The overcoat is one of the main pieces of a man’s winter wardrobe. I made myself one last year, so this year it was time to create a coat for my husband.
My previous sewing experience with winter outwear was surprisingly smooth. Something that felt really difficult ended up being quite clear. The only thing that was true about the process is that it was very time-consuming. More than I could imagine. But the result is so satisfying that I started this new coat project without a single doubt.
For my very first men's coat, I was hoping to find an easy enough, yet still classy pattern. And Vogue 8940 was exactly what I needed. It’s a peacoat pattern that has everything this design should feature - back slit, a double-breasted front, neat pockets, etc. Picking the right size was quite easy and surprisingly I didn’t have to add any adjustments to it (apart from changing the placement of the buttons, and that barely counts). I also had to split the collar and collar stand patterns in half, and cut those pieces on a bias - it gives a much neater and better fitting result.
I did adjust the lining pattern slightly by adding a couple of cm in the back for a better fit. Since it’s a coat that you have to take off in any public places and leave it in a cloakroom, we both decided to omit the inside pockets. There is nothing you can leave in them, and the gloves go inside the front pockets.
I picked a beautiful 100% British wool coating fabric and it was the perfect choice for my project. It’s the perfect weight for a winter project, which is crucially important, and it’s so beautiful and masculine. It has a gorgeous colour too, which is also so practical since you can only dry clean this garment.
After the pattern and fabric were chosen it was the time to gather all of the insulators, wind-proofs, etc. My winter coat had a double layer of a wool insulator. On top of that, it’s fully doubled with iron-on cotton. It worked beautifully for me, but I knew my husband would be boiling in as many layers. I decided to create a different set - warm cotton flannel and just one layer of insulator. And it looks like it’s exactly what he needed.
I hand stitched the flannel to the main fabric. All of the details are doubled with it, apart from collar, collar stand and facings (those have the iron-on cotton). It’s a great, thick, very warm and soft fabric, which is absolutely fantastic for the price. I pre-washed it to prevent any shrinking in the future. I also pre-shrank the main fabric by wrapping it in a damp towel and steaming it.
The insulating layer was the same as last year - it was quilted to an extra layer of lining, and then attached with the lining. I used the one called Zelwolwaterline.
The finishing and most difficult part were the buttonholes and buttons. The fabric is so thick that my sewing machine refused to sew with buttonhole feet. It left me no choice but to use a half hand, half-machine method - I used a narrow zig-zag stitch to imitate the automatic buttonhole, then finished them off by hand. Using this opportunity I put a cord under my stitches to have a more pronounced effect.
I’m very pleased with the coat I made and so is my husband. But it wouldn’t be as good without fantastic and high-quality fabrics and other supplies from Minerva.