After various modifications I finally finished making my winter coat! Originally I was going to make this already last year as part of the Make Nine -challenge, but never got round to it. If you’ve sewn coats, you know that it takes time. And this one took even more time than usual due to my indecision. I kept changing the design! But in the end, I do get to use it this winter, so the timing was good after all.
The Coat Design
As you might remember, the inspiration for the coat came from this vintage design I found on Pinterest. I really love the Lilli Ann designs in general. You can find lots of pretty coats with interesting details designed by them.
This one is from the 50’s. It has a beautiful shawl collar, large, turned-up sleeve cuffs, really fitted waist and a flared hemline. But after I was done with all the changes, sadly my final coat didn’t have much to do with this anymore…
Firstly, I don’t have an hour-glass silhouette, so that made me change the shape. The whole thing was to become less pronounced. Also, I figured a coat that tight at the waistline would be rather uncomfortable to wear anyways. With no counterpart at the bust area, there really was no sense in making the hemline quite so flared. I kept the princess seams though.
Initially I had my doubts on the practicality of the short sleeves. Winter coat is meant to keep you warm, right? But then I was watching The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, and forgot all about being practical! 😀 Ok, I compromised and made the sleeves something in between, showing the wrists. I can always wear longer gloves.
The original coat Might have pockets on the sides, but I placed them in a more traditional way slanted.
So basically, the coat is a toned down version of the original. It has all the same components, but not quite so boldly shaped. I wanted to at least avoid a dull color and instead of going for my usual black or blue, chose wisteria purple (apparently it’s the name of this color).
The Coat Pattern
This time I’m going to skip the usual fitting part and give you the final pattern right away. Maybe it’s less confusing that way. But I did make a toile and correct the pattern before cutting the final fabric!
So here it is: the various phases included in the making of my winter coat.
This is the same block I used as a starting point for the trench. It’s the tailored jacket block, or tailleur. There’s 7cm/ 2,8in of ease at the underarm line (half circumference). Whatever jacket block you’re using, just make sure there’s a bust dart.
The Princess Seams
To create the princess seams, unite the front darts as in the picture. If your jacket block is like mine and doesn’t have a waist dart at the back, add one and unite it with the shoulder dart. There might also not be a seam exactly at the side, so you have to move it there.
The size of the darts depends on the final waistline measurement you’re going for. I left 4cm/ 1,6in of ease.
Add a desired amount of length to your jacket block.
The 2,5cm / 1in button stand width is good for this coat.
For the hemline, draw guide lines straight down from the middle of the waist darts.
I can’t give you measurements for the flare, as it depends on your coat size. Just draw the seams parallel to each other, and at a same distance on both sides of the guide lines. Add flare also to the back seam.
Depending on the amount of flare, you might want to check the hip line measurement, just to make sure there’s enough room.
Next up, the shawl collar. It starts at the first button. This coat has 3 buttons, around the waistline.
Draw the roll line of the collar. Then take the measurement of the back neckline, so that you can draft the upper part of the collar as in the picture. If you want a collar that lies flat on your shoulders, you need to incline the collar more towards the shoulder line of the bodice.
Decide the width of the c.back of your collar. Remember that it will be folded. Mine is 9cm / 3,5in.
Then draft the ”lapel”. It might help to actually fold the pattern at the roll line, so you get an idea how the collar will look like.
Finally, you unite the lapel line with the back of the collar. Then you separate the undercollar piece.
Mark the button- and pocket placement. Here are the pattern pieces:
Add seam allowance if you want. Usually there’s 4cm/1,6in of hem allowance. I prefer adding the seam allowance only after having made the toile and corrected the pattern. But Before drafting the lining pattern.
Your tailored jacket block should come with the two-piece sleeve. All I did was to shorten the sleeve by 10cm / 3,9in. To draft the cuff, I first decided the height. Something to consider here, is that the cuff won’t actually be turned up exactly at the point it’s sewn to the sleeve hemline. But rather 2cm / 0,8in lower, so the cuff height will lose those 2cm.
Then I copied the area of the cuff both from the top- and under sleeve, and added a bit of flare to the upper part as in the picture. If you want more pronounced cuffs, add more volume.
The pattern pieces:
This would be the single welt pocket. Just decide where to place the opening on the coat pattern and draw the pocket bag directly there. And then copy the pieces. Here’s a drawing so you get the idea:
The welt is just a rectangle, twice the final height of the welt, because it will be folded in half. Of course, add seam allowance to the measurements. Check out my Welt Pocket -tutorial for more instructions and ideas.
Notice that this welt is so large that you should close the short ends before attaching the welt to the coat.
The Coat Facing & Lining
For the lining, the idea is to add a little bit extra at the upper part (about from waist up) of both the coat bodice and the sleeve. There’s also a little pleat at c.back of the coat, that ends at the waist.
As a facing, I used the whole front piece of the coat, except that this time the collar is not separated, and it’s 5mm /0,2in bigger at the edge. This way the seam is supposed to remain a bit hidden.
You can also do a little back-facing, but I didn’t.
If you already added seam allowance to the main coat pattern and used that to draft the lining pattern, you don’t have to add seam allowance again. Handy! Only thing that changes, is the hem allowance, which will only be 1 cm/ 0,4in for the lining.
The pieces I interfaced were: the whole facing, the undercollar, the pocket welts, one layer of the sleeve cuffs and the area of the buttons and pockets. I generally hate the fusible interfacing, so I did as little as possible. You’d also normally interface the hemline to get a crispier look.
Sewing the Coat
After having finished the pattern, I made a test version and corrected the pattern. The next phase in the making of my winter coat was sewing!
There were quite many pieces to cut in the end. I got 3m /3,28yd of this wool fabric. I’m not 100% happy with the lining color. I would’ve wanted violet or maybe light grey, but the color selection for coat linings was quite poor. The saleslady was raving about how pretty this color would be, so in the end I went with it.
I started by attaching the interfacing and then sewed all the bodice and sleeve pieces together. I pressed the bodice seams open..
.. and the sleeve seams towards the under sleeve.
I attached the sleeves. Normally one would sew the pockets first thing, but I wanted to see if I liked the placement. Side note: The fabric color actually looks very different depending on the light.
Then I hand stitched a stay tape at the roll line of the collar of the facing-pieces.
After this I sewed the lining and attached it to the facing. I closed the sleeve cuffs.
The Bound Buttonholes
I hadn’t made bound buttonholes for a while, so I wanted this coat to have them.
My buttons were 2,7cm/~1 in wide, which meant that the buttonhole would be 3cm/1,2in wide, plus seam allowance on both sides.
Bound buttonholes are like tiny welt pockets -without the pocket bag of course! The height of the welt was 1,5cm/0,6in folded in half.
I prepared a rectangle wide enough to cover all the little welts with interfacing.
Then I cut the pieces and pressed in half.
In the picture you can see also the moment before sewing the ”welts”.
Uniting the Coat Layers
At this point I had two coats: the outside and the inside. I decided to attach the sleeve cuff (I don’t know if cuff is a correct name for it though..), one layer to the outer sleeve and the other layer – the one with interfacing – to the lining.
Here you can see the unfinished sleeve cuff and the finished pocket.
I hand stitched the short ends of the pocket welt to the coat.
Then I sewed the facing to the front piece of the coat and united the sleeves at the ”hemline”, which of course was the widest part of the cuffs.
How about the wrong side of the buttonholes? Well, after pressing the button stand/collar edge flat, you can finish the buttonholes. Here’s how I did:
First I basted the two layers of the button stand together all around the buttonhole. And marked the corners with pins, so that I could accurately cut the other layer.
Then I just folded all the edges under and handstitched in place.
The 3 buttons went on the opposite side.
More Hand Stitching
There were a couple of other areas to be hand stitched. Namely, to attach the two collar layers together at the back neckline.
And also to attach the two layers of sleeve cuff together at their base.
Here you can see how the sleeve looks like from the inside. This is what I meant earlier when I said you were going to lose 2cm of the cuff height.
What’s missing? The shoulder pads and sleeve heads.
To cut the sleeve head, calculate the distance between the front- and (lower) back sleeve notches. The height is 4cm/ 1,6in which will be folded in half.
These two will be attached by hand on both sides of the seam allowance around the armscye.
Here you can see the effect of the sleeve head. The area of the seam becomes nice and round.
This was the last thing to do. First I basted the coat hemline folded at 4cm / 1,6in. Then I attached the lining to it with my sewing machine, leaving a hole around the c.back. I hand stitched the hemline from the inside in place before turning the right side out. And then closed the hole with hand stitching.
I was very pleased to finally have finished making my winter coat. Not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I really enjoy working with wool, and this time was no exception.
I’d say I’m quite happy with it As a coat. But if I were to compare it to the original picture, it has nothing to do with that! 😀 Anyhow, the weather will soon be perfect to wear this. Here are some pics:
It was actually difficult to pose with the hair, trying not to cover the collar! I must remember to wear shorter shirt sleeves under this coat, so they won’t show..