duffle coat

you know when you get about 7/8ths of the way through a project and you can see the finish line… 


yeah, that’s how i felt with this coat. for some reason it felt like it was dragging on forever, even though i only spent a week and a half from cutting to finishing. impatient much? lately i feel like i’m in some sort of weird time warp and i can’t accomplish anything. of course that may be because the sun goes down at 3:30 in the afternoon (okay, 4:30. but still) and the dark makes me move at half speed.

but, enough about that.


i was hoping that everyone’s coats would make it through this winter but alas, it was not to be. a quick peek at prices online and it seemed like anything in the $30-ish range was a puffer coat. which the kids have been wearing the past several years, so i was hoping for something a little less… uh, puffer. then this pattern popped up on burda and a quick math check told me i could make her a nice coat for about the same price. i like this pattern because it’s casual but still polished looking. plus it’s not really tailored so i didn’t have to worry too much about a perfect fit or, you know, tailoring.

i picked up this coating fabric for $10/yd at joanns (50% off the regular price of $19.99/yd), so i felt like it was a good deal. it looks like wool, but it’s a poly/rayon/spandex blend. not sure what the spandex is in there for, it isn’t stretchy at all. as much as i prefer wool, i wasn’t sure that an everyday coat for an 8 year old needed to be the real deal. hopefully this will be quality enough that it won’t pill too badly. then i picked up some flannel backed satin as lining, which also happened to be on sale. go me!

blurry pic—only one i got of the back. oops.

i didn’t make many changes to this pattern, only a few that i can think of:

the exterior pockets were single welt pockets, that i switched to inset welt pockets. on a regular single welt pocket, the welt is slip stitched to the outside and i felt like that wouldn’t hold up very well for such a heavily-used pocket. the inset welt is made essentially like a double welt pocket, only with one fat welt instead of two skinny ones. overall, it feels more sturdy.

the other change i made was to the hood lining. the entire inside hood was supposed to be cut from lining material, but i changed the pattern pieces to made a faced edge. i just thought i would look nicer that way. you can kinda see what i’m talking about in the first picture.

and i changed the button styling. initially i planned to do the toggle buttons, per the pattern, but i couldn’t find the number i needed in the size i wanted or with the cording the right color or thickness… it was getting complicated and i didn’t want to bother with ordering anything. so i picked up some large buttons and thought maybe i could just work out a loop closure instead. i made loops from bias strips of the coating fabric (the same as how you would make spaghetti straps) and basted them to the front, then cut squares of fabric (cut on the bias to prevent fraying then backed with fusible) and topstitched them to cover the ends of the loops.

i am sooooo happy i couldn’t find the toggle buttons i wanted because i really love how this came out. i think the leather buttons stand out nicely and dress it up a bit.

overall this is a really nice coat pattern; i love the styling and all the great details. but, a pattern review wouldn’t be complete without a list of complaints, so here goes. my biggest peeve is the zipper insertion. the zip tape is simply top stitched to the front band of the coat instead of being recessed into the seam of the band. i hadn’t noticed this on the pattern illustration because their zip matches the shell fabric so well. if i had to do it all over, i would add a little width to the left front piece to properly secure the zip inside the seam.

the other thing that puzzled me was the lining cuff, or windcatcher. i muddled through the directions and figured out how to construct it all, but once the shell and lining were attached at the sleeve hem, the cuff was recessed slightly from the hem. the pictures make it look like it should be sticking out or at least even with the sleeve hem. it’s not a big deal, but the pattern doesn’t really specify whether to add a SA to the rectangular pieces it says to draft (i did add it) and instead of marking the line on the sleeve where to attach the cuff it just has a point to measure to. which is fine, but i think the measurement was supposed to be taken from the bottom of the sleeve lining piece, not the hemline, which is how i read it. had i stopped to do a little math before stitching it all together i probably would have caught this. at any rate, these are just a couple things to keep in mind. this pattern has a boy’s version (longer with patch pockets) which i’d like to sew up for my son next winter so i may have a chance to right these wrongs!

the exterior pockets are pretty small so i
added a patch pocket to the inside.

all told, this coat is a winner. anastasia loves it and had to convince her friends at school that her mom made it. awww… they think i’m cool!

and as soon as i figure out how, i’m going to enter this project in the december pattern review contest, sewing for children. wish me luck!

UPDATE: coat is entered (i think), voting begins jan 2 for PR members. wooo!

—lisa g.

18 thoughts on “duffle coat

  1. twotoast says:

    That is such a great coat – and your daughter looks very happy with it! I love how you have created the button closures – it looks traditional but with a modern pop!! Well done to you 🙂

  2. poppykettle says:

    Oh I know that feeling all to well. oh, when the end is in sight yet you still have stacks of little finishing things to do and sew! It's a gorgeous little duffle coat – and the loops you made look great!

  3. dixie says:

    i love your homemade "toggles." and i liked that you added a facing for the hood, it makes the lining less obvious. and yes, i'm kind of sick of the giant puff coat look, too. your girl looks adorable and i'm sure she's going to wear it a lot!

  4. lisa g. says:

    thanks! i swear i felt like i was weeks away, then i sat down and had it finished in a couple hours. my perspective gets totally out of whack when i reach the "finishings" stage.

  5. aleah says:

    Aahhh, this coat is so cute! I kinda want one for myself now… I love the way you did the loop closures with the buttons – I think it's cooler than toggles would have been. You've got my vote!

  6. Anonymous says:

    And the contest is how I found you in the FIRST place!!Awesome job on dd's and YOUR Coat is amazing.I've spent a great deal of time reading all of your blog posts. Whew!!!! Although I've been sewing longer than you have, I've learned some things from you.Thank you!!designdreamer

  7. lisa g. says:

    glad you have enjoyed my posts, and doubly glad that you learned a thing or two! no matter how long we've been sewing, i'm always surprised at what new to me techniques i come across.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s