First of all, I want to say thank you for all the sweet wishes on my birthday post! I feel so happy!
You might have seen this coat in that particular post. I have just finished it a day before my birthday. It has been a while since I made a winter coat, the previous one was this Pistachio coat that I made two years ago using coat pattern from the Burdastyle Sewing Handbook. I love that coat and have been wearing it a lot but it is a bit fitted so I can’t wear thick sweater or too much layers underneath.
Recently I’ve been seeing oversized coats everywhere and I love the look. The shapes are usually quite boxy and the lines are influenced by menswear. The boxy shape allows lots of layers underneath while still keeping it comfortable.
Since I was quite happy with my military jacket, I used another Burdastyle pattern to make my coat. This time the pattern is Wool Long Coat 08/2012 #101B. Like before, I printed it at 92% and cut size 38. If you’re curious on how I came up with this number, here’s the explanation:
- – my normal Burdastyle size is 34 with bust 31.5″ and my height is 60″.
- – Burdastyle pattern is drafted for height 66″. Shrank by 92%, this number became 60.95″ that is close to my height.
- – Since size 34 is now 92% too small for me, I need to choose a larger size.
- – The normal bust for size 38 is 34.75″, and it becomes 31.97″. when shrank by 92%.
One might ask, why should I go through all this trouble instead of just shortening the pattern? Patterns drafted for taller body usually have details that are not proportional to petite body. The collar might be a tad too big, or the neckline might be too low, and so on. By shrinking the pattern, these details are shrinked as well and become more proportionate.
After shrinking the pattern, I usually lower the armhole a bit because armholes for petites are usually not that much different as for taller bodies. I also shortened the hem of this coat a bit more. It is always best to make a muslin first of course, but I didn’t make one because I have used these alterations on Burdastyle patterns several times with good results (and I also don’t like making muslins!).
The fabric is black and dark navy wool that I found in a small fabric store for USD7. It has subtle big plaid pattern that was a real pain to match because they almost couldn’t be seen when closer! I considered using some fun fabric for the lining but settled on ordinary black instead because I want this coat to be versatile for all my clothes.
Like all Burdastyle patterns, the instructions for this pattern is quite brief so I made several improvisation. The whole front pieces are block-fused, as are the facings, hem, sleeves hem and top part of the sleeves. I added a partial back stay to the back pieces using a piece of flannel. The collar roll lines are reinforced with a strip of interfacing. The undercollar was cut on bias so it would roll easily.
This is a simple coat though -the pockets are on the seam lines, no sleeves slit or back slit, and the closure are snap-on buttons-, so the actual sewing was quite straightforward. I spent more time fusing the interfacing, pressing, and handstitching than using the sewing machine.
All the seam allowances are catchstitched to the fabric or interfacing. Before I sewed the lining, I tried on the coat with a couple of shoulder pads to determine the location for the pads. Pressing is important in each step! Fortunately the fabric was very easy to shape and behaved very well under steam iron.
After attaching the lining, the front edge and collar are basted and pressed. The upper collar and under collar are catchsticthed from the inside along the roll lines. Then I handstitched a row of pick stitches along the edge so it would roll to the appropriate side. I quite love how the tiny stitches disappear into the thick fabric.
The coat turned out just the way I wanted it to be! The fit is boxy and the length is just right. It is quite warm so I can wear it with a long sleeved T-shirt underneath. When the weather gets colder I can wear more layers!
The last couple projects that I have made with Burdastyle patterns turned out quite well, and I’m very happy about it. I kinda want to sew another coat -perhaps in bright color-, but how many coats can one woman have?
Pattern is Wool Long Coat 08/2012 #101B from Burdastyle (PDF), size 38 printed at 92%.