I’ve heard that every self-respecting Parisian woman should have in their wardrobe a beige trench coat and a little black dress. Well, it’s been a while since I left Paris, and I’m not sure how self-respecting I am, but now I got my basics covered!

I wish I could have taken pictures where I look effortlessly chic (French style!), but instead I took these ones last May during a day trip to Salem which marked my last weekend living in Massachusetts. You can tell by my dead-inside look how miserable I was, and you can imagine how excited I was to be moving back to the south! I was drenched and freezing after several hours of walking around in the rain, but given how often I manage to take pictures I can’t be too picky. So let’s ignore my “wet dog” hairstyle and focus on the topic at hand: my Luzerne trench coat!

This is actually my final test version, made before the pattern release. It took me quite a while to blog about it, given that the collection was released almost two years ago! I made this jacket from a water-repellent cotton twill (tested in real-life!) that I got from Toto tissus in France. Its water-repelling properties are truly impressive: I can run tap water over it and not a single drop will stay on the fabric or be absorbed. However it is pretty stiff compared to a normal twill, which made sewing this jacket much harder that the ones shown in the online shop that were made out of Robert Kaufman Ventana twill, which is much suppler. You can especially tell by the sleeve heads, as I wasn’t able to ease them in properly, and I can definitely feel that my arms can’t move as freely. The inside is finished with some beautiful floral bias binding from Rascol:

This trench coat was made in a size 38 all over, simply lenghtened by 1 cm at the bodice. I don’t think I had lengthened the skirt. I really like this short length, which makes it work as well worn with a dress or over pants. Because it is cinched at the waist, it goes great with my fit-and-flare dresses and my skinny jeans. I wore it a bunch as a transitional piece since I’ve made it, it’s my go-to when it’s raining (it’s also my only truly waterproof jacket!).

Under the trench coat, I’m wearing the ultimate workhorse of a dress, a sleeveless Givre dress in black jersey knit. It’s the same dress I was wearing under my Opium coat two weeks ago, and, just like the trench coat, I’ve worn this dress a lot since I’ve made it last March. It’s crazy to think I’ve been sewing for over ten years yet I didn’t have a single little black dress in my closet until now!

I have to admit I rarely sew black, pretty much never. It’s a color that makes me look a little tired, unlike navy blue which fits my complexion better. The issue with navy blue is that wearing it from head to toe everyday – blue jeans, blue top, navy shoes for instance – can be a little much. When I was in junior high there was this girl a few years above me who always dressed in blue. She had blue platform shoes, blue maxi dresses and long cardigans, she even had blue hair. My friends and I called her “Madam Blue”. She even appeared in the French equivalent of Dr. Phil. So everytime I wear blue on blue, I think about her… But anyway. All of this to say, a little black from time to time doesn’t hurt anyone.

The only time I’ve sewn with black fabric was for this Flora dress, which was a total fail. It was so tight at the waist I could barely breathe, not really the kind of dress you immediately reach to when you don’t know what to wear! So for my everyday little black dress I went for a comfortable and easy-to-wear pattern: the Givre dress, that I had already made for myself in stripes and florals. The fabric is a cotton-elastanne jersey knit from Rascol, which is the perfect weight for dresses and is available in many different colors. However it’s a fabric that I find a little annoying to work with, it rolls on itself a lot and is a lint and dust magnet. I think in general I like syntetic jersey knits the best, as they tend to have better recovery that cotton jersey knits that can sag. That said I still like this fabric, and especially this dress that goes with everything.

All in all I really like both of these pieces, which are pretty basic but still classy and very flattering. However, while Givre is a super quick project and I have every intention to make a ton more, as a tee, tank top, or dress, Luzerne is starting to get under my skin! Don’t be mistaken, it’s a really pleasant pattern to make despite how long it takes to complete, and I still find the end result gorgeous. It’s just that I’ve just finished sewing yet another one to give as a present soon, and counting both samples from the shop, it’s already my fourth one. Add to that that I’ve just gotten out of an Opium coat marathon, all I want to sew right now is a stupid basic t-shirt!

The Beige Trench Coat
Luzerne – Deer&Doe
Size 38
Bodice lengthened by 1 cm
Water-repellent cotton twill – Toto tissus

The Little Black Dress
Givre – Deer&Doe
Size 38 – 36 1/2 – 40 1/2
Cotton-elastane jersey – Rascol