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Wool winter coat - can I sew one? Let's find out together.

 
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I think so. See this pattern, maybe get an extra meter if you wanted it to be double breastfed. This particular pattern looks kind of snug up top, maybe thru the shoulders too.
 
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This pattern has some potential.  https://www.seamwork.com/catalog/albion



It seems to have a lighter jacket version too.  

I would be grading between XXL and L for my measurements - which means darts (in that thick a fabric?!?!?) or adding princess seam (if so, then why buy the pattern?)

some more about the coat here https://blog.seamwork.com/news/introducing-albion-and-cooper-from-walden-by-colette-patterns/  

and more https://www.sewalongs.com/albion/
 
r ranson
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5-6 yards is $60 plus tax.  Plus thread and notions.  A winter coat in my size and style for under $200 is a good price these days.
 
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r ranson wrote:

I would be grading between XXL and L for my measurements - which means darts (in that thick a fabric?!?!?) or adding princess seam (if so, then why buy the pattern?)

I agree - you already complained elsewhere when something you made was too much "like a sack". Choosing a pattern that's "unisex" seems a waste of money to me.

The pattern Joylynn  posted would still need a fair bit of modding to fit your upper body, but at least the seams would already be there for you to start from. With that pattern, you might want to reduce the flair a bit, but that's do-able. It actually looks more flared in the pictures than it does on either live model.

Ohhh... vintage pattern for vintage fabric:
https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/1096052793/1917-ladies-pleated-coat-with-belt?gpla=1&gao=1&&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_ca_en_ca_b-craft_supplies_and_tools-other&utm_custom1=_k_EAIaIQobChMI5L62i4219wIVMQ2tBh0-_wFdEAYYAiABEgIZjfD_BwE_k_&utm_content=go_319629165_19444327605_75295112325_aud-967786719080:pla-106551294035_c__1096052793enca_560681967&utm_custom2=319629165&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5L62i4219wIVMQ2tBh0-_wFdEAYYAiABEgIZjfD_BwE

Princess style:
https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/686321213/coat-jacket-cutting-pattern-ivey-raglan?rec_type=ad&ref=pla_similar_listing_top-4&plkey=b9ddd6dcf4c8b40683a00f9408b152e370c94a8d%3A686321213

or https://itch-to-stitch.com/product/lagan-coat-digital-sewing-pattern-pdf/

Yes, I realize you're getting into patterns you may need to print and tape, but you're likely going to have to make significant alterations to fit, so at least you can print multiple copies of difficult areas and try different options.

Sorry I'm such a dinosaur and don't know how to make big links into little links... someday... just not this day!
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Oh, do be sure as to how wide your fabric is, and double check the yardage

I like that coat. Lots of room for the shoulders to do some work.
 
r ranson
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I just remembered I still have a craftsy subscription.

This is about drafting a fitted jacket https://www.craftsy.com/class/designing-your-wardrobe-drafting-the-tailored-jacket-or-coat/

it would be a different fabric

this class might also come in handy  https://www.craftsy.com/class/patternmaking-design-collars-closures/

I wonder if this fabric could be a lining



This Italian jacquard cotton is part of a vintage collection by Seterie Agenti, located in Como, Italy. It is blended with viscose for a soft hand with good drape, suitable for shirts and blouses, dresses, skirts, or even summer pjs.

69% cotton, 31% viscose

135cm or 53″ wide



Viscose is rayon which isn't my favourite fibre - I have rants - but at $6/m it's worth considering.  I would use a slippery one for the sleeves.  
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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That would do well for the lining.
 
r ranson
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Sigh, in order to make the coat, I first have to take this class to make the sloper https://www.craftsy.com/class/patternmaking-basics-the-bodice-sloper/

In other news, I am now in love with this fabric



This vintage yarn dyed light suit weight wool blend has a soft, flexible drape, and a soft cozy texture. It would make a lovely tailored dress, trousers, skirt, waistcoat, or a even a home decor project. This fabric is “shot” meaning the warp and weft are woven with different colours, in this case dark red and dark green.

Wool and synthetic blend

154cm or 60″ wide

180gsm or 5.31oz/yd2

Made in West Germany



Also $10/m

It's a bit light for a winter coat, but we tend to have a light winter and if I give it enough ease, I can wear a layers under it
 
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I'm going to be opinionated here: that vintage ladies pleated coat could both accommodate the extra space you require through the bust and would look so adorable with the plaid fabric you found.

The image on the right which shows either a buttoned belt, or possibly a stitched in waste band, could easily become a stitched in band so that you could add extra room in the upper pleats and less in the lower pleats.

The problem is that style is a very personal - you may look at that pattern and say, "over my dead body". I totally respect that.
 
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Absolutely beautiful  I watched entire video such talent and dedication you are a very talented you lady bravo thank you vicky
 
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R you're having so much fun with the fabric's! If you're matching panels in the coat you may need 6m minimum and could use the excess for matching pant pockets or make your man a gardening kilt!
 
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Do you think it would work to have the red as the outer layer and the black as the lining?  (possibly slippery-er lining for the sleves)
 
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The etsy craftsy class handout says this about materials (edited)

Wool (or other natural-fiber outer fabric). Wool works best because of its sculptural qualities.
Get 2½ to 3 yards. Pre-shrink by dry-cleaning or steaming. ...
Underlining Fabric (optional). Underline your fabric if you feel it needs a little more structure.
...
Contrasting Fabric. Contrasting fabric can be used in the undercollar, on pocket flaps or welts,
inside breast pocket, and facings on sleeves. Usually ½ to ¾ yard is all you need for
contrasting. Make sure your contrasting is thinner or lighter in weight than your wool....
Hair Canvas. Hair canvas (also called Hymo) is made of goat or horse hair and cotton. Some
versions are hair and rayon. You will need about 2 yards of hair canvas to tailor a jacket. ...
Cotton Batiste . Cotton batiste is used under the hair canvas on the front as a support and for
the back stay. You will need about 1 to 2 yards total. Pre-shrink cotton batiste.
Interfacings (Fusible vs. Sew-In). Fusible or sew-in interfacing is used in the hemline of the
body and sleeves, the front facing, the upper collar, and in the sleeve cap (about 2" – 4" from
the shoulder notch). Include seam allowances on the interfacing for the front facing, upper
collar, and the sleeve cap area. Use a woven (rather than nonwoven) fusible interfacing;
recommended fusible brands are Sof-Knit, So-Sheer, or Fusi-Knit, but there are many fusibles
out there so you need to experiment with a few to see what you like. For sew-in interfacing, try
cotton batiste or broadcloth, cotton muslin, or silk organza. Whatever you choose, you will need
about 2 yards. Shrink by spraying with water and rolling in a towel or hanging to dry.



Lining. Rayon lining is preferred; it breathes well and is easy to work with. Polyester, nylon or
acetate linings are fine, but they don’t breath as well and perspiration could stain. Silk is good,
but it can be harder to work with (slippery to cut and sew) and it is very warm, ...You will need about 2 yards. You do not need to pre-shrink
lining.
Shoulder Pads. Use them! They really clean up the shoulder area and give the jacket
definition. Look for ¼", ⅜" or ½" pads.
Sleeve Heads. A sleeve head is a 2" x 12" bias strip of loosely woven wool or lambswool (Suzy
recommends using both). It is stretched into the sleeve cap area to help ease the sleeve and
make a nice, rounded shape in the cap and prevent collapsing. You can also purchase
ready-made sleeve heads.
Stay Tape. Use ¼"- to ⅜"-wide stay or twill tape. Stay tape can be hand-sewn around the
underarm, shoulder, neckline, lapel, and down the front of the jacket for structure and to help
the front fall straight....
Buttons. Most jackets and coats have ⅞ – 1" buttons. If the jacket or coat has only one button it
is sometimes larger (1⅛" – 1¼"). The buttons on sleeves are usually ¼" – ⅜" smaller than the
center front buttons.
❏ Reinforcement Buttons. You will need reinforcement (aka crystal buttons or balance buttons)
to sit behind each center front buttons. Reinforcement buttons are usually about
⅝" – ¾" in diameter.



It looks like I would need 3 yards of main fabric and 2 yards of lining if I followed this guide.  It assumes just above the knee-length coat.

I'm guessing this isn't for more generous endowments.

I can always use the fabric later, and if I have a whole 2 yards leftover I can make a skirt.  I can't see getting less than 5 yards of outer fabric.  

What do you think?

(I can get the other stuff later when I source more affordable materials - and have some already)
 
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Here we go, purchasing list

❏ Purchase your supplies (see detailed guidelines on page 1)
   ❏ 2½ to 3½ yards wool (2½ yards for jackets, 3½ for coats)
   ❏ 2½ to 3½ yards underlining (optional)
   ❏ ½ to ¾ yard cotton, linen or silk contrasting fabric if you are using contrasting
   ❏ 2½ to 3½ yards lining (rayon preferred)
   ❏ hair canvas (about 2 yards)
   ❏ fusible interfacing (about 2 yards)
   ❏ batiste, muslin or combed cotton (1 to 2 yards)
   ❏ shoulder pads
   ❏ buttons for the center front plus reinforcement buttons and sleeve vent buttons
   ❏ sleeve heads (½ yard lamb’s wool, ½ yard scrap wool)
   ❏ 1– 2 yards of ¼- to ⅜"-wide stay or twill tape



I wouldn't be starting drafting/sewing until midsummer.  So that gives me time to gather up the more difficult supplies.  But fabrics I listed are of limited quantities and on sale, so I was thinking if I get them now, then I have to make a coat.


Oh, and as a side note, yes, I've moved away from the duffle bag coat idea.  Love them, but bag.    Maybe if I do this drafting class I can make the next coat with the fitted style but all the trimmings to look like a duffle coat... or something.  I need coffee.  
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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What does the coat look like? Is the Etsy class helping you draft from scratch? I may have overlooked this info...
 
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sorry, I wrote etsy instead of craftsty

This is the class https://www.craftsy.com/class/designing-your-wardrobe-drafting-the-tailored-jacket-or-coat/

And I would also have to take this one first https://www.craftsy.com/class/patternmaking-basics-the-bodice-sloper/

But I got a year's subscription to Crafsty for about $5 for another project and I've got until Dec until it expires.

We have to draft the sloper first then the coat.  I'm nervous about the sloper but really should have one.  
coat-one.PNG
the technical drawing - but assume we will make changes to fit our shape
the technical drawing - but assume we will make changes to fit our shape
coat-two.PNG
screenshot from the class which shows two versions of the same coat in the back
screenshot from the class which shows two versions of the same coat in the back
 
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Reinforcement Buttons. You will need reinforcement (aka crystal buttons or balance buttons) to sit behind each center front buttons. Reinforcement buttons are usually about ⅝" – ¾" in diameter.

Please let me add the obvious... The "balance button" holes have to *very* closely match the outer button holes. I once had to make my own balance buttons because I had some lovely buttons that looked wonderful for the outside, but I couldn't find any buttons that matched the holes . Some coat buttons actually come as a pair - large outside button with small balance ones in the same package. I don't know how common that is.
 
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I think I'll fuss about the buttons later.  

On coats I've bought sometimes the holes line up, sometimes they don't.  I think they rely on the thread being bendy.  

The ones that line up last longer.

Most often, I see the reinforcement buttons being sewn separately from the main buttons.  I'm guessing this is to save money somehow.
 
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Sew In Hair Canvas Interfacing
CAD $18.90 /m

at the local store.  and out of stock.  That's the price to beat.  


 
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I um... bought the fabric.

I am now committed to making this project work

still need to get some more things.  But this should get stuff started
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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I have a feeling that I'm gonna feel real stupid when I read the answer... what are balance buttons?
 
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I think... not sure, but I think these are little, lightweight buttons on the inside of the fabric.  That way if the button gets caught on something and pops off, it's just the thread that breaks rather than ripping a hole in the fabric.  
 
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r ranson wrote:I think... not sure, but I think these are little, lightweight buttons on the inside of the fabric.  That way if the button gets caught on something and pops off, it's just the thread that breaks rather than ripping a hole in the fabric.  

I'm thinking they call them "balance" buttons because if you've got a large heavy button on fabric that isn't firm enough, the inside button spreads the load so the outside button stands up neatly.  However, the bit about tearing is also a completely valid reason for having an inside button to back up an outside button -  torn thread and even a lost button is easier to deal with than ripped fabric in my opinion.

I'd not heard that term for them before, but I never had a lot of formal sewing lessons.
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Huh. One more thing I've done I didn't know had a name. Cool.
 
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The fabric arrived and it is so beautiful.  

The first step is to clear my mending pile and finish the project that has claimed my sewing table.  Then I make a sloper.  

I've actually tried making a sloper before in a class, and failed miserably.  I also hate the idea of knowing what my body is these days.  So I'm already starting with negative emotional confidence.  
 
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You're perfectly you, and no one else can be as you-y as you. Your body is only part of that package.
 
r ranson
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I like this style  https://blacksnailpatterns.com/listing/255446246/edwardian-coat-1910-sewing-pattern-0915



Looks like they have a bust version in my size and I could grade the pattern down.

But I'm still temped to make a sloper and use the class to draft a coat pattern.  
 
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R ranson wrote:

Looks like they have a bust version in my size and I could grade the pattern down.

It looks to me like a classic pattern that is never *really* out of style unless you're an expert that notices every little detail. You could use it as inspiration at least.

And wrote:

But I'm still temped to make a sloper and use the class to draft a coat pattern.  

With your unique body dimensions, it seems a bit of a waste to me to spend money on a pattern then have to totally change large parts of it. It's different if one only has to change length or add a little width, you will want to change how the whole thing drapes to conform to your body. Personally, I think you've done enough at this point, that with a class to support you, you will manage! The patter could always be "Plan B"!
 
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I am hopeful I can finish the first mockup of my block pattern today.  This is the pattern that is Me shaped that I can use to draft the coat pattern.  

I'm using the technique for making a block from the book Pattern Drafting by Natalie Bray.  The big problem is that this is done in metric and almost all my tools are imperial.  So I'm having to use my one measuring tape that has metric on it to measure, then square off with the imperial rulers.  It's needlessly complex.  But from here on, it's all about how it fits on my body with mockup after mockup.

This video has been a huge inspiration.



From there, I can go back to the craftsty class to draft the coat.  
 
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I can't remember if I listed this here, but this looks like a nifty free duffle coat pattern: https://www.dr-cos.info/fp-dufflecoat.html





 
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r ranson wrote:

this looks like a nifty free duffle coat pattern

That does look nifty! It even gives options of different sizes and they specify sex.

However, the cutting diagram is for single layer fabric, so be extra careful to flip pieces over so you don't accidentally end up with 2 right arms! That's a caution note, not a criticism, as I suspect cutting single layer would be A) easier on the hands through heavy weight fabric and B) would use the fabric more efficiently. Their layout looks much more efficient than most commercial patterns I've worked with.
 
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Good point.  The fabric for this kind of coat is so thick, that I imagine it's a good idea to cut in a single layer so it doesn't shift.  

I did get some duffle coat fabric on sale a while back, so I might just try something like this.  I'm thinking the LL with a full bust adjustment would work.  Maybe a princess seam - I think I understand how to make those now.  

But also in my mind is how to finish the seams when the fabric is that thick.  it's tricky.  
 
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r ranson wrote:But also in my mind is how to finish the seams when the fabric is that thick.  it's tricky.  

Cassie Becker is having to re-finish seams on a dress she made years ago and is stitching ribbon over them. For a coat, something like twill tape or bias tape might be an option.
https://permies.com/t/188611/sewing/fiber-arts/Casie-super-basic-beginners-repair#1535639

Sewing through multiple layers of very thick material can be a serious challenge for a "dressmaker" level sewing machine - let's not challenge it beyond it's force rating!
 
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I always forget about that.  My treadle doesn't have any issues so long as it's well oiled and has the right needle (right size for the fabric, and  sharp/microtext).  The limiting factor is the height of the pressure foot.
 
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I am a fan of Bernadette’s videos too. While I haven’t sewn a winter coat (live in SoCal, so I really don’t need it), I have sewn a winter cape, that works wonderfully. I used a pattern I found in the internet archives in a book about ladies outer garments.
It’s really easy to sew, and the length can be adjusted. I used a heavy weight canvas for the outside and fleece for the lining, but you can easily use wool.
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r ranson
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I've decided - I need more than one winter coat, but the most versatile and easiest to make looks like it will be the duffle coat.  It's also the coat I'm most attracted to emotionally.  

I've got some fabric and wrote a blog post evaluating it.  It think it's going to work out really well, but...

I don't know.  I have this crazy temptation to make the coat reversable.  Am I crazy?  (maybe don't answer that)
 
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I don't think that's crazy, at all! In fact, I love the idea, and have often wished for a reversible coat, especially when traveling, knowing I'll be going to both super casual and dressy events.
 
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r ranson wrote:I can't remember if I listed this here, but this looks like a nifty free duffle coat pattern: https://www.dr-cos.info/fp-dufflecoat.html



I downloaded the free pattern.  Some questions happened in my mind.

The size quoted - is that my size or the size of the garment?  
Is it supposed to be A4 paper or 8.5x11" paper?
Where is the 2" square I use to measure that I printed at the correct size?

But it is free and it looks like it's all there.  So I printed it at "actual size" and will see how it turns out.

This may be making my life harder than I need, but I kind of want to add these features
- reversible coat
- princess seam for the front
- two-piece sleeve.

The latter is not going to happen with this.  

Come to think on it, I don't know if I can get the armhole tidy enough to make the coat reversible.

But the pattern has seam allowance drawn right on it (also, not sure where it says what the seam allowance is, but it does say it's included) so this should make adjusting easier.  

I think I just need to stop thinking about this and start doing it.  see what grows from it.

although, I wonder. Do I need to do the entire coat for the mockup or can I just do down to the hips?  
 
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I can’t answer all of your questions but a few I can.
Yes, you can easily make the armhole tidy. You just use the lining to cover it.  You make the body and the sleeve/armhole out of both the cloth and the lining. Then you put them together and hand stitch the two layers of cloth. In the armhole, I put the stitches into the seam, that’s already there, so it’s invisible. I made my cloak reversible that way.
Sorry, if the explanation is confusing.
As for printing, you should be okay with using actual size. I always use that unless something else is stated.
As for mock-up, I think it depends on how experienced you are. I would do 5he hole thing.
Good luck with your project, home-sewn clothes are the best.
 
Listen. That's my theme music. That's how I know I'm a super hero. That, and this tiny ad told me:
Permaculture Playing Cards by Paul Wheaton and Alexander Ojeda
https://permies.com/wiki/57503/Permaculture-Playing-Cards-Paul-Wheaton
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