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The Winter Coat

10 January 2011, 13:41

Hooray, my winter coat is finally finished! As you may have seen with all the coat sewing activity going on around the internet lately, making your own coat is no mean feat! While you’re perfectly able to take some shortcuts, it’s still a several week time investment no matter how you look at it. It’s for this reason that lots of us chose to sew them over the holidays, as it doesn’t feel like quite such a long ordeal if you’ve got several full days to devote to it at one stretch.

If you remember, I used Patrones 285 #29, but with the collar from #28 and major changes to the pockets so that I can easily put my hands inside while I walk to work (which I did today wearing it! yay!). After a muslin, the main changes I made were to lower the waist seam to match my natural waist, shorten and widen the front darts, add walking ease to the lower centre front, and change the pocket design.

I’ve already made a lengthy post about the coat construction and hair canvas interfacing, plus tons of HAWT handstitching action, so if you’re interested in the couture techniques I used or some interior shots of the coat shell, please click through before reading on…

No “shoulder divet”!! Kenneth King’s horsehair shoulder shields did the trick!

I was so happy to be modelling something warm for a change! I know the colour of this is quite similar to my Spring duffle coat (and to be honest, the fabric photo online made it look much darker), but the styles are different, and this is a much warmer coat than that one, so I don’t really see them as being in competition.

Totally necessary “lining flasher!” shot:

(You can also see where I had to piece the facing toward the lower edge!)

Collar detail:

I’m not totally delighted with the collar. I’m not quite sure what, but it’s just not quite “right”. The fit is nice, though, but with the style, I need to wear my scarf overtop instead of underneath as I usually do with deeper necklined coats. Or open up the top button, which I quite like the look of.

Sleeve tab and pocket detail:

I love love love this photo! It shows off my beautiful buttons, my couture applied welt pockets, and the wonderful sleeve tabs. The tabs are lined in the same pink silk as the coat lining and have functioning bound buttonholes and smaller brass buttons of the same type used on the front.

If I were making this again, I think I’d change the sleeve pattern to be two-piece, as I just prefer those and it hadn’t occurred to me that this wasn’t (duh!) until the wool was cut out. But the fit isn’t bad for a one piece sleeve!

For the first time ever, I made a hanging chain in the lining rather than just a loop (I always love these when Tany does them!). This one small thing makes this coat feel so much more expensive!

The sleeves are lined in the mint green Hong Kong silk:

As for the cost breakdown, I spent £32.50 at Ditto for the 2.5m of ex-Burberry wool coating (MacCulloch & Wallis had this exact same coating in orange for £30/m! I’m so smug right now!), plus £20 for the wool and goat hair chest canvas and the horsehair canvas, plus £10 for the big brass buttons. The smaller brass buttons were in my stash already and the silk lining was a gift! So all in, about £60 for this coat, which isn’t bargainous, but for the quality, cut, and fit, I’m very pleased.

Now I’ll leave you with a reminder of exactly how much stitching goes into a coat like this. Some of these spools saw active duty before this coat, but all of them have been finished off by it!!

Yes, silk basting thread (the blue spools) is already on my shopping list!

Coming up next: my post-coat sewing plans, plus two other projects sewn this weekend!

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  1. It’s lovely and you should be chicly warm this winter.
    In collars like this, and you already mentioned that you wondered if you should have used a thinner under collar. That is one possibility and using undercollar felt that they use in mens coating is one possibility. the other thing, is that i like to make the undercollar smaller and cut it on the bias. The third thing is that I like to pound the edges of thick wool like this particularly against a wood tailor form that I have and of course careful grading of the seams. I don’t know if you did any of this, but honestly, you know that you are not totally happy with it, but no on else will notice. Enjoy your accompishment

    Nancy K    Jan 10, 02:17 PM    #
  2. That’s incredible – I am amazed by anyone who can make a coat. And I really like the fabric you chose too – I hope it’s not too long before someone asks you were you got your coat, and you can shock them by saying you made it!

    Laura VW    Jan 10, 02:18 PM    #
  3. You made a coat! In record time! The wool is very pretty, it also looks very thick. I am guessing this made it extra work to sew. I like your shell pink lining and the different coloured lining in the sleeves. Your welt pockets look really good.

    Karin    Jan 10, 02:57 PM    #
  4. This is beautiful! I love the pattern you chose, especially that it has a waist seam and the detail at the sleeves. It’s a lovely color and that hanging chain is so cool.

    lizajane    Jan 10, 03:04 PM    #
  5. How gorgeous!!! I love the color and can’t believe how quick you got it finished (I just spent a month on a wool coat for me). Enjoy wearing it!!!

    — MelissaB    Jan 10, 03:36 PM    #
  6. Amazing and unbelievable. I simply can’t imagine a time when I could make a coat. I love that fabric. And thanks for introducing me to Ditto – it’s great.

    karen    Jan 10, 04:10 PM    #
  7. Fabulous Melissa. All we need now is some cold weather….

    — Kim Hood    Jan 10, 07:45 PM    #
  8. Fabulous! And fabulously fast, what, did you get some time off :-)? And I adore your gloves…

    All I can see with the collar is that both layers are sewn together at the top of the band, as if it was a shirt collar, but I think you can get better roll control if each layer is sewed separately. Or at least usually they are. Maybe some stab stitching right at the neckline, to keep it all together, but not at the top of the band. What do you think??

    — Marie-Christine    Jan 10, 09:35 PM    #
  9. I love, love, love the color! And iwth the gloves it’s too cute. I also like how you used lining to back up the tabs, etc to reduce builk. I have a very nice Eddie Bauer coat that used the same technique.

    cidell    Jan 10, 11:33 PM    #
  10. That looks fantastic. I love the style, very sharp. The color is great, and I really like the photo showing the buttons, welt pocket and sleeve tab, so chic with the yellow gloves. You did a great job and it was worth all the time.

    Beth (Sunnygal Studio)    Jan 11, 06:07 AM    #
  11. love the pockets!

    — Sharon    Jan 11, 12:14 PM    #
  12. Gorgeous! Very jealous! can you come and finish off my coat which has been in progress since September!!!

    — racheljm    Jan 11, 01:17 PM    #
  13. I should send you a pic of my bright turquoise coat; it’s a similar weight fabric, but mine has some nylon in it. Yours looks much better, but I had the same thick-edge issues, even after a pressing at the cleaners. I like Nancy K’s suggestion of pounding the edges (next time!) and your lining of the tabs turned out great. A very lovely coat and just the right pattern for that fabric. I can feel how cozy it is from here!

    — M Kate    Jan 11, 06:25 PM    #
  14. Gorgeous coat! And it looks so incredibly warm. Love that chain detail.

    The Slapdash Sewist    Jan 11, 07:20 PM    #
  15. Melissa your coat is fabulous! The colour is particularly great (such a lovely change from the usual sea of black/grey that adorns the winter streets of London). And I love your pockets – just the right place to keep your hands warm :) Well done!

    Claire (aka Seemane)    Jan 11, 10:26 PM    #
  16. You look great in it. There’s everything right and nothing wrong about wearing colours that suit, and that coat colour is classic for your warm and cold weather versions. Look at you—your lovely tresses, and it looks like you’ve slimmed down!

    Katharine in Brussels    Jan 12, 12:36 PM    #
  17. Fantastic coat. Perfect fitting and so well done!

    senaSews    Jan 13, 03:22 PM    #

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