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Breaking the Pattern - Hila’s Halla Coat

Book Review

I have a fondness for Named Sewing Patterns. Their Dakota dress was one of the first indie patterns I dared to buy when I had just started sewing. I sewed it for a competition that was judged by Saara and Laura in October 2014. Though I didn’t win, I felt a thrill knowing that they had actually seen and read my post about their pattern. When I got the chance to be a part of the book launch in conjunction with Minerva Crafts, wild horses couldn’t have kept me away.

Breaking the Pattern

The book comes with a collection of 20 garments that range in difficulty from beginners right through to advanced/expert level. And the advanced designs are really quite a challenge – which I love. The designs are original and fresh in keeping with Named pattern collections over the years.

But the core and novelty of this book is the philosophy that runs through the book. You get a sense that Saara and Laura really do want you to start with the basics but encourage the user to literally break the pattern – to go your own way and take what they designed to another dimension – your own dimension. The book is littered with suggestions for how you might want to break the pattern. Even a seasoned seamstress like me found some new ideas to try. This, in a nutshell is what’s at the heart of “Breaking the Pattern: A Modern Way to Sew”.

Halla Coat

I was attracted to this cocoon style coat because it looks so oversized and comfortable – like a housecoat but one I can wear outside.

The pattern has a whopping 20 plus pattern pieces – no wonder it’s the last pattern in the book :) I traced size 3 based on my body measurements. The book provides finished garments measurements as well. The patterns sheets are well labelled and tracing them was no hardship. They are well spaced and uncluttered. The instructions are well written and I found them understandable. Some of the more complex techniques like lining the coat had detailed photo accompaniments.

My Halla Coat

Allow me to introduce my bright colour winter coat. I wanted to rethink the idea that a coat always has to be neutral. I love the super saturated hues of this coat – even on an overcast day I was feeling bright and sunny. The fabric is this 100% Boiled Wool. It is very similar to double faced wool in that the difference between the sides is so very subtle. The edges do not fray due to the fulling process it undergoes which makes it a dense, warm and durable fabric that is resistant to water and wind. It is indeed very cosy.

The colours are incredibly vibrant – I opted to use a contrast red for the faux lapel, collar and belt. The design lines give plenty of opportunity to colour block for a show stopping effect.

Being wool, it has some stretch to it so I stabilised (as per instructions) all the the sleeve and neck curves using a woven fusible. A luxury coat like this deserved the best and woven fusible is top notch. I also interfaced the hems with a knit fusible to give them a crisp edge.


When it comes to manipulating fabric, there really is nothing like wool. Give it a good steam and tailors clapper and you can make it take any shape. I am particularly proud of the sleeve/shoulder area. I eased the sleeve into place, inserted sleeve head and shoulder pad. The finished result is a sharply tailored coat. The details also add to its luxurious feel; the nickel coat loop and the oversized fasteners.

I “broke the pattern” by using contrasting fabrics and in seam pockets instead of patch pockets.

For lining fabric I used Art Gallery Fabrics 100% Rayon in coral red. The colour explodes with the slightest shimmer and lustre. It’s flowy with just the right amount of slip.

Stepping out in a colourful winter coat when the skies are dreary gray for days on end makes all the difference in my mood. It has become quite a staple in my wardrobe – I love this style.

Introducing some feel good shades of colour into your winter outerwear wardrobe couldn’t be easier with Halla’s modern city style design. If hot pink is a bit much for you, try a more subdued colour in a pattern or opt for a more muted colour – this boiled wool has a light blue and olive green that are particularly subtle. 

Breaking the Pattern is a bold, visionary book that offers a fresh look at sewing. What Saara and Laura are advocating for in this book is that you not just go beyond towards deeper learning by literally breaking the pattern, but to also enjoy the benefits of being able to do so. And in the process create some unique pieces for yourself.

Thanks for stopping by,

You can find me on my YouTube Channel or my blog saturdaynightstitch.


Comments (2)

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Rowan Ross said:

Stunning great colour combo. You look fab. · 18th Nov 2018 05:56pm

Aleks Wells said:

OMG. This cost is just beyond fabulous! Amazing colour combination. Loving the tag too. X Fantastic! · 17th Nov 2018 06:00pm