I actually made a coat! And I love, love, love it! I know I say every one of my makes is my new favourite, but I think this might remain my favourite for quite a while!
As you may be able to tell, the pattern is the Marilla Walker Freemantle coat. I cut out the size 2 and made view A.
This was actually a refashion of the old coat I bought from the Fara Workshop. Remember it?
I just googled ‘Brian Tucker Dublin’ and according to The Irish Times, he was “a leading figure in the Irish clothing industry, affectionately known as “the blazer king” in the early l970s for a jacket that became his trademark. With a reputation for skilled cutting and for good fit, the Tucker label became synonymous with well-made coats, suits and raincoats, women’s outwear staples that were sold all over the country.” So I guess this was a fashionable, quality coat back in its day.
My original plan was to remove the faux fur cuffs, which it turned out were added by hand by the previous owner – you can see the stitches below.
This may have been a way to cover up some of the holes in the lining, of which there were many!
My original plan was to just replace the lining, using the old one as a pattern, and then to use the Freemantle pattern as a basis for the shape of the new coat, to make it a cocoon-type shape. But then it turned out it was easier to just make the whole coat, cutting up the shell of the coat and making a new lining. It took a bit of squeezing to get the pattern pieces to fit, but I realised they would, as long as I made the length in between the short jacket length and the long coat length, cutting off 16cm from the view A length.
I unpicked all the seams at the neck, took off the sleeves and unpicked the original facings as I needed that extra width to fit on the pattern pieces. This did mean that I didn’t have enough fabric to make the new facings for the coat, which was a bit of a shame, but both the shell fabric and the new lining fabric I bought are easy to iron so the lining doesn’t peek out too much – nowhere near as much as it does on my black Victoria blazer anyway!
As you may have seen from my post about the Knitting and Stitching Show, this is the fabric I bought for the new lining:
The pattern calls for an underlining and not a lining, but the way I had to piece the original coat meant I had lots of extra seams that would have needed bias binding attaching, and I’m lazy, so Idecided to make a full lining instead. This is what the coat looks like inside out – I might be tempted to wear it this way around sometimes if the outer fabric wasn’t so itchy!
And here is the obligatory ‘flasher’ shot!
I used this tutorial on Grainline to bag out the lining – I got stuck on how the sleeve linings would be attached to the cuffs, but this post makes it perfectly clear!
As a couple of other people have mentioned, one of the great details of this coat is the underarm gussets. It took me 2 days of getting increasingly more annoyed to work out how to construct these…..because I had sewn something wrong! I often cut some corners when I’m sewing, to get the thing finished as quickly as possible – so I can get to wear whatever it is as soon as possible. I therefore skipped the tailor tacks on the pattern – I didn’t even draw them on with chalk. This was a mistake!
I had the pattern pieces out for reference when constructing the sleeves, but when I sewed the back of the sleeve to the back of the coat, I sewed it too far so then couldn’t work out where the gusset should fit. I unpicked so many of the seams to try to work out what I’d done….except the one I needed to unpick! You know the phrase ‘a stitch in time saves nine’? Well I have a new one: ‘a tailor tack in time saves 2 days of getting annoyed and not being able to understand the instructions’. I think it’ll catch on!
Now I’m going to post loads of photos – sorry, not sorry – because I’m proud of how this turned out!
There’s an extra seam on the back because there was a seam on the original coat down the centre back.
I had to piece the sleeves slightly as the original sleeves weren’t wide enough or long enough – so there’s a little extra sort of cuff at the bottom of the sleeves.
If you follow me on instagram, you’ll also know how proud I am of the welt pockets – I’d never made them before, but following the instructions in the pattern, they worked perfectly! And there’s a little flash of yellow from the lining inside them.
I used 2 poppers to fasten the coat, and the sewed buttons on the top – it looks a bit puckered in the photos, but it doesn’t sit like that in real life.
I’m glad Marilla Walker put the pattern back in sale as I really like the shape, and think it would be flattering on lots of people in lots of different colours. Are you planning to make a coat this Winter? What patterns do you like for coats and jackets?