Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

The Merlin coat // I AM Patterns

I’m on a streak of I AM coat patterns it seems! Following on from my successful I AM Jacques raincoat that I made last autumn, I decided to try another I AM coat pattern – the Merlin coat!

The Merlin is from I AM Patterns last pattern collection. It’s a cocoon shaped jacket with notched lapel, welt pockets and two piece sleeves. It’s got plenty of ease and is fully lined. It closes with a single button placed low on the side. I loved the smart casual vibe and general shape of the coat!

I wasn’t super in the need for a new coat but I had a dig around in my fabric stash and realised I had the perfect fabrics to make the Merlin! It seemed serendipitous!

The outer fabric I had was a black and red check that I’d purchased from Saeed’s in Walthamstow market and absolute age ago. It was originally destined to be the Grainline Studio Cascade Duffle coat but after much deliberation, I’d decided it wasn’t the right fit for me. The lining I had was a gorgeous piece of pre-quilted deep red satin from The New Craft House – again another piece that was destined for a different jacket at the time of purchase but never came to fruition.

The outer fabric was a little soft and drapey despite being quite a thick poly wool. It made sense to use it with the thick lining fabric for extra body and warmth! It also had a nap to it with a slightly furred texture on the right side which meant I had to cut the pieces directionally.

The jacket itself felt reasonably straightforward especially considering the more complicated raincoat that I’d made last! The only area of contention was the welt pocke construction as I don’t think the instructions were particularly good. Luckily I’ve had enough experience with constructing welt pockets before that I could figure out what I needed to do!

Fit wise, I made the size 42 and took out 2cm of length in the space between the pocket and the armscye. I also raised the pocket placement itself by an extra 2cm (so the pocket is 4cm higher than the original). I always remembered my Oslo coat from Tessuti that I made a year or so ago and I absolutely hated that the pockets were as low as they were. I wanted to make sure that the same thing wouldn’t happen again!

I AM Patterns draft for a height of 5’8 and I believe the coat is meant to hit a few inches above the knee. I could tell already that it would be at least knee length on me! Despite this, I chose not to shorten the pattern any further as I didn’t want to take away from the curved shape of the coat and also because I didn’t mind the longer length.

I wasn’t sure about the button placement so decided to leave it without a button to start with and to see how necessary a button would be for me. In the end I chose not to add a button at all at I didn’t miss it!

In the lining, I added another welt pocket! I love having an inside pocket to keep things safe – I’ve always been annoyed that men’s jackets always come with all these extras and women’s never do!

The other reason I wanted to make this particular fabric/ pattern combo may have been to recreate the cover of a recent Taylor Swift album cover…

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