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Slightly Dressy Spring Coat – Burdastyle 2-2011-125

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I’ve been calling this teal beauty a jacket… maybe because it’s lightweight so I don’t think “coat”.  But, it seems to clearly be a coat pattern. Discuss.

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As you see, I finished my spring jacket from the February 2011 issue of Burda! We were at my inlaws on Maryland’s Easter Shore for Passover and got to snap a few photos on the water.

I really wanted to try and push my skills and make a jacket with a bit more technique and time. So, this one took me a solid six weeks of work with many fidly bits.

This pattern tops out at 44 so I needed to grade out to about a 50 in the lower thigh. I also made a FBA, a swayback adjustment and added almost 2″ in width to the sleeves / bicep. I pretreated the fabric by sewing a mesh bag and washing in the washing machine.

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When I teach, I talk about when and why you would use Hong Kong or bias bound seams. I also do demos of flat fell seams and blind hemming But, I didn’t really have a good garment to show it off in. Now, I do! And, now I understand why garments with these techniques cost twice as much as they absolutely take twice as long!

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Interior details…

I used fusible interfacing on the center front, collar and pocket flaps. I do not have any interfacing in the chest, back, or hems. There are places where you can see the chest collapses a bit. But, I did not want to make a tailored spring / rain jacket and I wanted to leave it unlined to show off the reverse of this bonded fabric.

If you have this fabric, do not use fusible woven. Way too stiff. A nice weft fusible is the way to go. Press with a press cloth because the fabric shines on the non stripe side. And, don’t use too much heat or steam. The fabric is easily overworked and misshapen and the fabric will separate. If it does separate or crease, heat it back up, and press it back to gather with a clapper — leaving it in place until it cools.

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Sleeve insertion.

Well, that’s a tale of two cities! The (my) right sleeve was set with tie interfacing in the ‘tailored’ method. The cap pops and I had minimal issues setting it in. The fabric doesn’t have a great deal of ease and is like working with leather.

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The (my) left sleeve was set the traditional method and I’d broken a sweat by the time I was done. Either way, puckers sewn in to the fabric DO NOT PRESS OUT. Same with the bust darts. You can’t press shaping into them. So, I have perky darts due to the fabric and a collapsed cap on this side.

And, now I think because of the tie interfacing I probably cannot machine wash this coat 😭.

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There is a small drafting error with the coat collar in pattern 2-2011 #125. The collar stand and collar are too short by about 1.5″. It works out fine for me because I have a short neck and don’t like getting my foundation on my clothes. It just doesn’t meet closer to the middle as it shows in the line drawing.

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I mitered the back hem inside and  used a 2.5″ turn up. I wish it was 1.5″ to 2″. I think it would have been easier to have a nice hem. Not that the bottom is rounded. But, the fabric doesn’t ease well. I ended up making a blind hem on my blind stitch machine using nylon thread. While I only use this machine a few times a year I am always super pleased with the results.

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The only thing I REALLY wish I’d done is remembered this comment from Marcy when I finished my Cascade Duffle coat. The bottom fronts don’t meet the way I’d like.  This is for a couple of reasons I think….

  1. I make a too long a FBA at 1.5″. I need more width than length and forgot or don’t trust myself. So I end up with jackets, coats and dresses too long at center front

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2.)  If I’d read Marcy’s comment or remembered, I would have tried to cut the CF a little off grain to have the flaps meet better. I did add a covered snap. Let’s see how much I use it! Um, also — there’s a reason garments have snaps here and not buttons. ASK ME HOW I KNOW. 

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All that said, I think I don’t mind that much. Only in the light of posting it on the internet for all to see do I feeI must confess my crimes. I’ve wanted to make this pattern since it came out SEVEN YEARS AGO. The fabric has been in my stash for TEN YEARS. I really needed a spring coat to wear that wasn’t a totally casual item. And, I worked harder on this with finishing techniques than I may have on anything else. So, I will wear it for the six weeks a year it’s weather appropriate here in the Mid Atlantic!

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46 thoughts on “Slightly Dressy Spring Coat – Burdastyle 2-2011-125

    1. Thank you Janet Louise! Hopefully I’m getting there. I just need to make muslins a little more often 😉

  1. WOW. You are a jacket-coat sewing genius!!! This coat is fabulous. You’ve been totally upfront about the “issues” you had with the pattern and fabric, but sheesh — pat yourself on the back for the beautifully turned collar, lovely pockets, and the gorgeous top stitching, not to mention the bound seams! None of these are easy techniques.

    Wear with smile and enjoy — it is a beautiful, beautifully made coat! Happy spring.

    1. Thank you! I try not to be hard on myself. But, like to be honest about what I ran into or what I would or could do differently. I love this pattern though and plan to use it for a real coat in the future. As for this fabric, I’ll save it for something with princess seams and raglan sleeves!

  2. I’m in awe of your ability to spend so much time sewing jacket/coat one after the other. Thanks for pointing to Marcy’s comment and the link cause this can be used not just in outerwear but in some jackets too probably. Also can’t you also wear this during that 6 week period in the fall when it’s not quite cold but no longer warm too.

    But most importantly, it is a very pretty coat, well finished with important sewing lessons learned. Looking forward to the next coat journey!

    1. Thanks, Carolyn! Yeah. I can’t believe I went seven years between outerwear projects then knocked out three in six months. I think the open flap is super exaggerated in this one also because the buttons are only at the top. I thought about adding more buttons but didn’t like the way it would have looked. Marcy’s tip / reference is a good one and I need to find that book for the future. It’s one of those things that drives me nuts on blazers and coats.

      Yes, I could wear this in the fall. But, the color to me reads SPRING. I’m hoping to have a navy blue parka for the fall or a lightweight fall color wool coat for that in between. The nice thing about living in the mid-Atlantic is you really do need a range of outerwear!

  3. I don’t know why, but I always consider a garment this long to be a coat, not a jacket. I think of jackets as short garments. Nevertheless, it is gorgeous! I love the color and the details you slaved over. I am impressed, Renee! I always learn something from your posts, and this is no exception. Happy Spring!

    1. Happy Spring, Becky! I have a sneaking suspicion my calling it a jacket has something to do with my parents. If it was a coat, it had to be heavy and warm. I think because it’s lightweight I want to say jacket. But, it’s too long to be a jacket! At any level, I’m pretty happy with it and can’t wait to start wearing it. It definitely fills a hole in my wardrobe.

    1. I just don’t know what I’d do if I never needed to sew a cool weather garment again! I love coat making. But, despise the cold. It’s a real quandary 😁

    1. Thank you! It’ll be good to have something a little nicer to wear when I need to go out!

  4. lovely color and perfect for spring. For coats I add something called “walking ease” which is a subtle widening of the front edge below the waist, to compensate for the coat fronts tending to swing towards the back. The longer the coat then more is added. Works every time. I don’t cut it off grain. I should do a blog post on it.

    1. I would love to read about this! Based on your comment, I now wonder if my swayback adjustment might tend to make the fabric at from swing to the back. If I don’t make a swayback on a vented back, it swings open / wide. I bet my swayback took a bit of fabric away helping it pull to the back.

    2. Just googled this and it’s in my Power Sewing book! According this book, a 1.25″ wedge would have done it for me. And, that sounds about the amount it splays! I and my future coats thank you!

  5. It’s lovely! Love the vibrant color and all the topstitching details. Great job – you’ll wear it for years to come!

  6. WHEW! *I* thought you’d never finish this coat! LOL!!!! It tried to fight you but you won!!! It is a gorgeous color, it fits so well, and will be really fun to wear this spring.

    I love all of the details. I call lightweight outerwear pieces jackets…even if they are longer. 🙂

  7. Bravo on finally getting this done! It looks just the thing for staying dry on a grey day, and going forward into spring. The collar looks the business!

  8. The color is really gorgeous on you. Thank you for pointing out the “should haves”, but I wouldn’t have noticed any of them. What a coat/jacket! Maybe I should sign up for your sewing course.

  9. Wowee! I love your beautiful new coat!! You did a marvelous job on it. The color and style of it sing on you! Have a wonderful Passover.

  10. I’m calling it a spring coat! This is one of those projects that has definitely been planned for a long time and I think it is great that you have used a long loved pattern with a deep stash fabric! Clearly it was a lot of work, but the end result is wonderful inside and out.

    1. Thanks, Allison! It boggles my mind how deep my stash is. It’s probably the only reason I’m so focused on sewing from it. So that I actually get around to making things I’ve long loved.

  11. Wear that beautiful coat and spring is sure to come. It looks great; fit, finishing details and color. I have sewn this type of fabric and it is challenging. Kudos on persevering! Photo location – St. Micheals ?

    1. Thank you, Audrey! Ocean Pines actually. My inlaws moved from Montgomery County to be closer to the beach. And, they have a second place at another beach, lol. They are consistent if nothing 😀

  12. Thank you for sharing the details of this garment. It is a beautiful style and gorgeously created. My favorite is the photo of the inside, wow! Looks like the end product was worth every minute, new technique, and “learning moment”.

  13. Smashing coat, and that Color GORgeous on you. Wise lady waiting for just the two atoms time and space to merge.
    Again beautiful job

  14. Everything about this garment is Absolutely GORGEOUS! I too was visiting Maryland’s eastern shore where my sister lives in St. Michaels. I got a chuckle that you referred to it as the “Easter shore”. Thanks so much for sharing!

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