This must be the worst timing ever, but I finished the trench coat! As you might know, I started making it almost 2 months ago as part of the Make Nine -challenge. Then work happened and I didn’t have any time to continue until now.

To be honest, I was very tempted to finish it in the autumn as there’s no way I’m going to be using any kind of coat now. It’s over 30 degrees (Celsius) outside! But then I thought it’s best to finish it before starting any new projects, so here we go. At least it’s ready for the next season…

The Trench Lining

This is where we left off last time. I was going to add the seam allowance and then draft the facing- and lining.

So I added 1cm (0,39in) of seam allowance all around, except at the centre front and neckline, where I added only 0,7cm (0,26in). This is where the facing and collar will be attached. Hem allowance is 4cm (1,57in).

After this was done I copied all the pattern pieces to draft the facing and lining patterns. This way the seam allowance was already there.

trench lining pattern

The lining has to be a bit bigger than the top layer of the coat, so it doesn’t feel uncomfortable and won’t rip. Here you can see in pink where I added some more space.

This coat is flared, so there was no need to add anything from the waist down. Basically it’s around the arms and at the back, where I added a pleat. It’s important to maintain the original armscye-measurement though.

The hemline is only 1cm for the lining (instead of 4cm).

The lapel of the facing is a couple of millimeters bigger than the original. This way you can hide the seam when the lapel is turned.

trench sleeve lining pattern

The sleeve lining has even more extra space at the sleeve cap area.

The Materials

I was determined to find some kind of geometric print fabric to make this coat. Or at least an unusual color, to separate my trench somehow from the ones they sell at the stores. You know, if I was going to make a coat from scratch, at least I could make it look unique.

After several fabric stores I was left with a very similar fabric I used last time to make the dress! Well, the stripes were more pronounced this time. The fabric was some kind of a cotton-mix. Turns out I wasn’t courageous enough for strong colors! I’m a bit disappointed. I chose a plain wool fabric to make the facing, collar and all the little details.

So this meant I had to face The Matching of the Stripes again! I cut all the pieces one at a time on a single layer to be able to maintain symmetry.

The stripes also needed to flow from one piece to the next horizontally.

After cutting the first layer, I used these pieces as my pattern to cut the other pair.

In the end I had this huge pile of pieces cut:

sewing a trench coat

Interfacing should be used at least for the collar, the belt, the different straps, the pocket flap and the facing.

Sewing the Trench

I started by sewing the different details ready. All the straps, the belt, the collar, the back flap…

Here I’ve pinned the collar stand of the under collar.

When both under- and top collar were ready I pressed the seams open and attached the two collar layers together at the edge. Here’s the result.

top collar
under collar

Here you can see the back flap. I attached the lining first and then secured the box pleat by stitching. I attached the loop by hand.

sewing trench back flap
trench back flap detail

In case you’re wondering whatever happened to the storm flap… well, I decided to abandon it, because it looked terrible with the stripes that wouldn’t match at all.

The Pocket

It’s a good idea to sew the pocket before the rest of the coat is ready. As this pocket was a bit different, I took more pictures of the sequence for you.

The first thing to do, is to prepare the welts/pocket flaps by sewing the two layers together and top stitching the edges like this.

You should have marks on the fabric where the pocket goes. Pin the pocket flap, right side up, on the right side of your fabric lined with the marks. The pointy bit should go towards the centre front of the trench.

And pin the bigger pocket bag right next to it, wrong side up. Notice that the pocket bag has seam allowance and the flap doesn’t anymore, so the pocket bag will be wider.

Sew the two pieces at 0,7cm (0,26in) or whichever seam allowance you added, keeping the lines parallel.

sewing a coat pocket

Slash open in the middle, like you would when sewing welt pockets. Cutting the Y-shape at both ends. Pull the pocket bag to the wrong side and turn the flap towards the opposite direction. Now you should have the wrong side of the flap upwards.

Now it’s time to attach the remaining pocket bag to the seam allowance of the flap. Sew on top of the previous stitches.

Press all the seams flat so you’ll be able to align the two pocket bags and sew them together. Sew also the little triangles at the short ends on both sides of the hole.

The last thing to do is to fold the pocket flap and stitch it on both sides. It should cover the hole completely.

The Rest

Now that all the details were done, I could go ahead and finish the sleeves and the body of the coat. Both lining and the main fabric.

To match the stripes I used the pinning technique from last time.

The sleeve straps are sewn into the seam between the two sleeve pieces. I attached the loop by hand as it was easier that way. The hemline should be basted before attaching the lining.

Same goes for the coat hemline.

At this point I could attach the sleeves, remembering to slip into the seams the shoulder straps. The back flap also has to be sandwiched in between.

And then I attached the lining. First at the sleeves, and then the coat hemline.

Remember there was 4cm hem allowance for the main fabric and only 1cm for the lining? This is what creates that fold you see when you look at coat linings at the hem. But this also means you need to hand stitch the hemline from the inside so that it remains folded the way it should be. That’s why you had to baste before attaching the lining.

This is the coat hemline at the pinning phase.

Still missing the collar.

I attached the under collar by machine..

..and the rest by hand.

attaching coat collar

Last things to be done were the button holes, actually only 3 of them, the buttons and the belt loops. I’m actually still missing the belt buckle. Haven’t managed to find one that I like. But I won’t be using the trench for months anyways, so I guess there’s time to find it.

The Final Look

I made this little collage to present the details of my new coat.

trench details

And here’s the whole trench from different angles.

trench front
trench side view
trench back
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    • shapesoffabric Reply

      Thanks! 🙂 It took me a while to get used to the print, but now I like it.

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