Let me start off with expressing my love for the Trendy Unisex Pea Coat pattern. The fit is perfect, the instructions very clear, and it’s a great project for beginning seamstresses. The simple design also makes it the perfect flip project: you can easily make changes or add details without things getting too complicated.
So how did I flip this pattern? I made changes to both the exterior and interior of the coat. Let’s start with the outside. The pattern is for a unisex coat, and so it is inevitably not very feminine. I decided to make a few changes to make it more suitable for my 5-year old daughter (and wannabe princess!) Norah.
I started by making the bottom of the coat more narrow for a more elegant silhouette. I also rounded off the collar piece and the cuff details, and I added mustard piping which I made from bias tape. I used that same bias tape to make a little loop.
I added princess seams in both the front and the back of the pattern. In the back, I added little belt detail which mimics the details on the cuffs.
I’ve developed a bit of an interest in doing interesting things with princess seams lately, resulting in a first experiment in this dress. I also wanted to try something original with the princess seams in the coat, so I redirected them towards the side seam, and integrated a pocket with piping in them.
Let’s discuss the changes to the inside then. The coat has no facings, which makes it such an easy and fast project. The downside is, of course, that the lining can be visible on the outside, which is not very pretty. I decided to add facings for a professional looking finish. I simply retraced the front and back pattern pieces on a new sheet of paper, and drew the lines for the facings. I cut out the pattern pieces, put them on fabrics, and added seam allowance as I was cutting. It takes a bit of extra time, but it is really worth it. For the sleeves, this was even easier: I extended the main with a centimeter (3/8″), while cutting off a centimeter from the lining. This simple step relocates the seam between main and lining deeper into the sleeve.
Let’s talk fabrics. The main fabric is a gorgeous herringbone wool which I bought from the excellent Belgian webshop Bellelien. The fabric comes in three colors (pink, blue, and green), and I went for the blue one (which actually looks more like mint). Then the lining. I made a lot of coats in the past years, and I usually pick something from my stash which I kind of regret buying (it’s just the inside, right?). But for this coat, I really wanted to do something special, something I knew Norah would LOVE.
So I bought a half meter of Cotton+Steel Mustang fabric at Miss Matatabi. I used it before in my Matryoshka bins, so I knew that it looked even prettier in real life than in pictures 🙂
I quilted the lining onto the batting with a few quick lines of stitches. I used to use very cheap synthetic batting for Norah’s coats, but through making baby blankets and sleep sacks for her baby sister Ava, I got to know Quilter’s Dream battings. The difference is gigantic! While I use 100% wool for baby products, I went for a synthetic batting here: Quilter’s Dream Puff. It is amazing: super soft, light, and breathable. I’ve decided that I will never buy cheap batting again.
I lined the sleeves with Venezia lining, so that the coat would be easy to put on and off.
The buttons are from the Belgian chain store Veritas. I just love wooden buttons because they combine well with anything. I really hate sewing on buttons, and I used 10 in this coat. I would really appreciate it if I could get some special award for that or something. Ashley? Emily? Anyone?
I really loved flipping this coat. If it wasn’t for this contest, I would have just bought Norah a coat for the first time in 4 years, because the past months and weeks have been so busy. But now, I am so glad I didn’t! In fact, I enjoyed making this coat so much that I immediately made a second one, using the same flipped pattern. I went for a fabric which would wash up more easily, so now Norah has a ‘good’ coat, and a ‘play’ coat. You can read more about it on my blog tomorrow.
Thank you so much, Ashley and Emily for inviting me to participate!