Useful + Beautiful
I love the lines of vintage coats--an A-line, a car coat--great style, drape and movement. Over the years, as coats have become more useful, they've become less beautiful. I want to change that.
Boutique Owner + Native North-westerner.
I've designed a coat that will protect you from the elements in a contemporary style that takes you from day to dinner. As a boutique owner, I've watched countless women come out of my fitting rooms. I've paid attention to how things fit...the look on women's faces when we get it right. That experience has gone into making this coat.
(Coat will have 3 snaps as closures. Illustrated lining background will be jet black--not grey as shown.)
I've been designing this coat in my mind for years. I call it a "mash-up" of my all-time favorite coats.
A Community Makes a Coat.
I'm a third-generation Tacoman. I'm community-minded and I love to collaborate. Once I had the vision, I reached out to women in my community to help make it a reality. This collaboration all took place in Tacoma.
One of my favorite coats in my personal wardrobe was an old leather bomber jacket that had an aviation map lining; I wanted my coat to be just as memorable. So I wanted a lining for my coat that wasn't just interesting, but unforgettable. After looking at thousands of prints and not finding what I wanted, I reached out to local artist Chandler O'Leary. I'm a huge fan of Chandler's work, and I knew not only that she'd be a good fit for the project, but that she could create something that was tailor-made to my vision.
The Lining. A Wearable Work of Art.
The lining fabric will be printed in Los Angeles. The digital process captures the true colors Chandler painted. The coat is truly a wearable work of art. Digitally-printed fabric is expensive. To keep the coat affordable, we plan to eliminate the middle man and sell it directly to customers.
I enlisted the help of local talents Emilie Stevens and Gay Springer (you'll hear more about them during the campaign) to help with the design sketch, "muslin" test pattern and prototypes. I was able to have several women try on multiple versions of the prototypes to fine tune details and make sure the shape was universally flattering. Their input was invaluable.
Made in America
Keeping it (really) Local.
Did you know that only 2% of the garments worn in the U.S. are actually made here? I am proud that this coat will not only be made in America, but in Tacoma, by Bratwear, a locally-owned company that designs and manufactures custom-fitted uniforms for police, fire-fighters and paramedics throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Founded in 1992, Bratwear creates products that are well-made and durable, meant for the professional who works in the field.
Given their innovation, quality, service and location, Bratwear is the perfect choice to make this coat.
Check out customer testimonials at their website, http://www.bratwear.com/testimonials.aspx
- water-repellent, breathable outer shell textured for a soft hand
- lightweight for travel, road-tested for performance
- beautifully illustrated Constellation lining by Chandler O'Leary
- A-line shape that takes you from day to dinner
- a fabric with drape and movement
- long sleeves that roll back to 3/4 to display the lining and make it transition to spring
- universally flattering fingertip length
- a style that looks great open or closed
- raglan sleeves for easy layering and comfort
- a collar that looks great up, lapel style, or snapped closed
- deep, roomy, well-positioned pockets
- Made in America
For the first production run, the coat will be offered in size small through extra large. We plan to offer petite and plus sizes after we are up and running. We will be in touch once the project is funded to help you with size selection.
Currently testing the print on various fabrics. We will select fabric that allows for full-color saturation to ensure the quality of the printing. We want input from you on this...silky or a lightweight cotton?
Art Print 11 x 14
All rewards will be mailed via USPS. We will secure insurance, delivery confirmation and tracking numbers as necessary.
Rewards can also be picked up at Sonja's shop. We will notify you when your reward(s) are ready.
I would love to give you a thank you hug and treat you to some delicious frozen yogurt!
June 15th Campaign ends and the project is funded!
Notecards will be shipped immediately following campaign.
11 x 14 prints will be mailed in September.
Exterior shell fabric will ship from Colorado to the manufacturer for production at the close of the campaign.
Lining and scarf fabric will be digitally printed in Los Angeles and shipped to the manufacturer upon completion.
Coats and scarves will be produced in Tacoma July-September for late September/possibly October delivery.
Inspiration. A nod to my roots.
I kept thinking about my Grandma when I was designing this coat. The coat reminds me of her. It's useful, beautiful, hardworking, and has your back.
Would you please help spread the word?
You can share this Kickstarter page via Facebook or email
We will post project updates to backers via Kickstarter and will post additional information and blog on our Facebook page.
Big thanks to:
Chandler O'Leary - Illustrator www.chandleroleary.com
Emilie Firn - Director / Editor www.emfirno.com
Emilie Stevens - Sketch, "muslin" and test pattern
Gay Springer - Custom sewing. Prototypes and pattern
Sally Swanson - Owner, Bratwear
Anna Moebus - Final prototype and production pattern
Noreen Hobson - Fit model
Kathy Chakerian - Photos of Melissa on Horsehead Bay
Summer Briggs - Photos at Pt. Defiance Park
Melissa Ellis - Model. Owner 'Agnes a Hair Salon' on North I Street
Claire Evanshyn and Michael Wilkns School of the Arts Interns
Also a special thank you to customer friends who tried on all the prototypes
Risks and challenges
The coat will be made locally, so we won't have the standard risks associated with overseas production. Sewing will take place in Tacoma, so I will be able to visit the factory to perform quality checks and ship small quantities of coats at a time
The lining will be printed in Los Angeles by a company who works with the fashion industry.
The outer shell fabric is in stock and ships from Colorado.
The manufacturer's reputation for quality eliminates risks around production.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)