Akram's Ideas

Red Fleece Swing Coat – Simplicity 4191

A few weeks ago I posted about being a contestant in the Your Fleece Fashion Contest. For the contest I decided to make a 1950’s style swing coat.

My fabulous fleece swing coat
My fabulous fleece swing coat

Beautiful isn’t it? To make the coat I used vintage Simplicity 4191 pattern from my stash. The pattern was exactly what I was wanting and it seemed relatively easy to make. Best of all being a vintage pattern I could count this project as another #vintagepledge make.

Before cutting into my lovely red fleece which Your Fleece provided to all contest participants, I opted to make a wearable muslin from some navy wool I had in my stash.

My copy of the pattern was a size 16 meant for a 34 bust, which meant it would be small. The pattern didn’t mention the finished garment sizes, but after measuring the pattern pieces I determined the pattern was pretty loose-fitting, so I really didn’t need to do much adjusting.

Concerned about fitting, I sewed the muslin at ⅜ inch instead of the ⅝ inch seam allowance. This worked pretty good, especially where the shoulders were concerned. As suspected the coat was really loose, but that’s the style of a swing coat anyways.

My trial run at making the coat
My trial run at making the coat

The pattern had some tricky pieces to it. For example they indicated using a catch stitch on the raw side of the interfacing to attach it to the coat, after basting the opposite side. Since I was using fusible interfacing I omitted this step. The lining was also tedious. You were to cut the lining sleeve shorter than the coat sleeve. Then there was a separate cut lining piece that was sewed to the edge of the sleeve, then folded over and then slipped stitched back to the inside lining. I wasn’t happy about hand stitching the cuffs.

When I got started on the actual coat I retraced my pattern, this time adding ¼ inch all the way around the pattern edge. This would allow me to make my seam allowance ½ inch and still meet up to where the muslin seam was. The lining to the outer edge and sleeve cuffs were sewed at the original ⅝ inch seam to ensure the sleeve length was accurate.

Outer coat with interfacing
Outer coat with interfacing

In the final coat, I cut and sewed the outer coat as directed, however I decided to attach the lining a bit differently. Instead of cutting the lining sleeve shorter than the coat, I cut it the same length as the coat sleeve. By doing this I eliminated the need to cut a cuff piece and any hand sewing.

When beginning on the lining I sewed the lining back to the fronts at the shoulders only. I left the lining back unattached. This way I could pull my lining through after sewing the cuffs together.

To attach the cuffs I turned the lining inside out and pushed it through the outer coat sleeve, right sides facing. Once the sleeve cuff is sewed in pull the lining back through the sleeve and you end up with two mirror images of the side of the coat.

Lining attached to outer coat
Lining attached to outer coat

To sew the lining to the front edge of the coat I lined up the front edge pieces right sides facing. When sewing you need to be mindful of the sleeves because both pieces are still attached, but once you have got your sides together simply pull out the outer sleeves with the lining and everything should be I place.

Completed coat outside and inside
Completed coat outside and inside

Once I had both sides of the lining attached I sewed the back seams of the lining together. I also took time to add my sewing label to the inside lining.

Lastly, I sewed the lining to the top collar and added the 2 inch hem as directed by the pattern.

Closer look at some of the swing coat details
Closer look at some of the swing coat details

While my method may have been a bit tricky to sew around, I think it’s much easier, since now you are only using two pattern pieces, and mostly because I didn’t have to hand sew the cuff, which unlike the hem was very fiddly to work with.

I love this coat it has both a fun and elegant look to it. I love how soft the outer coat is, thanks to the fabulous fleece that Your Fleece offers. While I think a contrasting lining may have been slightly more interesting I think the red satin and red fleece work great together and besides I probably need more solids in my wardrobe.

Here I am posing with my new favorite coat
Here I am posing with my new favorite coat

The vintage look of the coat is exactly what I’ve been wanting, and while it isn’t exactly a heavy winter coat, I know I’ll get a lot of use out of it as a fashion statement piece.

So, there you have it my lovely red swing coat, made just in time for summer, (oh the irony).

More fun shots of me in my swing coat
More fun shots of me in my swing coat
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Akram's Ideas Red Fleece Swing Coat

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Akram Taghavi-Burris

designer, writer, educator, tech nerd, crafter, baker, sewer and vintage collector, who Brings Creative & Crazy Ides to Life.

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