Hello Dear Readers,
Today I want to share with you a coat I recently completed. It’s got a bit of backstory. Here goes.
The fabric is a beautiful basket weave wool in a dark purple colour that I picked up in Paris a couple of years ago. I didn’t realise it at the time, but it was needle ready: meaning, it was completely interfaced on the wrong side. I really wanted to use this fabric to make myself a winter coat rather than giving into temptation and buying anything else because I am really trying to use fabric from my stash and also I knew that being completely interfaced would significantly cut down on time spent preparing the fabric for sewing.
The pattern I originally wanted to make was this one, from Burda Style (number 6845):
This Burda Style pattern pretty much represents my ideal coat: classic styling, notched lapel, two piece sleeves, and – the most important feature I was looking for- single breasted. Yep, as a fuller busted sewist I was determined to sew a single breasted winter coat. I have sewn quite a few double breasted styles over the time I have been blogging like this one, this one and even this one, and, don’t get me wrong, I like all of them and wear them, but don’t the fashion gurus all advice fuller busted women to wear single styles?
As I wanted to make this coat in the shortest time possible (!) I decided not to make a muslin, and just rely on a tissue fit. But once I got going on the Burda pattern I realised that their sizing is not as generous as BMV patterns! It would have taken more effort to make that pattern work (hello, I am a very lazy sewist!) and a muslin would probably have been very advisable. I wanted a new, warm winter coat! So, I checked my patterns and found this one: McCalls 7058. Some doubts about the style but off I set. You can read my full review below.
So overall, this is a nicely drafted pattern. It includes separate front lining, back lining and facing pieces. It has a vent at the back (although the instructions for finishing that confused me no end) and, whilst it does not have two piece sleeves, it does have an elbow dart for some nice shaping. The pattern also includes separate under and upper collar pieces, with the under collar being cut on the bias with a centre back seam included.
I cut one size bigger than normal on the shoulders, arms and bust, and graded out one size at the hips. I am really happy with the fit overall, especially the upper half.
To make this coat really nice and warm I decided to interline it with pyjama flannel. This was essentially like a heavier weight brushed cotton. I treated this interlining as underlining; machining the interlining to the outer fabric using 0.5 inch seam allowances and trimming out as much of the flannel as possible upto the stitching line, before sewing the outer pieces together. I did not interline the sleeves, just the main body of the coat, and I removed the interlining from the hems. I can confirm this has made this coat lovely and warm and not too heavy either.
I used my favoured bias sleeve head technique to set the sleeves in, but last time I made my tailored blazer I found the bias cut hair canvas strips I used weren’t loosely woven enough, so this time I used some self fabric (with the interfacing removed). Worked a treat. Working with wool is lovely though, especially when it comes to things like setting in sleeves etc.
After asking for advice on Instagram about closure options, Carolyn (is there anything this woman doesn’t know about sewing?!) suggested lining covered snaps (rather than having metal snaps showing). What? I had never heard of such a thing! A quick google and yep, I saw these could work. So that’s what I did. They were not too difficult to do if you have already made self covered buttons. I also added self made red satin covered piping to the facing – love that flash of colour. BTW after seeing these photos I realise I am going to have to move the top snap position slightly.
Fitted, lined jackets and coats have princess seams and mock button band closing. B: self belt. C: snap closing. B, C and D: collar. B, C, D, E and F: side pockets. C, D and F: back pleat. E and F: hood and detachable (snap) band.
I made view C.
6 – 22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, except for the instructions to finish the back vents (steps 57 and 60). I still don’t know if I have done it right. My vents are stitched down and the lining hangs free inside and is sewn (by hand) to the lower coat hem. I am not sure if this is correct or not).
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Overall, this is a nicely drafted pattern. It includes separate front lining, back lining and facing pieces. It has a vent at the back (although the instructions for finishing that confused me no end) and, whilst it does not have two piece sleeves, it does have an elbow dart for some nice shaping. The pattern also includes separate under and upper collar pieces, with the under collar being cut on the bias with a centre back seam included. I also liked the fact it is single breasted (I was on a mission to sew a single breasted winter coat!) Nothing to dislike as such about this pattern.
A dark purple basket weave needle ready (completely pre-interfaced) wool purchased in Paris a couple of years ago.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I cut one size larger than I normally would on the shoulders, arms and bust and graded out one size on the hips.
5/8ths inch sway back adjustment.
Lowered bust fullness by 0.5 inch and did a 1 inch full bust adjustment.
1 inch full arm adjustment.
Shortened sleeves by 1 inch (at the higher lengthen/ shorten lines to ensure elbow dart remained in correct position).
Interlined main body of cotton using pyjama cotton flannel. I treated this interlining as underlining; machining the interlining to the outer fabric using 0.5 inch seam allowances and trimming out as much of the flannel as possible upto the stitching line, before sewing the outer pieces together. I removed the interlining from the hems. I can confirm this has made this coat lovely and warm and not too heavy either.
Made my own shoulder pads, added a shoulder stay and shoulder reinforcement cut from hair canvas.
Used self fabric bias strips (with interfacing removed) as sleeve heads.
Added thread chains to inside to ensure pockets would sit forwards correctly.
Added lining fabric covered snaps.
Added self made satin piping to facing seams.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don’t know if I would sew this again (although never say never), and yes I recommend.
I love the cosiness of my new coat and it feels very comfortable. I need to move the position of the top snap over after seeing these photos!
So, there you have it: I do like my new winter coat but it is not the coat of my sewing dreams. Have you found any great plus size single breasted coats you can recommend to me? BTW, I have seen another pattern on the BurdaStyle website but it’s a down load one…maybe next year…