It’s sunny and warm in Portland today. Yet, I’m posting about a heavy winter coat! Yes, timing is everything, and mine isn’t impeccable, but here goes. I started this coat before Christmas, and just finished it because I worked on it in sporadically. So, here I am, wearing a wool coat when it’s sixty degrees outside. Of course, the weather here is a fickle friend, so it might be ‘bundle up’ weather tomorrow (is it evil to wish it would get cold again?). In any event, after all this work, this coat will be worn, no matter how hot it makes me!
This wool was purchased last year, and I loved it so much (and spent so much on it, LOL) I dithered a bit (actually a lot) before getting the nerve to cut it. I got all angsty over the choice of pattern, how to line it, whether I really needed to underline..(blah, blah, blah). Basically I was procrastinating. I do this whenever I contemplate a big project. Honestly, I drive myself crazy. Anyway, the weave of this wool was so beautiful, I couldn’t resist buying it from the Mill End Store when wool was on sale. I felt a little guilty as I splurged so I scrimped a bit on yardage, and wouldn’t you know? Now I wish I’d bought more. Once I started sewing it, I knew just how special it was. The weight, the weave, even the smell of this wool is heavenly (yes, I am weird). A long coat from it would have been so nice. Do overs, please?
The pattern I used for this coat is Vogue 8346, a classic style, with a bit of a flare.
Because my height almost qualifies me for petite status (only 5′ 4″ on a good day), I avoid styles with a lot of volume. Still, I loved the style of this coat but worried I’d look as though I was drowning in fabric.
So, I made a test coat from corduroy. This was a good move, as I realized after sewing only a few seams that the amount of flare on the design was too much for me. So I ripped it apart, recut the bodice pieces, tapering the flare a bit more, then tried again. That did the trick. Here’s my modified flare:
I learned a valuable lesson from this process. The corduroy test version of my coat was great, but when I started working with the wool, I realized the drape of the two fabrics was very different. The thick wool made that little bit of flare seem quite exaggerated compared to the corduroy. So, I had to modify a bit more. All in all though, making the test coat was worth doing, as I learned a lot about the fit of the coat. The shoulders were in the right place and not too narrow, (no adjustment needed, yay), the waist was too long for me (raised it a half inch), and the sleeves were too full for me. Nothing too traumatic, but good to know.
The details: I underlined each piece to give the coat’s structure the support it needed to look crisp. This is not hard, but is time consuming, but well worth the effort. (For tips on underlining, take a look at House of Pinhero’s Peacoat Sew Along. In fact, just have fun looking around at all of her posts!) I used a polka dot silk for the lining, which feels like a dream. I highly recommend finding something luscious for the lining…you deserve it after working so hard on a coat, am I right?
I added very thin shoulder pads to support the sleeve cap and an extra row of buttons because I love the ‘military’ look they add.
And, that’s about it!
The truth is, sewing a coat isn’t that hard, so who knows why I dithered around so much about this one? The challenge was the fit, I guess. Also, a coat with lining and underlining is a serious commitment of time and energy. But why not just jump in? Next time, I will. Sewing a coat is time well spent. I know I’ll wear this one again and again.
Do you dither around before starting a coat like I do? And what have you experienced when making a toile, (test garment) out of a fabric with a different drape? Thumbs up or down?
Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!
23 thoughts on “Vogue 8346: A coat just in time for Spring”
Gorgeous coat! Really suits you!
Thanks so much!
Lovely coat, it fits you very well! I’m in search of the fabric and pattern to make my own.
Thanks! The fabric search is so fun, isn’t it? There were so many nice coats added by the big four to their offerings this fall, and lots of great indie patterns too. It’s great to have so many options to choose from!
This looks just great! I love sewing coats, so much so that I have more than I can possibly wear. There is just something to satisfying seeing a compliated garment come together.
Thanks! Finishing a coat is so satisfying, and you do feel a bit like you can do anything! So cool that you have too many to wear! Nice problem to have:)
WOW. Simply stunning! I love the wool and lining, and love them together as well. Excellent work! I hope you have occasion to wear it very soon!
I haven’t made a coat yet, but I understand the dithering aspect! I’ve made a muslin (out of actual muslin, so I’m bracing for ensuing chaos caused by the difference in fabric) but have stopped there for now. Fit was my issue as well, but that’s only because the pattern is for a 13-year old girl ca. 1920something. Makes for a bit more work, you know? 😉 I’m hoping to get around to making the coat soon, but my project queue is more like a mad rush to the front than an orderly line, if you know what I mean, LOL!
Thanks so much! It’s a bit on the cold side here today so I have hope that it will get some wear. How cool that you found a 1920’s coat pattern to make! I’m sure anyone who can handle a Marfy will rise to that challenge. Perhaps the muslin vs. fabric issue is style specific? Can’t wait to see it. My queue is a bit chaotic right now too. I have ‘seasonal confusion disorder’ . Can’t decide if I should be sewing cotton or wool !
Looks wonderful and fits so well. Enjoy your new master piece:)
A masterpiece…thanks for the lovely compliment!
absolutely fantastic, and this looks so good on you. GREAT lining!!!
Thanks! I confess the silk was a bit extravagent but I’m glad now that I made the investment.
Coats do take a while don’t they! Your’s is lovely, well worth the effort. It will last forever, much longer than RTW!
Wow – that coat is so impressive and it looks great on you!
Thanks so much!
Wow, great job! I’m sure you’ll be able to wear it at least a couple of more times before spring arrives. I’ve been thinking about making a coat, too . . . But I sure am anxious for warm weather again.
Thanks, and I know what you mean. I definitely have spring fever. Maybe a spring coat? I was just eyeing my stash thinking about cotton and linen projects!
I’m working on my very first coat right now — started around Thanksgiving, and stillll in progress. I admit I only did a pattern fitting on my dressform before getting to work. Hope it fits when all is said and done!
Love, love the lining of your coat — it goes so well with the fashion fabric. Adding shoulder pads and extra buttons were great touches, too. Really well done, hoping you get another cold day or two to enjoy your handiwork!
Thanks so much and I’m not surprised your coat project is taking some time. If you count the time I spent on my corduroy version mine took several months too. So your time frames match mine 😉 i do love the lining too and think a good one makes a coat so much more enjoyable to wear. It’s raining today. Hope it means a cold spell is on the way LOL. Have fun with your first coat. It’s so satisfying when itS done!
I love this-
Thanks! The wool was such a good find…
Love it! I’m about to start the same one for me in cherry purple wool and almost finished vogue8940 for my s.o.. I love sewing coats, I was scared as I’m a beginner, but if you look around for resources when you’re stuck it’s doable and fun!
Oh, that sounds wonderful, and sewing a coat is so satisfying! There’s nothing like wearing one that you’ve made.