Back at the end of January, Gossip Girl premiered its 100th episode which was the “Royal Wedding” episode. It wasn’t the gorgeous Vera Wang dresses or the spectacular setting at the reception that caught my eye, however, it was Georgina Spark’s trench coat. As soon as it appeared on the screen I was dying over it. I had a hard time finding out who made it at first, there was very little info online… but after a couple days it was all over the internet. I discovered it was a version of Burberry’s Heritage Trench called “Gem Embellished Trench”, that it came in black and khaki, that it retailed for $1,695 and that it had sold out before even going on sale. I started scrambling to come up with the perfect plan of attack to make the same one my self and while it was wildly successful, it took me nearly two months to complete! I am so happy with it though and I can’t wait to wear it… it’s going to be perfect for spring. After lots of trial and error I’ve found all the things that work and don’t work so with this Designer DIY Tutorial you should be able to make one for yourself in much less time! I actually didn’t pay a thing for this project, my grandmother had sent me some birthday money that came in the mail literally as I was heading out to buy supplies for this project, so armed with that and coupons I didn’t pay a thing but depending on your coat you can easily spend under $100.
Like I said previously, I had a hard time finding information about the trench at first, let alone pictures of it so I had to download the 100th episode to get a closer look (if I would have waited a week things would have been easier because she was in the trench the whole next episode and then the internet was flooded with pictures lol). I put together a collage of pictures at different angles and in different lighting and set out to get supplies. The photo below is my “mood board” of Georgina from the episodes and the actual Burberry pictures.
Here is my finished DIY version:
Start off by picking your trench. I have been looking for almost a year for a trench coat that I like, so I was glad this project pushed me to make a decision on one. There’s a few things you need to look for when picking one (If you want yours to look just like the Burberry one): you need a double breasted one, you need one with a good sized collar that’s not too rounded off at the tips, you need one that doesn’t have yolks already sewn into the coat and you need one that doesn’t have storm flaps on the front Most trench coats come with those awful plastic buttons so remove those.
The Burberry Trench has rounded metal buttons and I actually found ones that looked exactly the same made by Dritz, only they’re made of plastic. I like the idea of grading down the size of the buttons and you work down the coat so I did 8 (2 rows of four) big buttons and 6 (3 rows of three) medium buttons down the front of the coat.
I changed out the 3 buttons on each sleeve to crystal buttons and the big button on the back flap to an art deco styled silver.
Next I went in search to the beads that would be used to embroider the collar and the yolks of the trench. Again, not having much to go by I was winging it but after getting more pictures I was spot on with what I choose (although I did buy some pearl beads which after closer inspection were not used on the Burberry trench so I didn’t use them on mine either. Buy a bunch of different packs of beads in many sizes, shapes and colors but stick to an iridescent, silver, glass and crystal kind of palette. I then divided the coat into four “quadrants”: 1 & 2 were each half of the collar and 3 & 4 were each yolk. I then laid out every single pack beads and rhinestones and divided them evenly into four piles. This way it ensured a good mix of beads and rhinestones and an equal amount as well. Bigger packs or things that needed to be glued on went into their own piles.
Take one fourth of your beads and put them in a shallow dish. This was they’re easier to access and much easier to see what all you have so that you can keep an even mix throughout the sewing.
Start with the first half of your collar. Using black quilting thread (for its stability) double threaded through a standard needle, sew beads staggered throughout the whole area. You could do one running stitch if you prefer, it would certainly be faster, but I was only sewing through one layer of the collar so that (as you’ll see in the send picture below) when the collar is flipped up there is no sewing on the underside. I did it this way because I think it’s a much cleaner look. Keep repeating this staggering process until you have decently covered the surface area of that half of the collar. You can also glue on rhinestones (use E600 glue) to fill in some of the spacing. Once you’ve got this part done, you can take a filler bead and, using a running stitch, fill in all the rest of the blank space. Outline the collar with a row and work around the beads that you’ve already sewn to fill everything in. Repeat this with the other half of the collar.
Once you’ve finished the whole collar, you can start beading the yolks. You can eyeball it if you prefer, I just used the yolk piece from the pattern I used in my DVF blouse project. Obviously every coat will be different but for mine, following the shoulder seam, the yolk was 2″ on each side from the neckline and 3″ on each side from the shoulder. Mark your yolk out using style tape. Follow the same process for each yolk. I know half the yolk will be covered by the collar, but bead it completely anyways so that if the collar shifts you won’t have to worry about bald spots. Once you’ve finished both yolks, remove the style tape and you’re finally done with all the beading!! You’ll notice that the collar comes completely together at the top. This happens for two reasons: you button the top button (usually that piece folds down on a diagonal) and I sewed 2 invisible hook and eyes on the inside to keep it in place.
The last thing I did was sew my tag into the lining on the inside.