A trench coat sounds like a massive undertaking, but the Artemis pattern by IAM is a beginner-level coat project with only four pattern pieces. So how does it fare as an alternative to the structured, fitted coats that we are used to seeing...?
I’ve been desperate to add a light grey coat to my wardrobe for a while and this heavy weight wool was perfect for the job. It has a muted lilac undertone in certain lighting conditions, so is less neutral than a flat grey. I picked out these gorgeous ‘Man on the Moon’ buttons, which give a little humour to the garment.
I was a bit unsure about sewing an unlined coat, but I was curious to follow the instructions verbatim to see how it would turn out. For a clean finish, the seams were overlocked in a matching thread—I toyed with the idea of a contrasting thread colour, but in the end I decided to keep it subtle (for once)!
I was also interested to see how easily I could get in and out of a coat without the usual soft, slippery lining to help. Surprisingly, it was no hassle at all, probably due to the roomy fit of the garment.
I really appreciate what IAM are trying to do here, and while the pattern has massive appeal as a simple, easy to sew coat, there are a few niggles. 
The main downside, if you want to call it that, is the lack of fit or structure. For me, the coat does not hang well when buttoned up. If you are going for a slouchy, over-sized feel then this pattern delivers just that, but if you wanted to use this pattern for a sleek trench then it would require a lot of nipping and tucking.
One plus point is that the pockets are drafted into the front pattern pieces, making them the quickest pockets I’ve ever sewn. The overall design is a nice compromise between simplicity and functionality—a definite positive for beginners.
You can see from the official pattern images that the coat has a shabby-chic style. I maybe should’ve considered this before I cut the pieces, but I was so interested by the idea of a four piece coat that I went in guns blazing. It will be a good spring/autumn coat but because I don’t like the shape when buttoned up, I can’t see it becoming a winter coat pattern for me.
Next month I’m going back to one of my favourite patterns, to showcase a lovely springtime jersey. Until then, happy sewing everyone!
Duncan
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