plaid wool coat

A couple years ago my husband’s aunt sent me a box of fabric, which included several cuts of Pendleton wool in various weights. No idea where it all came from originally, but there were receipts mixed in with the fabric dated from 1992. (So does 20+ years make it vintage? Egads!) Most of the fabrics coordinate in a pink and teal color scheme—not so much my style, but it occurred to me that this plaid fabric would look great on my 10 year old daughter, Sylvia.

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Since the fabric is crazy bold, I wanted to pair it with a classic tailored style. I used Burda 8/2013 #143, which I’ve had on my favorites list for ages. It is quite a bit of work prepping a Burda coat pattern, but the lack of included seam allowances allows me to add SA widths of my choosing, which I actually love. I followed the RTW Tailoring Sew-A-Long over on Pattern-Scissors-Cloth (instead of the Burda directions), which makes the whole process go so smoothly. Gawd if she released an eBook with all that great information, I would be first in line to buy it!

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I used Pro-Weft Supreme, Medium fusible from Fashion Sewing Supply for the interior structure. This interfacing was an absolute pleasure to work with. It’s very soft and easy to fuse; perfect for a coat. I also used fusible hair canvas for the collar stand and lapels. I lined the coat with a thin poly satin (leftover from another coat project) and then underlined the main body pieces in flannel for some additional warmth.

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Cutting out plaid coating is no joke people. It took me several hours, even though there were relatively few pieces. Each piece was cut individually in a single layer, and painstakingly matched. Despite being suuuuper careful, I managed to cut the back pieces about 1/4″ off from the front. Thankfully, I was able to shift and trim things ever so slightly to fix it. Sheesh, that was a close one!

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I really waffled about whether to cut the welts on the bias or to match them across the front. I cut some scraps of fabric for comparison, and ended up nixing the bias cut. The plaid is so large that it was hard to find a spot where the bias cut looked good. Before diving into the welt pocket construction, I took a practice run on scraps. The coating fabric isn’t super thick, but thick enough to create a challenge getting everything to lay flat. Basting the welts shut and giving it a good press with steam followed by a clapper did the trick.

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Since this is a proper tailored coat, I made sure to add shoulder pads (teeny tiny ones that I made!) and sleeve heads. The shoulder pad is just one layer of thick fleece covered in muslin, and the sleeve head is cut from a scrap of flannel. You can kind of see all the inner structure in this photo where I’m attaching the lining to the facing.

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I decided to make fabric covered buttons for the coat because there was nothing in a store that was going to be just right. Remember how I said I had coordinating wool fabrics? That came in handy here! The pink wool that I used to cover the buttons is lighter weight (I made a blazer out of it a while back) and was just the thing for covered buttons. For the buttonholes, I used top stitching thread to give them a little more substance. My machine does’t have a keyhole feature, unfortunately, so these are just plain jane. I thought of doing them by hand, but these ended up looking good enough.

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For once I didn’t want to rely on top stitching to keep the lapels nice and crisp, so I made sure to under stitch the collar, lapel, and front edge. Then I basted the edges and gave it all a good solid pressing and steaming, and let it set over night. This step makes all the difference in the world on the finished product.

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I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome on this coat! The pattern is great, the fabric is perfect, and my daughter loves it. Initially, I was worried that the fit was a little too perfect, but It looks like she has a good 1.5″ in sleeve length for growing room. In other words, she should be able to wear it next fall/winter as well.

lisa g.

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46 thoughts on “plaid wool coat

    • lisa g says:

      I don’t mind sewing for my kids, because they genuinely appreciate it. Glad I found a good project for that wool… though I still have a good 2.5 yds left! Thank you 🙂

  1. aleah says:

    Amazing! You always impress me with the incredible effort you put into every project – I don’t know that I could have worked so hard on something so cute that wasn’t for myself… 😉

  2. JustGail says:

    You did a great job on the coat, and nice recovery on the side seams. Your daughter looks good in those colors and very happy in it.

  3. crab and bee says:

    A tiny tailored coat! It looks like extra fun to tailor on a kid scale. Thanks for the tip on making your own shoulder pads; I skipped them for my coat because I already have larger shoulders, but wondered if I could add the structure without the bulk somehow.

    • lisa g says:

      It really was fun to tailor something so tiny! I always make my own shoulder pads, especially for myself. Since I have more square shoulders also, I can get away with thin shoulder pads. It does make the shoulder line nice and smooth!

  4. Thimberlina says:

    Wow, that’s just so perfect and she looks stunning in it! I hope she treasures it forever when she grows out of it. (Maybe feed her smaller portions to slow her growing rate down too!!) Thanks for all the advice on how you put it together. I’m going to head over and pin that sewalong 😀

  5. kristin says:

    Gah it’s just so, so good. So well made, such a great fit, fantastic fabric choices. I love your little gal’s style! Seriously impressed with your technique, too. Love it.

    • lisa g says:

      Thank you! I was afraid the colors of the plaid would make it look too dated, but I really like it anyway. I have plenty of fabric left, maybe someday I’ll make one in my size!

  6. Teri says:

    You did an amazing job on this coat, Lisa! It fits her so perfectly and looks so professional (way better than any kids coats I’ve seen in stores!) I love her whole outfit– she is too cute.

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