Top five of 2018: goals

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Time for the last of the Sewing Top Five of 2018: Goals. Once again I haven’t got a tidy list of five things but I do have a big project in the early planning stages so I’ll talk about that.

A few years ago I made a winter coat from Vogue 1276. It was my first attempt at coat making but it was such a success I’m still using it. It’s starting to show its age though: the lining has ripped around the armscyes and the nap has worn off at the wrists and where I fasten the belt. Incidentally, what is it about coat linings ripping at the armscyes? Every coat I have ever had, whether ready to wear or home made, has done this. I’ve tried reinforcing the seam with tape and using stretch lining but it still happens. Anyone know how to prevent this?

So I need a new coat. I have been looking for a pattern for a while. It needs to be long: below knee length. It also needs to have a proper closure which wraps over; so many coat patterns close edge to edge which is no use in the cold. And I would prefer it to be fairly streamlined and unfussy in shape.

I think I have it down to three.

First is Burda 107 10/2011 : an ankle length double breasted coat.

I’m not wild about the buttons; I think I’d replace them with snaps. I like the size of the pockets, but patch pockets aren’t great for putting your hands in.

Then there’s the option of repeating Vogue 1276. I’d link to the pattern but it’s out of print now.

The only reason I’m dithering is I’m not sure it’s absolutely the most flattering style for me. But people often ask me where I got my current one,which is always nice! I know the pattern works and it is already traced and adjusted. And I would also like to improve on the construction I did last time. I remember being very annoyed that the pattern said to sew in the sleeve lining entirely by hand and gave the reason that it was too complicated to explain how to do it by machine. Since then I’ve learnt how to bag linings and I suspect I could make this without needing to hand sew anything.

Finally, Burda 120 10/2017 . Another one I can’t link to, unfortunately.

This seems to be a magazine exclusive; I can’t find it on the English language Burda site at all. It is one of their ‘designer’ patterns. Now obviously the colours it’s shown in are not going to be suitable for the rainy, muddy UK winter. And even if I could pick three other colours that would work, it’s doubtful I could find the chosen three in matching coating fabrics. But I think this pattern might be successful made up in one fairly light colour with top stitching to emphasise the seams. A grey would be practical and still allow the seams to be seen. But it’s a four dot pattern (Burda’s highest difficulty; there are very few of those) and there are no reviews of it that I can find, so I’m not sure what I’d be letting myself in for here. And yet I keep coming back to this one.

I’ve been going round in circles about choosing for weeks. I really want to make the last one but it’s very risky. The Vogue is a safe but slightly boring choice. And the other Burda ticks all the right boxes but somehow doesn’t thrill me. So I guess my goal is to have chosen a new winter coat before winter is actually over!

35 thoughts on “Top five of 2018: goals

  1. ooh exciting! Maybe you need a bigger centre back pleat in your lining to give it more ease? If wearing for cycling, presumably that puts a fair bit of stress on the back and shoulders?
    Great coat choices- reminds me I MUST cut mine out, as I want to be wearing it in the return to work!

    1. That’s a good thought; I don’t cycle any more but I did do a rounded back alteration on my last jacket and it made a lot of difference to the comfort; too much hunching over the computer!

  2. I think the last one looks amazing!TBH I don’t know why it would be rated more difficult than a standard notch collar coat. The only added complication seems to be the many pattern pieces but knowing your skill that won’t be an issue

  3. Based on your review of Vogue 1276, I made that one for myself a couple years ago. I thank you every day that I wear it. It’s super warm, has wonderfully deep pockets, and walking on the city streets with that long full skirt makes me feel badass.

  4. I love the last one. I’m sure you can knock it up. I can’t see the difficulty in it either. Maybe it’s the piecing of the fabric… all those corners. We have quite bright sunny winters but I still love bright colours for my winter coat.

  5. I’ve made the Vogue one – in fact it was the first apparel project I’d made in years. I bagged the lining following the instructions in Sandra Betzina’s “Power Sewing” book. It’s a good coat but not great. The hood is too big and an awkward shape, and because of the way it sits, it leaves a pretty big gap at the neck that I have to cover with a scarf. Also, somehow the belt ended up being too short. I’d much prefer a button-up coat. I have thought about refashioning it, but that’s too daunting a task for me, right now anyway.

    What is the closure on the multicolored Burda? The double-breasted Burda looks warmer and more durable. It depends on what your winters are like.

    1. Interesting! I wonder if I made my belt longer when I cut the fabric out on this one? I often do this as most fabric belts are too skimpy for me. I’ll have to check. I agree about the hood not being functional as a hood too, but I like it as a dramatic collar. I often think the open neck problem would be nicely solved with a decorative closure on the left shoulder and a couple of snaps further down. If I do remake this one I shall probably do that.

  6. Just on looks I like the Burda designer pattern the best – keeping in mind I’love seam details and I’m not one for big dramatic collars.

  7. Hello Cathrine,

    I have a copy of Burda 10/2017. I can mail it to. Please let me know if you’re interested.

  8. I also vote coat 3. They all look pretty fab though!

    Interesting what you said about ripping your coat linings at the armscye…mine always rip at the center back. I wonder if it’s dependent on fit / activity? I’ve never made my own coat (goals for next year, maybe) but my RTW coats have all needed lining repairs after ~3-5 years. I wonder if that’s typical.

  9. I think the first Burda 107 would look fantastic on you. As for the lining, I think you have a slightly square shoulder so might need a bit more room there. The lining is always a thinner weaker fabric than the coating and it tends to fray and then come apart over time. I counteract this by making the lining bigger across the back, always a pleat at the center and then sew the armholes with a smaller seam allowance which adds more distance at the back. then when you move and reach there is more ease in the lining.

  10. Do you anchor the sleeve lining to the outer fabric? That may help. I know we were taught to sew the body lining to the armhole by machine and then hand sew the sleeves in place during my City and Guilds course – time consuming but solid.
    I like coat three too but that may be because the colours grab you. Good shape too though 😉

  11. I LOVE coats. And live in a climate where they are impractical. I love your choices, but could also see you in Vogue 2204 (google the image, couldn’t paste). It has an overlapping closure – you could add snaps- and corded top stitching.

  12. Ooooh….that last coat is gorgeous! I think it would look really great on you too!

    Can you believe a pattern instruction stating it would be too hard to explain machine stitching? I can see how you would be annoyed to have read that. Yep…shaking my head on that one, LOL.

    1. Heh I may have given a wrong impression! I think it was the description of that step where you pull the sleeve and its lining through the body to sew them together at the cuff that they were avoiding by instructing you to hand sew the sleeves, but I have another older Vogue pattern that describes the tricky bit perfectly, with diagrams, so it can be done 😉

  13. I don’t know you personally but I can’t think of anyone else that would look more perfect in that first coat. Honestly, I think the color blocking is what is primarily pulling you in the direction of coat #3. Try to look only at the pattern illustration/lines and imagine it in one color. So, do you still want it?

  14. No 3 doesn’t have such a full skirt and may open up to let the cold air in if you are a big strider (or running after a bus). Perhaps save that pattern for more of a spring/autumn not so cold weather? No 2 is lovely and most of the work has been done. There I go, being practical again……

  15. You have such a strong personal style that I admire so much, you push boundaries and try patterns that the rest of us just gape at. Make as many coats as you like – there’s fun in sewing, never forget that.
    Happy New Year.

  16. There’s a tailoring hint I read on Sigrid’s blog a long time ago. When cutting the jacket lining cut the jacket arm scye 2cm Higher at the lowest curve that is, the armpit. This gives more ease to the lining when it all comes together. I hope this is useful. I agree with others about the first coat. You would rock it. The colour blocked coat is probably rated difficult because of all the piecing, other than that it doesn’t look any more difficult than the Vogue.

  17. I know it wasn’t listed as one of your three options but I vote for the Montana pattern V2204 already suggested. It has the length and the big dramatic collar – can definitely see you in this. The but is (and I should declare I am a big fan of Montana patterns) this is generally not one of his cheaper patterns to find on eBay or Etsy.
    In addition to the centre back pleat many of the old sewing books (for example Claire Shaeffer High Fashion Sewing Secrets) suggest changes should be made to the armsyce. On the front and back pattern pieces raise the underarm seam 5/8″ and blend to nothing at the front/back sleeve notch, plus extend the armsyce 1/4″ at the underarm redrawing the side seam blending to nothing at the hips. These two changes should also be made to the sleeve pattern piece to match sleeve to body. This Seamwork tutorial explains how to raise the underarm seam but not the 1/4″ extension at the side seam ( If you have shoulder pads the Seamwork tutorial also explains how to alter the lining to accommodate them. One last thing is to anchor the lining and jacket together at the side seam with the lining underarm seamline anchored 5/8″ above the jacket seamline. The seams are sewn together with a running stitch from 2″ below the underarm to about 4″ above the hem. I don’t really know if these things make a difference. I have never had a problem with my coat linings wearing out but I do have quite a few winter coats. Plus I don’t always do them sometimes the pattern pieces for outer and lining are the same and all I do is a thread link between the lining and jacket at the underarm.
    Sorry this comment ended up much longer than expected and seems a bit rambling so hopefully it makes sense.

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