Hi there Sewing Rabbit readers!! I am so excited to be here today to share a new found sewing love of mine…coats!!!
About a year ago I decided that I wasn’t going to buy any patterns to make coats for my kids. It was mostly because I was scared. Coats seem very scary, right? But like many of my sewing rules, this one was meant to be broken. I made my first jacket in July and have made one every single month since then. Seven coats in seven months! I was working on this plum-colored wool beauty last week and emailed Jess saying, “This coat is just turning out so beautiful and plush, I just have to write a post encouraging people need to try coat making if they aren’t already!!” So I am. 🙂
5 Reasons Why you MUST Sew a Coat.
Have you jumped on the coat-making bandwagon? If you are feeling intimidated or unsure, don’t be! Pull up a chair and let me walk you through five reasons why you have just got to give it a try…
1.) It’s totally okay if you take all of the “easy routes” for your first coat. You will still love it.
If you are putting off coats because they seem too difficult or daunting, try to identify which part of of the assembly is daunting and eliminate it.
Are you terrified of installing a zipper? Pick a simple coat with a button closure. Afraid of sewing through bulky outer fabric and lining? Make a lightweight jacket without lining or a hoodie. If your obstacle is just “the coat,” pick a combination of factors that can guarantee your success. When you’re finished you will be so proud of yourself that you won’t mind that it is a fairly simple coat, because it’s a coat!!
2.) You gain so much sewing confidence and new skills every time.
As I was looking back at my coats for this post I realized that every one is completely different. Different closures, different hood/collar options, different pockets, different lining materials, different cuffs and hems. My first lined, zip-up jacket had welt pockets and rouched sleeves (above).
Sewing as a whole is so gratifying because it such a tangible way to see your skill set growing and improving. If I line up all of my coats I can see a difference as I go down the line: top stitching is straighter, zippers are tidier, the overall finish is better. Every time that I start a coat now I think about which options I have not yet tried because I want to tackle them all! Eventually I will be the master of coat sewing! Or at least a little better than I am now.
3.) You get to include the details that you love on your handmade coat, instead of picking apart the details that you don’t like on a store-bought coat.
Coats can be tricky to buy because you know that they will be worn in lots of situations, and through a season or two, so you really want them to be just right.
When I picked out the fabrics for the plum coat (above), I knew I wanted it to be a nice coat that Hannah would be excited to wear but didn’t have the overly-girly gaudiness that I see in a lot of stores. She likes purple, so I got a beautifully textured deep plum wool that I loved too. I wanted warmth so I bought a plush ivory for the lining. I used the Five and Ten Designs Volume Two Coat pattern block and instructions for the basis of the coat, although I changed it up slightly making a swing shape and adding a small skirt with a pleat to the back. I had originally wanted scallops along the zipper cover but it just didn’t work, so I added some wow factor by lining the front of the hood with a beautiful fur trim and added two rows of top stitching along every seam for extra detailing. It’s just right, and I seriously doubt that I could have found a coat in my price range that fit the bill so well.
4.) Once you are comfortable with basic assembly you can choose unusual fabric with a high wow factor.
Now that your coat-making confidence is soaring you may find yourself open to more fabric options than ever before. The (fabric) world is your oyster!! My fifth and sixth coats were a raincoat out of a tablecloth (above) and a sweater coat out of a thick sweater knit (below). Both were tricky in their own ways but totally worth the effort!
5.) The object of your sewing affection is on full display, on a regular rotation, and you don’t have to apologize.
You know the times where you make a great outfit for your child, then they wear it to their friend’s house, church, grandma’s house, a play date, and then you start thinking that it might need to take a backseat for a few weeks. But not with a coat. In the cold months your kids needs a coat every time that you leave the house no matter what you are doing, so you get to beam with pride at that masterpiece every time that you walk out the door. It’s fantastic.
What do you think?
Have you made a coat that you love, or are you dying to get started on one? I’d love to see.
Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…