Tag Archives: winter coat

Sewing – A New Coat By Christmas

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The Race Is On

Coat Making Under Pressure

There’s nothing like a deadline to help me get going on a project.  After re-working my red melton coat a few weeks ago, I thought it would be nice to have another one over the same pattern to wear for Christmas.  I’ve been procrastinating both because I’ve been busy, but also because I feel a little daunted at the prospect of ironing on all that interfacing, making patch pockets and flaps, doing a set of bound buttonholes not to mention all the other little details that a well-tailored garment require. I began by going through my fabric stash; there I had a nice piece of charcoal coating perfect for what I needed.  Next step was to find buttons, coat lining and something interesting for the collar.  So far so good.

Charcoal coat supplies

I have already started and hope to add mini-tutorials and tips for those of you who may have never made a coat before and would like to.  I am still learning to navigate my way through the maze of widgets, categories and the like; if I can figure all that out, I will be posting them under “Tricks of the Trade” so that they are easily accessible… but you may have to bear with me on that for a bit.   🙂

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!