Speaking of coats, I happen to make a coat of my own recently; nothing as detailed as Tasha’s coat, but not too shabby.
This past December I decided I would make a warm fleece coat for my little niece Layla. The idea came to me after purchasing some fuzzy pink fleece and a white fleece with spring flowers on it.
As for the pattern I had a few options, but while I was at my mother-in-law, Miss Linda’s house for the holiday’s she suggested I use McCall’s pattern 4647, from her pattern stash.
The pattern was for a fleece coat, unlike my other pattern options. Also, she mentioned having made the pattern before and it being pretty easy to work with.
With the fabric and pattern planned out all that was left was to get started. I began cutting out the pieces as soon as possible and thought I just might make the coat before Christmas. Though we all know how that works out. I ran out of time in December, got sick in early January and then turned around and got the flu in February.
Needless to say the coat pieces have been setting on my sewing table for sometime, and I thought I’d better get to work on it, since of course it’s almost spring time.
Lining the Coat
Since the coat was to be made of fleece it didn’t require a lining. However, both my fleece fabrics were thinner than I would have liked for a coat. Also, the pink fleece had webbing on the backside that I thought would look odd on the inside of the coat. So, my plan from the start was to create a coat that was fuzzy pink on the outside and white floral on the inside.
This meant that I had to make a lining for the coat, which was fairly easy. Basically all I did was make the coat twice. I started with the lining, which I would later turn inside out and sew to the outer coat.
Sizing the Coat
Layla is only just 1-year-old and since I figured she wouldn’t even wear the coat until this coming winter, I wanted it to make sure it would fit her. Thus, I opted to cut out the pattern for a 2-year-old. Also, because I was lining the coat (adding extra bulk) and because I wanted to fit over any sweaters she maybe wearing I decided to sew a ½ inch seam allowance instead of a 5/8 inch seam.
For the armhole I sewed the ½ inch seam then I sewed a zigzag stitch ¼ inch away from the seam line and trimmed the seam allowance to the zigzag stitch. I have used this method in the past for some of Layla’s dresses to remove any extra bulk in the armholes and it seemed to work well.
I was very surprised how quickly the coat began to come together. The lining was done in about 2 hours and I was very happy with how the hood came out, since it was the first garment I made with a hood.
After the lining was made, I began work on the outer coat. Starting with the pockets. I knew that I wanted to add the contrasting lining to the outside of the coat as decorative detail. My plan was to use the left over lining as the border around the pocket, sleeves and hood.
For the pocket I was going to make a sort of cuff for the top of the pocket. However, what I discovered was my lining fabric wasn’t as thick as my outer fabric, which made the top of the pocket kind of flat and odd looking.
What I ended up having to do was take the lining fabric and actually sew it on top of the top half of the pocket, so that it be the same depth, as opposed to sewing it pass the pocket edge.
With the pocket squared away I could move on to the sleeves. The pattern already had a cuff for the sleeve, which meant all I had to do was cut it from the lining fabric. It worked out great.
The hood of the original coat pattern had a turned edge, that was turned in and top stitched down. For this coat, I cut back the outer hood the size of the turned edge, about 1 inch. Then I took the lining hood and turned it to the outside, using the method in the pattern and top stitched it down.
The Completed Coat
The original pattern used a button closure, but I wanted to make sure little Layla would stay warm in her coat. So, instead of using buttons I opted to add a zipper closure instead. I used an 18 inch pink sport zipper for this coat.
I sewed the zipper between the lining and the outer coat. With the right sides of the lining and outer coat facing, I sandwiched the zipper between the openings and sewed at a 5/8 seam.
Next I sewed a 5/8 seam around the bottom of the coat attaching the lining to the outer coat. Then I turned the coat from the top inside out.
After pulling the lining sleeves through the outer coat sleeves, I turned the lining hood and top stitched it to the outer coat hood.
Finally, I folded over my cuffs from the outer sleeves into the lining and slipped stitched it to the inside lining to enclose the lining and finish the coat.
I’m quite happy with how the coat came out. It looks like a real professional coat. You can’t see any seams and I even added my all-new Akram’s Ideas sewing tags to the inside of the coat.
I can’t wait for Layla to actually wear the coat, though I’m pretty sure that it would swallow her at the moment. Though I did make it for her to grow into.
After completing this coat with success and seeing how lovely Tasha’s coat came out I’m really keen on the idea to make my own coat. Given my schedule and time allowance for sewing, if I start now I might actually have a coat ready for winter. We’ll see how that goes.