This month’s project was a challenging one, but I do like a challenge! And I loved this Burda Style Pattern as soon as I saw the first preview of the October issue, true love at first sight. This coat was planned before the magazine came out.

A coat is a big project on its own, when coupled with an asymmetrical plaid fabric it turns into a massive one, mainly because all pieces need to be cut from the fabric in a single layer, making sure the plaid matches as much as possible. I love plaids though and I dislike mismatched seams, so I summoned all my patience and started working on this monster. It’s not perfect, but it’s done and there are no seams that jump up at me! Ok, maybe just the shoulder one :|

It would’ve been easy to match the red line coming across the back and going down the sleeve, but I didn’t think about it

The pocket flap matches on almost all sides

The Fabric I used is a beautifully warm and soft wool. It has a twill weave which I think makes it so soft and drapey. The main colours are a dark grey and blue, it looks almost heathered and it has a different shade depending on the light. I didn’t wash the fabric, because I don’t plan on washing the coat, but I steamed and pressed it dry before cutting it. This should be enough to limit any shrinking that might happen if/when I get caught in the rain.

I interfaced the fronts, hems, pocket openings and armhole areas with a woven fusible and the facings with a lighter knit fusible. All fusible has been pre washed, I don’t want to risk that shrinking!

The plaid is asymmetrical vertically and horizontally, all pieces had to be cut in the same direction. I chose to match the bold purple horizontal line everywhere and I made sure the hem falls between the coloured lines.

The pattern features Dior darts with only 2cm (3/4”) uptake. I didn’t want to interrupt the plaid there so I took advantage of working with a 90% wool fabric. I gathered the dart area, 2cm before and 2cm after the dart ends. This total of 6cm was gathered into 4cm length, steamed and pressed over a ham to smooth out and shape the fronts without actually sewing the dart in.

Steaming the dart in progress

I made bound buttonholes - not something I particularly enjoy, especially in plaid, but I don’t trust my machine to make nice even buttonholes in a heavy coat. I use Gertie’s method, I like it for plaids because you create the ‘window’ first and then place the welts under - makes matching really easy.

For the lining I used a very slippery poly Satin Fabric, it’s light and soft and perfect for slipping the coat on and off.

There’s a jacket version of the coat as well in the magazine, the sample is red and I really like it in a solid too. If I do get around to making it again, there are a couple of things I’d do differently. First, I’d make sure the lapel edges roll to the inside. I couldn’t make a decision which way to roll them on the coat, as it can be worn with the collar/lapels up or down, so I understitched the facings only from the hem to right under the bottom button. After wearing it a couple of times I like it best with the collar up, so next time I will understitch all the way up and make sure the seam is not visible.

The second thing I’d change is the self belt. The wool is heavy and I should’ve made sure the long seam on the belt sits in the middle. I didn’t, I left it on one edge and that edge is quite bulky. Not too bulky to run it through the buckle, but bulky enough to bother me.

Nevertheless, I absolutely love my new coat! The shape of the collar is lovely, look how beautifully it hugs the neck. And my usual worry about wool being itchy? Unfounded! This fabric is perfectly soft and warm, I’ll try to piece a scarf or shawl from all the little pieces that are left.