That’s me outside in the upper 20s and I don’t feel a thing! We’ve had some colder than usual winters the last two years in Baltimore.
It’s done! Seven years ago I tried to make a coat that was so hiddy, I threw it out with the next day’s garbage. I won’t be doing that with this melton wool trench coat. When I was in middle school, my parents bought me a beautiful red wool coat in Budapest in the late 80s. I even remember trying the coat on in the middle of the store because there were no dressing rooms. I wore that coat all the way through college on to my first job as a reporter. Finally, my mom gave me $100 and told me to buy a new coat because mine was so beat up. In making this coat, I wanted something nice for wearing over a suit but elegant enough for dress up winter events.
I realize maxi coats are not on trend right now. Although, I suspect long coats are too expensive to make. My other coats are sometimes shorter than my skirt and I didn’t like that look. Mmmm. I love the military look and I fear you’ll be seeing a lot of trench details from me this year.
- Wigan (for the sleeves and hem)
- Knit tricot interfacing for the center front, tabs, belt
- Woven fusible interfacing for the upper back
- 21+ black and grey buttons from my FabricMart stash
- Buckle, I think I got this in Panama a few years ago
- Shoulder pads from my stash. Well, they were filling out the bra cups of my dress form
- Flannel back satin lining from Joann’s fabric
- I made a size 40 with a 1/2 inch FBA
- I increased the sleeve / bicep by almost two inches. I wanted to comfotably wear sweaters underneath.
The coat cost about $120 or so to make. A search on Nordstrom and Macy’s shows that coats of this length in wool fall between $300 and $600.
Here are some detail photos. And, um, yeah. After being outside and taking about 50 photos, I uploaded to the computer to see that I left one button open!!!!! Grrrrr. What can I say? There are 14 down the front (I copied this from the Burberry website vs. the 10 Burda calls for and is considered traditional). I’m vain, but not vain enough to go back outside and take more photos.
Sleeve belts and tabs. I love the two button detail.
Gun Flaps. I like the look of two, but it’s hard for me to get them to match perfectly. I ended up moving the button so visually they were symmetrical.
Chin Strap. So. Warm. What a great detail to include in the pattern.
Back vent. There’s no way I could have done the slit without Summerset’s help! I was stressed about sewing the vent and she sent me some great directions from her son’s vintage coat. Thanks Summerset!
Welt Pockets. I think this is the third time I’ve done them? Not nearly as hard as they seemed three years ago.
Flannel backed satin lining from Joann’s on sale for about $25. The interweb consensus is that it’s not very high quality. But, by the time I heard that, it was already cut out and partially sewn. It can replaced in a few years if need be.
There are things I’m not 100 percent happy with. But, hey, it’s my first ever wearable coat. The slit is super flattering, but I’d rather do without. It does let in a breeze. I would prefer it to start about five inches lower. But, that’s what happens when you don’t make a muslin.
I wanted a long coat, but I wouldn’t mind if this was five inches shorter. It really must be worn with heels. I’m not terribly tall at 5 ft 6 but, the coat does not drown you. The hem is wonky in parts, but I think I’m the only person who’s going to notice. I may also add a snap to the lower front.
That’s it! I love it. I was so smug on Sunday afternoon getting coffee with a friend. S-M-U-G. Like, walking around wondering how people weren’t just stopping me on the street to ask where I got my amazing coat from. It’s only the second time I’ve felt like that and it’s the greatest feeling of accomplishment.
I’m going to be in trouble if I lose a button. These were literally ALL I had of this one style. In fact, I’ve got alternate buttons holding the chin strap in place.
Yep. Can’t tell me nuthin’. Because, I made a coat!