Thursday, 3 July 2014

The Coat

The Coat that was in my head
So – I realise that the middle of summer is not the right time to be posting a blog about a coat. But seriously. This coat has taken FOREVER. So, I can’t remember how long ago I dreamt up the idea for this – the first time I came across that super soft fleece stuff – I don’t know what it’s called… it’s like fake sheep wool, but SO SOFT, like you have NO IDEA HOW SOFT. The softness of this coat is immense. Anyway, so I envisaged this coat, in navy blue, with a white collar and white cuffs turned back.

And then I didn’t do anything about it

Look at that adorable flash of Red
Mr P is a genius
I try to limit my fabric spending, I always have a million and one projects on the go which I already have fabric for, so I try really hard and not spend money on fabric until I’ve run out of things to make with the fabric I already own – but my work gave me a fabric voucher for my leaving gift (now, it’s worth noting her, this is not the job I’m in now (obviously), not the job before this one, but the job before THAT), so I decided to spend the money on the coat that I’d been dreaming of – and bought enough super soft amazingly soft fleece, and some navy blue corduroy, and a pattern. I started out with Burda 8292 – but wanted more flare in the skirt, so self-drafted some godets (or Bidets as Mr P likes to refer to them as), I also rounded the collar a lot, because I wanted that soft peter-pan look.

However this coat took me FOREVER to sew up. I started off by cutting out all of the pieces out of the fleece and sewing that up, and adjusting it – which I did pretty quickly, cutting the sleeves a good few inches longer than required so I could turn them up.

Ok, so not the neatest belt ever
At that point, I think I got fed up with it and threw it into a corner. And left it there, for a month or so. This was a RECURRING THEME about sewing this coat, I’d get fed up with it, and sew something else – which is why it took me QUITE AS LONG AS IT DID. I think from fabric purchase to completion it took me 9 months – some people can make a human being in that time… I struggled to make a coat! It’s taken me another 6 months to get round to writing this blog post… ace.
I found the sleeves really tricky to set in, and they still don’t sit quite right – two piece sleeves are a struggle for me anyway, in addition to having the really thick lining, which whilst awesome and warm, is not ideal for sleeves. Also this project is the project that made me decide to press all my seams, EVER. I didn’t do it for this project, and I think that’s part of what makes it look quite shoddy.

Bound buttonholes of dooom!
Lets talk buttons! I used Ami’s tutorial from Sewing London (note, her tutorials are ACE, and her sewing is AWESOME… To say I’ve got a sewing-crush on her is putting it mildly!) to make bound buttonholes. I think I’d have succeeded better using a finer fabric for the binding – I used the same corduroy as the coat, and to be frank, I think a co-ordinating linen or cotton would have made my life a LOT easier. Also, they didn’t fit the buttons I’d measured them for. Again, I expect this is because of using too thick a fabric. (PLEASE NOTE: Ami’s tutorial is NOT responsible for this, it’s so thorough and easy to understand! Go check it out!) – so I ended up working out what size button would fit, and then finding the cutest buttons I could of that size – I actually think they’ve turned out really well. Mr P insisted on the red thread to stitch the buttons on – he’s good with colours, and red/blue/white is my favourite colour combo, so this little bit of red makes me so happy.

I made the inside of the collar
all neat and tidy
I hand stitched some tape around the inside of the collar to give it a more professional looking finish – and hand stitched the hem, and sleeves. Interesting fact – I got really confused when first pinning the hem because it seemed REALLY WONKY from one side to the next, and I didn’t think it had been that wonky, and then I realised I’d buttoned up the coat wrong! Fortunately, I noticed this at pinning stage.

I also added a self-drafted belt, as I thought it would be cute – that being said, the back of that belt is the messiest thing ever. I made it by stitching a tube of the corduroy to a tube of the fleece… that’s four layers of super thick fabric that I was trying to neatly hand stitch through… it did NOT happen. But it looks cute enough from the front.

It’s not the neatest thing I’ve ever sewn this coat indeed it provoked the following conversation with my future mother in law.
Please ignore my bra there and focus on
FMIL: I can’t stop looking at your coat… it’s very… interesting
Me: I only finished it yesterday, haven’t had time to iron it yet (n.b. it’s not been ironed yet… this was months ago)
FMIL: Oh… oh you made it! Oh it’s lovely!
Verrry swift change of coat opinion there! Made me laugh.

So, the coat is not the neatest coat ever – but I really love it. It’s something I dreamt up, envisaged in my mind, and then made come to life – that’s the best part about sewing for me, I’ve never had the artistic talent to see something in my mind’s eye and sketch or paint it onto paper – but to be able to see something in my mind and turn into a real life garment – that’s awesome. I’ve also learnt a lot making this coat, and I think it improved my sewing skills no end – plus, IT’S SO SOFT… it’s the softest coat in the world, and is awesome to wear.

Katy x


  1. Love the coat. It is great when your vision comes to life!

    1. Thanks so much! It's one of my favourite reasons to sew - it's a such a great way to be creative!

  2. I love corduroy car coats!!!!! I would love this exact design and color with a matching collar.

    1. Thanks Michele! I'd offer to make you one... but the length of time this took me! Maybe not ;-)