I finished my brother’s coat!! I can not believe it finally happened. I want to say I am very proud and happy, but I can’t help but feel a little guilty as well. I promised to make the coat a long time ago. A very long time ago. Almost two years ago. I bought the fabric a year and a half ago and started on the coat then… I believe almost two winters have passed since my brother asked me if I would be able to make him a coat… I feel that I should have had this coat made sooner and because of that I feel bad. A coat should not have taken me this long and to my brother, I am very sorry. I will do better next time.
Now that we have established how I feel about my tardiness in making this coat, let’s move to the fun details and the parts I am proud of.
The coat came about because my brother, like me, has trouble finding a nice coat that fits. He is slim, and very tall, he also has very broad shoulders and long arms. If this description makes him sounds hunky, well he is.
All the coats that he tried on over the years were either too tight in the shoulders and across the back, or too big in the waist and always too short in the arm length. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him wearing an actual tailored coat…
We started off with thinking about the design and looking for patterns. He seemed to gravitate towards double breasted coats and I was so happy about it. I love double breasted coats, there is just something so classy about them.
For the pattern, I started off with Thread Theory’s Goldstream Peacoat, but when I muslined it I just couldn’t quite figure out how to adjust it to my brother’s figure. There was something about the armscye that just was not lying right. In hindsight, I don’t think it was the pattern, rather the specifics of my brother’s figure, as I had similar issues with the pattern I ended up using.
I settled on a very old Burda Style pattern from a magazine from 2006. I bought the magazine over six years ago when I was subscribed to Burda Magazine. I asked German Canadian News, who I used for subscription service, if they had any old issues I could purchase. They did and I ended up buying random old issues all the way down to 2005. Since I was looking purely for patterns, I didn’t care what language the issues were published in. As you can see the magazine I used the coat pattern from was a French issue from October 2006! Needless to say, I did not use the instructions since they did not make sense at all.
The coat pattern we chose is a more or less basic peacoat pattern with a standing collar, two front panels and a seam down the center back. I particularly loved having five seams for the body of the coat, as it makes fitting so much easier. I was able to take excess volume throughout the seams very easily.
My brother really wanted welted pockets rather than inseam pockets the original coat pattern provided for. So I drafted my own pocket pieces to accommodate that. We also omitted the belt. I can’t imagine my brother having a belted coat at all…
The construction was very straight forward as far as sewing a coat goes. After we finalized the muslin and I cut the coat out of the fashion fabric, we had a couple more fittings just to make sure we were on track with the fit. I really wanted my brother to have a coat that fits him and he is happy about.
By the way, the fabric is melton wool that I purchased at Fabric Land. It is a pretty good coating mix with 80% wool. I think there are better coating fabrics out there, but this is still a great coating material.
I must say the buttons stalled me for a bit. I want to blame them for the delay that left me putting the coat aside last spring, but let’s be honest, buttons are not to blame.
I was worried about making buttonholes on my machine. Granted I have a new machine that should produce amazing buttonholes, but my old machine which was still a pretty great machine has been known to botch buttonholes on thick coating and I was worried this one will too just due to the thickness of fabric, and I really wanted this coat to be well put together.
This fall, when the time came to finally finish the coat, I decided to give bound buttonholes a try. I must say, this was a great choice on my part. The buttonholes came out beautifully and the coat now has that high end look. I feel that all the hard work that went into making the buttonholes was well worth it in the end.
Once the buttonholes were finished, the rest of the coat came together smoothly. We decided that a hidden pocket would be a nice addition, and I added two inside pockets that close with an invisible zipper set in the seam between facing and lining. There is a pocket on each side of the front. The pockets are big enough to hold a phone or a wallet and zip up nicely so that the things stay put and don’t get lost.
I could not be happier with how the coat turned out! I feel like I’ve put a lot of good work into it. I really tried so hard with every single seam, all the finishings and details. I feel like I put a lot of my heart and love into it. It is such an amazing feeling to see your make on the person you love and care about!
My brother is very happy with the coat. He said he will wear it to work the very next day. He also looked so happy examining the seams and asking me why I did things the way I did them when he came over for fittings. It was such a great experience! Honestly, seeing how happy he is wearing the coat makes me want to make all the things for him. Hopefully next time it won’t take over a year!