Coat Making Tutorial – part 1

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Yes Virginia, making a coat is really simple!

I sat on my patio this afternoon completing the handwork on four bound button holes that I am putting in on a wool coat.  I finally had to stop, because it was so hot I was melting all over my melton.  (That’s a sewing joke for those of you who didn’t quite catch it).  🙂
Making a tailored coat has so many steps that I couldn’t possibly keep your interest showing all of them, so I have picked out a couple of areas to focus on and will do so over the next couple of entries.

I’ve had this Donna Karan pattern for a long time and really like it.  It’s a classic pea coat... you know, one of those things that’s always “in” even when it’s not.   I’ve always wanted to make it, but never quite got around to it until now.


My next step was a visit to the fabric inventory I have in my sewing room; I’ve vowed to make a sincere effort to try to use up some of my on-hand stock, before buying any more… as painful as that is.   Much to my delight,  I found a luscious vermillion coating measuring 1 3/4 yards.  The pattern required 2 yards and I knew it would be a squeeze, but figuring in the old addage,  If there’s a will, there’s a way, I proceeded.

When making tailored garments, I like to interface the entire body when possible.  I like soft and supple interfacing that will give body without being rigid.  I prefer iron to sew-in types, but it wholly depends on the fashion fabric you are working with.

I had made some adjustments to the waist and hip area and wanted to be sure that it was going to be roomy enough before moving to the next stage.  The fit turned out to be fine, which was a relief.  A too tight jacket is not a good thing!

I had to make a quick trip to the fabric store to find lining, but it was well worth it, because I found the exact color match and perfect top stitching thread.

I needed the lining to complete the pockets which turned out quite nicely.  It’s a nice heavy lining and will had good warmth as well as add body to the finished coat.

The pocket is soft and snug and will be very nice on frosty mornings.

The sleeves are a two piece design with a center seamline and decorative stitching along the sleeve cap.  They went in without much trouble.

And then it was on to creating and applying the collar.  All the stitching you see is on the under collar and give support to the collar stand.

Once the under collar is sewn on, trim away the excess seam edges,

and hand-stitch the edges to flatten and secure in place.  This same technique is applied to the facing and upper collar at a later stage.

Next time I will show you how I made my bound buttonholes.  Until then…. happy sewing!

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6 responses »

  1. Is the coat red or a deep orange? It is lovely by the way and I think is going to be really nice! I’ve only done a few bound buttonholes in my life so it will be interesting to see how yours come out!

    • Well, actually it is reddish-orange, which accounts for the title, “vermillion.” It looks more orangey to me than the photos might indicate, but it does change to a deep red tone in certain light. I think of it as a harvest color.

      Yes, bound buttonholes can be tricky and there are several ways to do them. I am happy to share my method and will do so asap.

      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

  2. Wow, I am impressed. I learned how to sew a million years ago and it is very hard. I haven’t made anything I really thought was wearable but at least I can appreciate the work that goes into tailoring. Great job!

    • Thank you! Tailoring does take a bit of patience and I’ve had to develop that trait to advance in my work, as patience is not something I have in great supply.

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