Tips for Coat Making

Tips for Coat Making

Hi fabric.com blog! I’m Sara from The Sara Project and I’m here to talk all about coat sewing today.

Coat season is upon us and sewing a coat has been at the top of my list! I’m really excited to be collaborating with fabric.com to make the fall coat of my dreams. Deciding on what coat to sew and what fabric to use can be a bit overwhelming. (There are so many options!). Today I’m going to help prepare you for your own coat-sewing journey!

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First things first, you need to decide on a pattern! If you’re not sure what style suits you best, I would suggest trying on a few ready to wear coats first to see what styles work well with your body type. I also like to spend time looking for inspiration online by searching ‘Fall 2017 Coat Trends’ (for example) to get some ideas of what is current in fashion. I also really love using an online resource called The Foldline to search different types of patterns. Go with a design you’re drawn to, but that is also practical for your lifestyle. Sewing a coat is a big investment of both your money and time, and you want to make sure you’re making something you will really love. Down below I’ve included 6 of my current favorite coat patterns to give you a few ideas.

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My top 6 coat patterns:

1) Closet Case Files Claire Coat

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2) Grainline Studio Cascade Duffle Coat

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3) Christine Haynes Ellsworth Coat

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4.) Named Clothing Gaia Quilted Coat

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5) Yona Wrap Coat

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6) Papercut Patterns Sapparo Coat

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I decided to sew the Cascade Duffle Coat by Grainline Studio. I picked this pattern because I loved the option to be able to play with plaids directionally, but I also love the versatility of the design. I’m a mom to two young toddlers (with another one on the way) and I really need something that works well with jeans and a sweater but that could also be dressed up for church or a date night. I’m so happy with the results and I know I’ll be wearing this coat for years to come. The pattern itself is great. The instructions are very clear, and easy to follow. This project took me quite a bit of time but it wasn’t very complicated. I sewed up a size 4 for reference with no modifications. I did have a little trouble with the lining length on the hood and back bodice. I just simply cut off the excess and then everything fit perfectly. I would totally recommend this pattern!

Fabric Choices

Once you’ve decided on your coat pattern, it’s time to choose your fabric! I would suggest choosing fabrics based off of what your pattern recommends to use. If this is your first time sewing a coat, I would advise choosing a solid colored fabric so you don’t have to worry about matching plaids or patterns. If you do decide to go with a plaid, like I did, make sure to get a little extra fabric. (I would recommend getting about an extra yard). One more quick tip, if you are ordering your fabric online, I would highly recommend ordering a swatch of the fabric you like to make sure the color, texture and pattern scale is right for your coat. Fabric.com has a lot of affordable wool options for your coat, and down below I’ve included some of my favorites:

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Solids:

Magenta: The Seasons Melton Wool Collection Magenta

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Gray: Riley Blake Melton Wool Blend Gray

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Navy: Riley Blake Melton Wool Blend Navy

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Olive: Telio Wool Blend Melton Olive

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Plaids:

P/Kaufmann Glamis Sumac: P Kaufmann Wool Blend melton Glamis Sumac

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P/Kaufmann Glamis Camel: P/Kaufmann Wool Blend Melton Glamis Camel

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P/Kaufmann Aberdeen Frost: P Kaufmann Wool Blend Melton Aberdeen Frost

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Along with the main shell fabric of your coat, you will most likely need a lining to go with it. Most patterns recommend using a bemberg rayon lining and Fabric.com has some great options. I chose to use the camel Bemberg Rayon lining for my coat.

You also want to make sure you use the correct interfacing with your coat. It will make all the difference! Depending on what style coat you are making, and what you prefer to work with, here are three great interfacing options to use for coat sewing. For the cascade duffle coat, I would suggest using the tailor’s fusible interfacing:

Before you begin sewing, here are a few more tips to consider.

  1. Make sure to check the care instructions of your fabric before cutting out your pattern. Most wool fabrics are dry clean only. If this is the case, a great way to prep your fabric is by steam pressing your wool to pre-shrink it. If your wool fabric is machine washable, test out a swatch in your washing machine first just to be safe.

  2. When you’re working with wool, the seams can become very thick. It’s always a good idea to grade all of your seams to help reduce the bulk of your coat seams.

  3. Last but not least, make sure to really focus on pressing each seam of your coat really well. A well-pressed coat is a professional looking coat!

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Thanks for reading along and best of luck to you on your coat-sewing journey!

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