this project, and tolerating my countless rants about my love/hate relationship with boobs.

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