Hello There Friends,
It was my great privilege to be selected as a pattern tester for Pauline Alice’s newest pattern release: the Quart Coat.
Let’s get the nitty gritty out of the way first. Yes, as part of the pattern testing process the draft pattern was provided to me free of charge (in exchange for my honest feedback on the pattern), and Pauline is sending me a final version (at time of writing it is in the post)! I paid with my own money for all the fabrics and notions. Let me also be clear that you won’t find me volunteering to test every new indie pattern that comes out. I have genuinely admired Pauline’s designs for some time, and was very pleased when she recently expanded her size range. I think her designs are unique, a little more challenging to sew and feminine. All the following opinions are my own.
Warning: picture heavy post (a reflection of how proud I am of this coat :-))
The Quart Coat is described as a “double breasted, semi-fitted coat with high stand-up collar, inseam pockets, long sleeves with zipped cuffs inspired by military outerwear”. It also features epaulettes and a pleated skirt detail at the side.
Things you should know about this pattern:
- It is aimed at intermediate – advanced sewers. Sewing any winter coat is a considerable investment, both in terms of time and money. I worked on this coat for 12 days, spending around 2 hours a day, with one day spending around 5 hours. And that’s without any pad stitching.
- Following on from the point above, the instructions have you interface all the major areas of the jacket. This includes fusing a back stay, all the hems, the zipper vents, the seams where the pockets are inserted, the collar, yoke and the sleeve heads and armholes.
- The pattern includes a 2 piece sleeve.
- The pattern includes some separate lining pieces, and the back lining piece includes a pleat. So what I am saying to you is, this is an extremely well thought out and drafted pattern (at least, IMHO – and you should all know me by now, I speak as I find!)
- The pattern runs to 45 pages. I would normally avoid a PDF that big, but it went together smoothly enough. I found that taping sections together a cutting out pieces as they came together was easier than trying to tape all 45 sheets together in one go.
- You do have to draft the piece for the kick pleats at the sides of the coat yourself. I managed this fine; you just have to take your time and follow the instructions.
Details of my specific coat:
- The outer fabric is a wool tweed. The lining is a heavy faux silk.
- I made bound buttonholes.
Here you can see the inside of my coat. The whole of the front is interfaced, and you can see the reverse side of my bound buttonholes. You can also see the sleeve heads I inserted using the method described in Jackets for Real People, which involves using fleece. This is probably my one regret with this jacket; next time round I would make proper sleeve heads using the sleeve pattern and probably make my own shoulder pads. I also think the jacket would have perhaps benefitted from a chest shield? Ah, hindsights a great thing.
- In terms of pattern modifications I shortened the sleeves by 2.5 inches. If I was making this again I would probably shorten by only 1.5 inches: I didn’t allow for the shoulder pads and should have. I also ended up removing around 2 inches from the pattern in a wedge from front to centre back, tapering up to 2.5 inches at the centre back (thereby effectively also doing a sway back adjustment). Again, if I was making this again I would probably add maybe 0.5 – 1 inch back to the centre front as I feel it is slightly shorter there.
- I managed to bag the lining almost entirely by machine (about 90%), by reaching up inside the coat and stitching around the pleats before turning the coat inside out and bagging the lining. 10% of the lining was then stitched by hand.
- I chose to cut the front pocket pieces and both sides of the epaulette from outer fabric. I also understitched the pockets. I had to make the zip vents slightly larger than the pattern instructed (approx. 0.5 cms) (again, at time of writing I am not sure if this has been changed in the final pattern or not, or even if any other testers had to make this change).
Some detail shots:
This coat was actually sewn up more than a couple of months ago and I have already had loads of wear out of it. It is very comfortable and I love the stylish details like the epaulettes, the side pleats and the zippered vents. I could also see this pattern being sewn up in something like a cotton twill for a lighter weight spring/ summer jacket. All in all, I really recommend this pattern. It is a unique indie pattern which is an absorbing sew with well thought out details and instructions. Bravo Pauline!
I have to say a big thank you to my sister for taking the photos too.
Have a great week everyone!