Posted in sewing

Prepping a Spring Coat Burdastyle 2/2011 #125

Have I told you about my insane outerwear stash? Yeah? Ok. So, as you’ve heard I’m trying to sew it down. I’d like to make four outwear pieces in 2018. I need a rain parka, an unstructured coat for bulky clothes, a slightly dressy spring jacket and a long winter coat for businessy stuff. I could also use a rainproof coat for travel.

If this kind of prep work is boring, skip to the end and maybe help me with a few questions, thanks!

photo 2-2011-125 coat_zpszl8nmdqi.jpg

This is the start of my slightly dressy spring jacket, Burdastyle 2-2011-125. I’m using a 10 years old Burberry rain coating that I actually got from Marji in a trade when she started her de-stashing ages ago. I made a red trench coat a few years ago that just wasn’t right from the same fabric (rereading the post it sounds like it was too big. And, honestly, looking at it with hindsight, it probably would have been fine then and great now. But, I gave it away).


The fabric was sold at G-Street (when they were still great), Denver Fabrics and Michael’s in Baltimore. Look at some of the glorious colors I found at G Street back then! I now obviously wish I’d bought it in black, lavender AND baby blue. If anyone has more of this fabric they’d like to unload, holler at me, please 😀



Started with a size 44 based on my upper chest measurement of 40″ and made a 1.5″ FBA based on my F/G cup. I graded up to a around a 50 at my lower thigh (this is outside the Burda range for this pattern).

Interestingly, this looooong waist dart ends at the bust point (I double checked where Burda’s BP is — 12 7/8″ for this size). Which also places that pocket right on top of my bust. So, I’ll probably lower the welt pocket a bit.


Widened the sleeve by 3″. Holy skinny sleeve, Burda! I learned my lesson from my Cascade Duffle Coat and didn’t skimp in increasing the bicep width. Since this is for spring, I need to be able to wear it over a sweater.

I made a swayback adjustment of 3/4″.

I’m not making a muslin. So, I’m going to sew this with 1″ allowances so I have room to play with the fit.


Here’s what I’m not sure about:

The pattern calls for interfacing in all the usual places. And, normally, when I do tailoring I’d interface the entire front, do a chest shield, a back stay, etc. This fabric is two layers of thin cotton with a sandwich of plastic in between. My gut says I don’t need to interface. And, if I did, I’d just add to the center front (1),  collar, under collar and collar stand (7 thru 10). What do you think?

Interfacing layout

I don’t really want to line this either. I’m just going to line the sleeves and use flat fell seams throughout. Which also adds to my desire to NOT interface heavily (of course if you all tell me to interface, I can make a half lining).


Second question, back in 2008 I washed two pieces of this fabric. One came out totally fine and the other separated into two different pieces (hence how I know what’s in between the two layers). I was APOPLECTIC.  I had a top loader back then and now I have a front loader with a ‘hand wash’ cycle. Should I risk pre-treating it at home? Or just live with a dry clean only garment that will always be dirty?

UPDATE: Thanks, y’all! I sewed up a mesh bag with zipper, tossed in the fabric and washed it on gentle this morning upon suggestions below. It didn’t separate! So, it’s now line drying (I’m never going to run this through the dryer) and will see how presses with a warm iron after work this evening.

So, deep thoughts on interfacing and pre-treating are welcome!

35 thoughts on “Prepping a Spring Coat Burdastyle 2/2011 #125

  1. Hey, 😁!, happy to see you’re actually going to use it. I’m floored, you and I could wear same clothes right now. Same stats.
    Suggestion, do practice layout and choose a space that you won’t need for the coat. Cut a piece, serge the edges, and wash the swatch. If it’s fine, wash the piece. If it’s not, then live w a coat that needs dry cleaning.
    Re interfacing, do the collar, the front facing, sleeve hem. I think the fabric has enough stability that it’ll be fine without the chest shield etc.

    1. I can’t say I wasn’t startled to realize I was at the top of the range, lol! Oh well. My metabolism went the way of my 20s 😀 So, I’m thinking a sew in interfacing because I don’t want to damage the waterproof membrane with heat. I wonder if this would get ‘clean’ enough on cold water wash too. From what I remember, no one else had issues with fabric separating wither.

  2. What a gorgeous and practical coat. Love the shape and all the pockets. Regarding interfacing, I think part of its duty can be to provide a bit of contrast in structure to the uninterfaced pieces. It may not make a difference in this fabric, but you might want to mock up a collar, say, to see if matters to you. On the other hand, is it difficult to sew through a sandwiched fabric with interfacing? I wouldn’t want to flat-fell a seam with it. Looking forward to future posts!

    1. I love the style lines so much too! It’s been on my ‘to sew’ list for years. Projects like this is why I am so laser focused on working my way through my stash. There are so many things I’ve wanted to sew for ages. Now that I think back to that other raincoat I sewed, I didn’t add any interfacing to it. At least I don’t think I did…

  3. I say interface the front and collar and let the rest go. The pretreatment question – if I say use the handwash option on the washer and it kills the fabric, can I still be your cyber-friend? Because I’m thinking it’s worth the risk versus the cost of frequent dry cleaning.

    1. We will always be cyber-friends! From what I remember on the old message boards, I was the only person who ran into this problem. A lot of people laundered it with no issues. And, if not for my prior experience, I would just toss it in the wash myself. I’m kind of with you regarding the risk vs dry cleaning cost though.

  4. I have never made any outerwear, so my opinion on interfacing is worth nothing. I looked up how to clean a Burberry raincoat, and it says all of them can be washed in a mesh bag, no drying. Do you want to risk it? If not then I wouldn’t wash the fabric, but I would take it to the dry cleaners and at least have them steam it if not clean it. Do you have enough extra to wash a swatch and see what it does? Baby blue is one of the top colors to show dirt, no doubt about it, but how dirty could it get? If this is your dressy coat, not much, right? I am excited to watch you sew all this outwear!

    1. LOL! Becky, why didn’t I think to look up how to wash a Burberry trench? I just assumed it was dry clean only. That’s not a bad idea at all.

  5. Do you have enough fabric and weights of interfacing to test a few swatches? That’s what I’d do (and have done) to see how the garment might behave later on.

    As for washing, again, I would wash a sizeable swatch (if you have enough fabric) to see what happens. Maybe your dry cleaner can test a sample as well and offer some suggestions on how to keep it clean.

    1. Interestingly, I was reading a link on a luxury clothing forum and there are some horror stories about Burberry and the dry cleaner. When I dry clean, I usually use the place our regional theater company employs. I’m going to take a big swatch and try it in the mesh bag like Becky suggested above. As for interfacing, I think I’m going to have to go the sew in route as not to damage the plastic membrane. And, I actually think I need to go buy some! I haven’t used a non fusible in years!

  6. I love the lines of this coat! (I loved your red semi-trench, too!) Wash a swatch, and decide. How dirty are you really going to get the coat? If it is Burberry fabric, it will repel many stains anyway.

    1. I of course wish I had that red coat now. It would probably fit perfectly! I’m going to do a swatch in a mesh bag. The posts I’ve now been reading since Becky set me on the right path seem to reflect that it’s got some stain resistant treatment to it. I’m not sure how dirty it will get. I feel like around here I’ll wear it March through early May. I’ve been reading too that Burberry reacts really well to spot treating too.

  7. You’re not worried about shrinkage right? Just about layer separation? I’m thinking that with the coat edges all being sewn or finished in some way, unlike your yardage, you’ll have no loose edges to start the peeling process. And if you combine that with using a mesh bag and the hand wash setting… It seems to me that fabric will likely be alright. If you do decide to test another swatch finish the edges in some way (serge or turn and stitch)… I bet dollars to doughnuts it’ll stick.
    And now I want doughnuts.

    1. I reread the threads on Stitchers’ Guild and there is a little shrinkage, about 5%. But, I’m mostly worried about separating.

      1. Ok, I’ve been thinking about this a little more. I don’t think the fabric will separate once sewn together. I want to pre-treat it now so it’s machine washable for the lifetime of the coat. So, it will shrink a bit on the wash — about 5% according to the old threads.

  8. The coat is super snazzy! I would lean towards interfacing to help maintain the crisp look of the drape. How much does it wrinkle when you do the smush/squeeze test? Wrinkling would drive me nuts in a semi-dressy outer layer like this and that would help make the interfacing decision. For pretreating, I would baste the full circumference of the yardage and place in an unbleached muslin “bag” to reduce movement in the washer on hand wash cycle. You could quick stitch an oversized muslin pillowcase shape and pop the giant piece in. If you choose to interface and make that layer washable, then pretreating both fabrics will mean easy washing of the finished coat. The individual pattern pieces will be much smaller and stable when stitched together so the layers, including the plastic, should not shift once it’s complete. More work up front, for sure, but easier to keep clean and in circulation.

    1. I went with a mesh bag because I has leftover mesh (and am somehow out of muslin). Thank you for the reminder about pretreating my interfacing! I’m going to likely use a woven interfacing so I don’t damage the plastic membrane and I would have just forgotten to do anything with it. Eep!

      I really want an easy care garment for this since I’ll have a heavy wear concentration from March through May. Hopefully I can finish it by Easter too. It’s perfect for then. If not Easter, my mid April birthday 😀

      You’re right. They should be much more stable when they are cut down now. I wish I knew why mine separated way back when. I’m usually not nervous when it comes to how I treat my fabric.

  9. I agree with the approach to interfacing that you suggest. The coat would be too stiff or rigid if you get carried away with interfacing. When I do coats I sort of interface as I go and see how it hangs on me, looks on the hanger, mannequin, etc. I would try the handwash on the washing machine, a raincoat that has to be dry cleaned would bankrupt me (Canadian dry cleaning costs here), anyway you wanted opinions on what to do and this is mine. Hope it helps. Fingers crossed for your project, all your makes are always so nice.

    1. Yes! The plastic doesn’t add to the drape at all. I’ve done the machine hand wash and so far it seems to be okay. Am waiting for it to finish line drying to see for sure. But, definitely no separation.

      The interfacing is really giving me pause because I love a well tailored coat! But, this fabric is a bit different and I don’t want something stiff or difficult.

  10. I would tend to lean towards some soft interfacing in the front at least. It seems to me that more interfacing tends to lead to a more RTW like final product and supports the structure, including the button placket line. It seems like the front might need it. It’s hard to say though, without knowing what the hand of the fabric is really like. However, cotton suggests to me that there should be interfacing. Or, if it is heading towards the less-casual end of the spectrum, that too suggests more interfacing to me. Of course it it is not going to be lined then that would eliminate some or most of the interfacing too.

    1. My main reason for not lining is that the reverse is a lovely stripe (I do have coordinating lining for the sleeves though). I love the look of flat fell seams and I think this fabric could use them since pressing might be a bit of a challenge with that plastic membrane inside.

      I just looked through my interfacing stash and I have a cotton woven and horse hair (both sew in). I could use the woven interfacing in the front and collar and do machine tailoring techniques for them which I haven’t done before. I have wigan for the sleeve hems. I think that’s what I’m leaning toward.

      I *could* add a backstay and them have a half lining. But, that seems a bit like petering out, lol.

  11. I always cut out the coat or jacket, and then experiment on the scraps with all kind of different interfacings and see how they feel. Also, seam them together, because that stiffness you get from an interfaced fabric seamed to another piece of fabric will be really informative.
    As for no lining – I never understand that – of course just my personal preference. But I don’t get it, unlined coats and jackets are so difficult to slip on and off, they stick to whatever you are wearing under. Plus the need to finish all the seams – no thanks 🙂 lining all the way for me. A red spring coat – SO CUTE!

    1. I get that! I’m going to line the sleeves so it’s easy to get on and off. I want to do flat felled seams because it will help waterproof the jacket. I also tell students it’s a nice finish for an unlined jacket and would like one to actually show. Also, the fabric is a little odd with the plastic membrane, so topstitching the seams down will help control them a bit more. I have matching lining, but I’m saving most of it for a tan trench coat down the line so want to conserve a bit.

      Thanks for the scraps tip! Hopefully I’ll this cut out before the weekend and get to play some. I’m not sure how this fabric will take to a fusible which is what I’m used to using.

  12. No matter how careful I was with my pastel spring dress coats they managed to get splashed with mud. The minerals in mud stain if not removed promptly. Your coat is beautiful. I have nothing to adds about interfacing that hasn’t already been said. Your coat is beautiful. One little chuckle: perhaps the high welts allow carrying money in the bra.

    1. 😂 I am thinking about having them be faux pockets as they wouldn’t be big enough to hold more than my ID and credit card. I like the look… But don’t actually want anything in them 😉

  13. Sooo, I wash and dry with dryer sheet in the dryer all my outer-wear. My understanding is that the drying refreshes the waterproof-ness and using a dryer sheet puts on a layer of chemicals that also repels water. what am i missing about washing and drying raincoats/wind-breakers/snow-gear?

    1. For me, the same fabric was ruined in the wash so I wanted to avoid that. Some fabrics are coated with DWR and washing could remove it. Burberry also says dry clean only on their site and on clothing labels. Finally, if it’s heavily tailored you wouldn’t want to risk ruining it washing. Just depends on the outerwear I guess!

  14. Red is such a comforting colour for springtime!
    If you don’t mind my asking, do you have to draft the sleeve cap on the sleeve and armholes on the bodice when making a bicep adjustment? I adjust mine 1.5-2” and it is my least favourite pattern adjustment.

    1. I thought about this too (because I’m obsessive, lol). In Fit For Real People you just draw the original sleeve cap on a separate piece of paper and use that to reshape your altered sleeve. In the Singer Guide to Perfect fit you change the armscyce to accommodate the new sleeve cap. Since this fabric will not ease very much, I wanted a flatter sleeve cap and just redrew it slightly based on FRP’s adjustment.

  15. Catching up on my reading and was thrilled to see this fabric come up again. I’ve still got my black plus coordinating lining plus coordinating wool flannel for a zip out liner. Oh, and the lining zipper and the buttons and buckles and what-not to make my trench. Everything except the will to face all the decisions that must be made, exactly what you are tackling now. I will be following along with great interest!

    1. The will to start these big projects is real! I have a tan cut left to make a trench coat. I gave up on the zip out liner for this after ruining my first attempt many years ago. But, a trench coat will be mine! I just can’t tell you when…. 😀

Comments are closed.