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Making a Vintage-Inspired Coat

Hello everyone!

I’m so excited to be featured in the Minerva Crafts blog again and this time I have something really special to share with all of you. Since we are now well into winter, I decided to sew myself a coat!

Coats are my favorite thing to sew when it comes to more involved projects because they really make me feel like I’ve achieved something. It’s weird, I know, especially because some coats happen to be much simpler to make than other garments, for example fitted dresses with complicated features. So I think the reason why I feel that way is because most people tend not to believe me when I say I made my coat and that is making me feel extra proud in my skills, haha!

I’ve tried quite a few coat patterns so far but there was one that was living patiently in my stash for almost 2 years, waiting for me to make it. And that is the Simplicity 1197 pattern. This is a 1060s pattern that they reproduced and includes a pattern for a dress and a coat. I have wanted to make this for so long and this year I was determined to try it!

Influenced by the whole animal print trend that’s been going on this season, I chose this stunning Lady McElroy Fabric from Minerva Crafts to create my coat. I figured that there’s no better way to use a statement print than making outerwear. The fabric is absolutely gorgeous. Not only you can feel its great quality, but it’s also heavy and warm and this was exactly what I’ve been looking for, because I wanted a proper, warm winter coat.

I love that its colors are slightly muted, making me feel much more comfortable when I’m wearing this coat in our small town. I decided to prewash my fabric, using a cold wash cycle in my washing machine and then left it out to air dry. There was absolutely no problem with that and I was very glad that I didn’t ruin it. This also means that I’ll be able to machine wash my coat whenever needed, which is perfect.

For my lining fabric, I chose a plain brown fabric from a local store Nothing fancy, nor expensive, just a lining that matched the brown shades of the main fabric.

When it came to choosing my size, I had a bit of a head scratch. I don’t do that well with Big 4 sizes and my measurements were putting me on a size 14. However, after having a look at the finished garment measurements and the reviews that other seamstresses had written about this pattern, I decided to go for my usual size 10. I wanted a slightly oversized fit anyway and I think that size ended up being spot on for me.

The only alterations I made to the pattern were that I shortened my coat by 10 cm and lengthened the sleeves by 4 cm. In retrospect, I should have added a bit more length to the sleeves, because they still ended up a bit short. I know that they are meant to be above the wrist on this style of coat, I just don’t like being cold in the winter :)

The overall construction was fairly easy. I took my time and sewed the coat in little sessions, which I rarely do. It took me about 2 weeks to finish, but I loved that I didn’t rush! The trickiest part was definitely the welt pockets. I knew from other reviews that the instructions weren’t that good, so I didn’t use them at all. Instead I watched this YouTube tutorial on how to do the welt pockets, because it’s been ages since the last time I tried them and I was really nervous.

I decided not to add the buttons and buttonholes on the coat, as shown on the pattern, because I was afraid that my sewing machine couldn’t handle the buttonholes on the thick layers of the fabric. So I added 3 snaps on the inside and sewed 3 decorative, vintage buttons on the outside, just to add a bit of sparkle to my coat.

Overall, I am pretty happy with this coat. It’s warm, it’s beautiful and very much on trend. It also goes with many clothes in my wardrobe, which is always a plus.

I definitely recommend both the fabric and the pattern, just make sure you pick the right size and take your time with the welt pockets. The rest is a piece of cake!

I hope you enjoyed my review and I can’t wait to read your comments.

Happy sewing,

Athina @ athinakakou

Comments (8)

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Athina Kakou said:

Hi Elizabeth :) No, it wasn't partiicularly itchy, just the amount you'd expect from a wool. I fully lined the coat so it isn't against my skin :) · 17th Jan 2019 08:20am

Athina Kakou said:

Thank you so much Julia! · 17th Jan 2019 08:20am

Athina Kakou said:

@Lesley, yes I fully lined the coat :) You can watch my process in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r37fOUhN8I · 17th Jan 2019 08:19am

Athina Kakou said:

Thank you so much Joyce! · 17th Jan 2019 08:18am

Joyce Mussett said:

This is lovely professional looking coat - good choice of fabric. · 13th Jan 2019 08:00am

Lesley HIRST said:

Athina what a beautiful coat! Did you fully line the coat - into the sleeves etc as the fabric altho beautiful looks like it could beas bit itchy/scratchy - please let us know! Thankyou, it??s beautiful x · 13th Jan 2019 04:51am

Julia said:

Fabulous coat you made a really good job of this!! · 11th Jan 2019 01:07pm

Elizabeth Vial said:

Athina, this is absolutely beautiful! Did you find the fabric itchy at all? · 10th Jan 2019 06:57pm