I made a coat! I can’t believe it, I made a coat!! Here’s my version of the new Robson Coat pattern from Sewaholic Patterns.
Can you tell I’m excited about this project?! And guess what . . . it wasn’t all that hard! Tasia has drafted a fantastic pattern. It has a lot of pieces, and I won’t lie, making this was time consuming. But honestly, it was pretty easy. Especially considering – it’s a coat!
The fabric I used is a 100% cotton twill. So it will wrinkle, but I decided I can live with that.
It isn’t lined, so you use bias tape to finish all the seams.
And there are A LOT of seams, so you need a ton of bias tape! I made my own with a gray, black and white animal print fabric. It took a whole night of work to make enough, but the extra effort was worth it. I just love how the animal print contrasts with the green fabric. Here’s a closer look:
Tip: I didn’t sew the bias tape the way the pattern instructions suggest. (Which is to fold it over the seam allowance and sew) Instead, I did what Lauren (Lladybird) did. (check out her post – she’s got pics of this, and a fanstastic coat to boot!) I sewed one side of the bias tape, then turned it over the seam allowance and top stitched it down. It’s an extra step, but it’s actually a lot easier than trying to wrangle and sew the bias tape around a bulky seam allowance in one pass.
This coat is loaded with great details. It’s got front storm flaps, with a button hidden underneath for when you want to close the coat all the way to the neck.
A back storm flap, with a button. I sewed the animal print fabric on the underside of my flap, just for fun!
Belt loops and tie belt:
Here’s how the insides look. Front:
I cut the back neck facing from my animal print fabric, for a bit of contrast.
I also slip-stitched the back facing down, so that it wouldn’t flip up or flop around when I take the coat off. (Bonus, the back storm flap hides the stitches!)
The sleeves were a little tricky for me, mostly due to inexperience. (I think I’ve only done set in sleeves once, or twice.) I started out by pinning the sleeves in and sewing, but kept getting puckers. So I switched to basting them in my hand, and that worked a lot better for me. They are sitting pretty smoothly now.
And I’m jazzed about how well the top stitching on the sleeve lines up with the stitching on the back flap.
Speaking of top stitching, this coat is loaded with it. I was intimidated by this a first, because I’d only done it a couple times before. Turns out, it wasn’t so hard. Another TIP: don’t look at the needle as you top stitch, and the stitches will stay straighter. I have no idea why, but as soon as I’d look at the needle, things went off course! Along those lines, buy extra thread if you make this. You will need it. (I used 2.5 of the small spools of Gutermann thread. Or about 250 meters/275 yards.)
Oh the other thing about this coat . . . I didn’t make a muslin, and I think it fits pretty darn well.
The only alteration I made was to shorten it by about 4 inches. I based my length off of another trench style coat I own.
When I make this again (and I totally want to, even if owning multiple trench coats is ridiculous) I will probably make the front flaps a smidge narrower. They have a tendency to want to poof out. I’d also take just a bit of flair out of the sides, along the princess seams.
Other changes I’d make are (1) cut the interfacing so that it doesn’t extend into the seam allowances around the collar. I think this would help reduce bulk. It’s another tip I’ve learned from my tailoring class, and (2) maybe underline the sleeves with lining fabric, to help the coat glide on and off easier.
All said and done, I am really proud of myself for making this coat. A year ago I would have never imagined I could made outerwear! I like how it fits. I love the fabric and bias tape. And it fills a gap in my wardrobe, I needed a lightweight coat for cool spring mornings/evenings. Yes, I love my Robson Coat!
Go make one . . . you won’t regret it!