This weekend was one surprise after another, beginning with the part where on Thursday it became known to me that, should I want to, I had access to a 3-day badge to WonderCon. I had debated attending for a while and mostly passed over it once 3-day badges sold out, but suddenly presented with the opportunity, I decided to be spontaneous and attend.
My line-up was thrown together at the last minute, obviously, so I played it safe and pulled my Ten, S6 Eleven, and Tintin (wanted a non-Who cosplay at the multi-fandom con). The con was great fun (my first year at WonderCon!) and I have lots of fun photos like the one above with Angi Viper and Caitlin Postal as Super!Elsa and Super!Anna. But I was not long at the con before I received my second surprise – Abbyshot Clothiers had a booth in the Dealer’s Hall! Because of the discovery that their 7b coat was tailored with the fabric inside-out, I wanted to go and chat with them, let them know what the situation was and see what the future had in store for the coats. I know others had emailed them but I thought it’d be nice to do a little legwork myself – maybe they were already working to reverse the fabric for a second run, or something like that, and I thought it’d be nice to hear from their mouths if they were.
I knew I was walking in there on Saturday to introduce myself as “That Guy,” but this stupid problem has really been upsetting me way more than is appropriate or warranted so I wanted a little piece of mind that at least I tried. When I arrived, even before I got to introduce myself, I was, uh, struck. Surprise #3 was slow-burning, but I just… couldn’t figure out what I was looking at.
The picture to the left is the sleeve of a coat on display at the con. It’s not my fabric… right? Mine looks different… maybe they cut the panels sideways, so it’s still the backside of the fabric but tilted 90°? It’s just so hard to tell because the two sides of the fabric really do look so close…
Oh whatever. I’d need a swatch to compare to be sure of what I’m looking at.
I went, introduced myself, and proceeded to make myself an ass, as I anticipated. After a cheerful but strained conversation (everyone I met from Abbyshot was incredibly sweet), I went back to peruse the coats again.
And that’s when I found it.
These two fabrics are both tailored into full coats – on display – next to each other – for sale.
Notice that the coat on the left is the standard, backside-fabric coat. Sitting directly next to it, on the right, is another Abbyshot-tailored 7b… WITH THE FABRIC FLIPPED CORRECTLY. I happened to bring a swatch of the W. Bill cashmere to the con with me (it belonged to a friend of mine who lives many hours away and I gave it back to him at the con), so the next day I brought it in just to triple check what I was looking at.
It was difficult to line up the swatch with the coat while it was hanging up and I didn’t have a table to lay them on, but you can see at right that these coats have indeed been tailored with the fabric flipped correctly. A quick check showed that every single men’s coat for sale had the correct fabric side facing out, and all but three of the women’s coats were as well.
The creator of the Abbyshot fabric happened to be at the booth (surprise #4!), and I had the opportunity to tell her in person how pleased I am with the incredible effort put into replicating this fabric, and that it paid off extraordinarily well. The problem with the reversed fabric turned out to be a quality control issue, and I have been assured that, now that it has been brought to their attention, Abbyshot has taken steps to correct the issue, and that it should be straightened out in the future.
With the fabric flipped correctly, the coat really reads even better than it already did. It’s a very subtle difference, I wasn’t sure what I was really looking at at first – though it did catch my eye – and simply knowing that I’ll never have to unstitch and repattern the coat to be satisfied with my cosplay is an immense relief. I also took the opportunity to try on the Small sized coat, just to see how it fit. Surprise #5.
All I can say is… damn. DAMN. I initially critiqued the coat for being boxy, lacking some necessary flair, chalking it up to an understandable problem with mass marketing a very fitted garment. Although there is some truth to that… my biggest problem was buying a size too large. My biggest surprise is that the Small coat fit me in the shoulders, where I had originally thought the Medium did. Apparently I’ve grown accustomed to my coats fitting me slightly large in my shoulders and chest (I buy a lot of things second-hand and I’m relatively small) – in this case it has really come to my own detriment. Although I do still plan to mod my coat (vented sleeves are important to me), a huge swath has been cut from my reservations about this coat, simply by trying one on that actually fits me correctly, that has been tailored with the fabric facing correctly.
I couldn’t afford to just BUY one of the Small coats at the con ($$$), but it sounded like it would be possible (unconfirmed) to exchange my Medium for a Small at an Abbyshot exhibition similar to their booth at WonderCon (where I could also make certain I was getting one of the newer coats with the correctly-oriented fabric) since I’ve only owned the coat for a few weeks and only worn it two or three times.
My “solid B” rating from my initial critique… on account of the surprises revealed to me this weekend, I feel compelled to upgrade the critique to an A-. The fabric is an A+, the pattern a B. You will never see a fabric this accurate anywhere, ever again, unless someone decides to sell their W. Bill coat. The rest of it… minor details that will only bug us insane few, and entirely adjustable if desired. Of all the surprises this weekend… that is my favorite of them all.