Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

My first coat!

I picked a really easy pattern for my first attempt at a coat. It’s this Simplicity 1284 60s replica pattern.

I picked it for two reasons: 1. I really fancied a collarless coat and 2. This pattern required only 2 metres of fabric which meant it was perfect for this grey herringbone wool that I picked up a couple of months back. I had intended to buy it for Grainline Studio’s Cascade Duffle coat but there wasn’t enough left as this was the last of the roll ☹️. Since I loved the fabric so much (and at only £6/m) I figured I’d take it anyway and find a use for it at some point!

I can see why I’ve got such a big fabric stash…

So back to the coat! It’s a really simple collarless midi length coat with a slight A-line shape and slightly cropped sleeves. It has no closures and comes unlined.

I decided to add a lining in myself and I also added in welt pockets on the front too!

Working out how to put the lining in was my first job. I used the facings that came with the pattern and ‘deducted’ that shape (minus seam allowances) from the pattern to create lining pieces. The sleeves took a little more figuring out as I wanted the lining to sit a little inside the outer sleeve.

This was the first time I’d attempted welt pocket as well! Well actually they’re jetted pockets (with a faux ‘welt’) but apparently on the internet everyone uses the term welt pocket for a jetted pocket. Odd, I know. I used an excellent tutorial from See Kate Sew to learn how to make them and then I drafted my own. I’d really recommend that tutorial if you want to learn to make your own too!

I am actually in love with this coat. I made it in one evening and wore it out first thing the next morning!

This is definitely one of those items where the fabric choice really made a big difference in making it look more professional. I don’t think I’d have achieved the look to the same level with something else! I do wish I’d paid more attention to what I was doing and interfaced the shoulders for some extra shape and support. It doesn’t say to in the instructions but having worn it, I know I’d have made a longer lasting garment if I had.

I’m ridiculously proud of it even though I know I’ve made more difficult items before. Maybe because everyone asks me where I got it from and they usually assume it’s from Zara. There could be worse things!

Anyway, it’s perfect for the season and you’ll probably see me in this coat constantly until spring!

I might make a belt to go with it for those days where you want a little bit more waist definition. I think I have just enough fabric to make one!

So one big thing I learnt from this project is that actually it’s quite easy to make up and add a lining to a garment. I’ll be using that skill again in future!

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  1. Très beau manteau Emily ! Good job on the welt pockets ! Making a coat for the first time can be scary. The cascade duffle coat(great pattern)was my first attempt at sewing outwear and I’ also really proud …
    The sewalong made it easy and was really helpful for a first timer …

  2. Great pattern choice for your first wool coat! I think you may be able to get the shoulder line you want by inserting some shoulder pads. I think that would take care of that bit of gap you are seeing from the back. I love sewing wool; it is such a wonderful shaping fabric!

    1. Yeah, I was thinking shoulder pads would help improve the shape. I think the weight of the fabric doesn’t help matters though – it definitely pulls the shoulders and back neck out of place a bit when I’m wearing it! Shoulder pads would definitely give it a bit more support!

  3. I have that pattern too. I buy most of the vintage reprints out of habit. I love the coat. Seeing an actual version of the coat opposed to the line drawing makes me like it so much more.

    1. Thanks! I wish they’d show a photo of a made up version of the vintage patterns instead of just the line drawing and an illustration. I think it’s so hard to tell what it’s going to look like otherwise!

  4. It’s a shame you didn’t take pictures showing the stages of how you assembled your coat, especially that fabulous lining you added. I’m a disaster when it comes to adding this to my garment. The coat looks amazing 👍

    1. I know! I meant to but I got distracted in the actually sewing process that I’d pretty much finished it before I remembered that I was supposed to photograph it! I really need to work on that in future. I’m hoping to get a lining tutorial up in future so maybe that could help? I found it easier than I thought to add it on to this coat!

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