Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Albion Family-Russell

When I first laid eyes on the Albion pattern by Colette patterns I just knew this was THE pattern for my little outdoorsy family.  We live in the high desert of Central Oregon.  Bend, to be exact.  Bend is unlike where 90% of Oregonians live and unlike what most people think of when they think Oregon.  Bend is dry.  Bend is a desert.  Bend is also beautiful and up near the Cascades mountains and home to some of the best outdoor recreation you will find, arguably, in the entire lower 48.  Skiing and boarding?  Yep.  Golf?  You bet!  Trail running?  Heck yeah! Mountain biking?  Oh my, YES! Hiking? Of course! Hunting, fishing, boating, kayaking, bird watching, horseback riding, festivals, art walks, brew pubs, coffee shops .... I could go on and on and on.

But this isn't an advertisement for Bend.  This is about my sewing.

So, I present to you my Albion Family!

I decided to make all of us matching Albion coats to wear on our rural property and also out hiking and backpacking.

Here is my husband, for whom I made version 1 with a lining.

Do you see the black "US" stamp on the back of the coat?  That is because I repurposed thrifted waxed canvas from an army surplus store.  This fabric was originally army pup tents.  I cut it all apart and refashioned it into coats for us.

For my husband's coat,  I made version 1, but I omitted the hood and drafted a collar instead.  For the lining I used thrifted military surplus wool.  It's very warm and also pretty heavy.

Taking inspiration from a waxed canvas coat my husband already had, I added a weather flap and a zipper closure.  This will keep out any driving rain and wind.  

For the patch front pockets, I added snaps to keep the flap closed and rivets to the corners to strengthen them.  My husband can be pretty hard on clothing.

Here is the inside of the coat showing the zipper I added and the wool surplus blanket lining.

The toggle closures were a project in and of themselves.  The are handmade from white-tail deer antlers hunted here in Central Oregon.  White-tail deer a great and sustainable source of lean, organic protein and we love venison.  My husband helped me cut them into toggle shapes and also thin cross-sections for the buttons.  I sanded and stained them with some wood stain to give them a little better color.

Here we are on one of our favorite trails in the Deschutes National Forest.

The Albion is a great coat for work around our property.  Bend is a desert and while sunny a beautiful a lot of the time, it gets pretty darn cold in the mornings even late in the spring and early summer.  Wood heat is a great and cozy way to stay warm on the cold mornings and nights.

The Albion is a fantastic pattern and perfect for our lifestyle.  This coat is going to get tons of wear!


  1. Looks like a great practical coat. The details are so official looking. Waxed canvas is perfect. Congratulations. You all look splendid.

  2. This is a wonderful coat and just perfect for Russell. The toggles and buttons are amazing. Great job!

    1. Thanks, Mom! And thank you so much for being my constant cheerleader and sounding board through this whole thing.

  3. You guys are a great looking family--excellent work! And I may have to nab your fabric sourcing idea for my husband's next jacket. I know he would love it.

    1. Thank you! And you should definitely look at the army surplus store for fabric ideas. All kinds of great finds and really good prices too.