Now that the weather is finally getting warmer, I thought what a good time to share my new Winter coat I made back in February!
I knew I wanted to make a new coat this year as my beloved Honetone coat was really starting to wear out. It was made from pretty cheap fabric from one of the Sew Brum meet ups and there were a couple of things that I didn’t love about it in the end (apart from literal holes in the fabric), like a lack of a full collar – it had lapels but no collar. And the lapels never sat quite right but I’ve learnt more about how to make this happen that I knew then so I was hopeful I could do a good job this time, and get a nice finish!
Also using 100% wool fabric helps with pressing – synthetics do not press as nicely in my experience. The fabric – the wool and the lining – were from Fabric Godmother. I have never been disappointed with the quality of their fabric and since this was a sizeable investment in time, as well as money, I didn’t want to cut any corners.
I used the Bella Loves Patterns Traveller Coat pattern as it had the masculine details and vibe I was looking for in my new coat. It was soooo many pages so I went the extra mile and got it printed at Netprinter (which I think I saw was now closing?!). There are 2 heights for the pattern and since I’m 5’3″ I made the one drafted for exactly my height! I made the size 8 with no fitting changes – since it has a dropped shoulder, I thought that would remove the main place it might look wrong if it didn’t fit properly. Obviously this was a risk since the fabric was expensive and I didn’t want to mess it up.
The pattern calls for a lot of interfacing and I just went for the iron-on style for ease of use and ease of getting hold of it. To help the lapels lay back nicely, I ironed on the interfacing with the lapels in the position they sit in when worn – it was a bit of a head-scratcher to figure out which way that was! I saw this in a Bernadette Banner video from an expert tailor – they talked about holding the fabric in the way you want it to lay when you do pad stitching to attach the interfacing.
Sewing the whole coat from start to finish did take a good while – which was what I wanted to do. This isn’t a quick sew! I started it in January (when I finally got the guts to cut into the fabric) and finished it in February, during a week I had off from work to use up my annual leave. It was nice to spend a good chunk of time working through all the steps.
The pattern calls for quite a bit of top-stitching which helped the fabric to sit flat, since it was quite bulky and spongy in places without it.
I decided to go for a bright yellow contrast lining – because why not! I actually quite enjoy the flash of yellow in the vent as I walk. Speaking of the vent, that was the part of the pattern that was the trickiest for me to understand – I think I was overthinking it. When I actually started to do the steps, it finally started to make sense!
I’m not going to lie, I’m really proud of my coat. I’m glad I invested in good quality fabric and took the time to do everything carefully and I hope it will last me a good few years. I have a bit of each of the fabrics left so hopefully I can do some repairs in the future if I need to. I also feel really cool wearing it. Although I love the warm weather we’re finally getting, I’m also a bit sad that I won’t be able to wear it for a while until it gets cold.
Here are a couple of close-ups of the details on the shoulders and the belt. I really love the epaulettes(?) on the shoulders – I like the little loops they sit through, the buttons, everything!
What’s the most involved garment you’ve ever made? Sometimes it’s nice to take extra time to make something really well finished I think. Obviously quick makes are fun, but slow ones are fun in a different way.