Coats aren’t difficult to make, it’s just that you must put aside the time needed to make them correctly. In most cases, I think, it would be more cost effective to buy a coat from Burlington Coat Factory than to make your own. I tried on a coat I really liked in December at Burlington which cost about $30. It looked to be well-made and quite stylish. I was able to get it over my shoulders and arms, but when I tried to button it, it wouldn’t close across my chest. I didn’t see anything else I wanted, so I resolved to use the fabric and pattern I had stored for a few years to go ahead and make myself a coat.
I plan to make two coats this year; finish the coat project I started in 2016 and this purple coat. The coat project was side-tracked after I injured my arm by crocheting too much in a short period of time. I have two crocheted panels completed and I will finish the other panels on the peg loom or the 3D print rigid heddle loom I have in the works.
It helps me to breakdown sewing a coat into stages as it decreases my angst when I haven’t finished it in a week’s time and I am less likely to make a mistake.
Stage 1 – Cut out pattern. Iron pattern.
Stage 2 – Do pattern fit. Make muslin pattern if needed.
Stage 3 – Adjust pattern.
Stage 4 – Pin pattern to fabric. Cut fabric.
Stage 5 – Pin pattern to lining, interfacing, and interlining. Cut.
Stage 6 – Cut shaping interfacing and fleece. Iron and hand sew onto fabric.
Stage 7 – Prepare pockets. Sew to coat body.
Stage 8 – Sew coat body together.
Stage 9 – Prepare collar. Prepare sleeves.
Stage 10 – Sew sleeves to body. Attach shoulder pads.
Stage 11 – Prepare lining and interlining. Attach collar.
Stage 12 – Pin lining/interlining/collar to coat body.
Stage 13 – Sew lining/interlining/collar to coat body.
Stage 14 – Hem.
Stage 15 – Iron.
It took many years for me to realize the importance of stages 1 to 3. I have learned that for practically any top, I must add 2″ to the waist. This coat was no exception. I added 2″ at the waist markings on the fabric and lining pattern pieces as well as the buttonhole guide.
I bought this pattern according to the bust size on the envelope flap. When shopping in stores, I usually fit size 14. However, the pattern size that corresponds to my bust size is 18. Buying the correct size eliminates hours of adjusting a pattern to fit. My pattern fit was okay, so I pinned the pattern and cut the fabric. If the fit had not been okay, I would have traced the pattern onto muslin, cut it out, basted it together, and tried it on. I have two old books that explain how to make pattern adjustments; Simplicity sewing book (1972), let yourself sew with Simplicity (1972). Here are a couple of internet resources: Pattern alterations and Tissue Fitting a Pattern,
Next week I will post about the lining and interlining.