Trench coat toile

My next project is the coat that I was talking about back in December. Only now we’re coming into summer I’m making a trench coat rather than an overcoat. Years ago I had a cheap, bright red cotton trenchcoat from H&M which I loved; it was so easy and fun to wear. I wore it out many years ago and now I want to make something similar but hopefully a bit more durable.

The H&M coat was slightly unusual for a trench coat in that it was single breasted and so avoided the widening effect of the usual double breasted button closure. The closest design I’ve found in my Burda collection is 105 02/2019 (model photos below) which hasn’t got a closure at all. I can live with that as long as there’s an overlap to keep the wind out, which there is.

Burda 105b 02 2019 model photo

I also looked at 103 04/2018, which is a similar wrap over style but with the addition of an asymmetric drape at the front. I love that style but eventually decided that the fabric I have for the coat (a grey denim with a subtle shine) has too much body for it.

I’m not normally one for making test garments but a coat is a large commitment so this time I made the effort. Here it is. I’m three different sizes in Burda from 36 at the bust to 40 at the hips, so I’ve blended between the three and added my usual 5cm length on the bodice and sleeves. Otherwise this hasn’t been adjusted at all yet.

Burda 105 02 2019 toile close up front view

It seems a blousy above the belt at the front compared to the model photos. The black and white sample in particular looks much slimmer fitting than mine. The shoulders are OK and I have a reasonable amount of arm mobility. The sleeves are a bit long but I prefer them like that.

Burda 105 02/2019 toile back view

It also blouses at the back.

I’m not sure about the hem length here. The hem hasn’t been turned up yet but it is going to end at the widest part of my leg when it is. Not the most flattering length. I’ve looked at a few Burberry trench coats online and they are generally hemmed at the knee.

Burda 105 02/2019 toile left side view

The side seams are hanging straight. There’s a wrinkle on the arm I don’t understand and am a bit reluctant to try to remove in case it results in not being able to reach forward.

Burda 105 02/2019 toile right side view

Here’s an action shot of sorts. It stays closed fairly well when walking.

Burda 105 02/2019 toile front view

I am tempted to take darts in the front and back to slim it down a bit, otherwise I fear it’s going to look very bulky when belted. Thoughts welcome!

14 thoughts on “Trench coat toile

  1. Hi Catherine, first off I wanted to say I really love and appreciate your blog … I’ve learned a lot from your pattern tryouts and been inspired to make some of your choices in pattern too. I too want a single-breasted trench so was especially interested in this pattern.

    You asked for feedback …

    3 things I see…

    The first you need shoulder pads put those in and then see how it hangs – do this first. Maybe the sleeves will sit better with shoulder pads, are they too narrow across the upper arm or do you need a deeper armhole maybe?

    Then I think its too big on you. There’s too much fabric bunching at the waist and the finished coat prob in a heavier weight fabric will be even more – too big.

    I think the collar is too wide on you, it swamps you and looks droopy … maybe that will be better with shoulder pads in. But I still think it might be too wide for you. I’d maybe narrowing it by even an inch all around will lift it.

    I think this coat is designed to be a contrast between the sharp shoulders and the flow of the rounded collar and the wrap … a very nice contrast. I think its meant to be quite fitted on the body with high armholes and the belt there just for flow mainly and that final cinch, more a feature.

    I hope my feedback helps and doesn’t upset. Thank you for sharing… I’m keen to see the next step you’ll take. ps It maybe could be nice in a med-heavy weight wool jersey too … and easier to fit the tight arms.

    1. Thanks so much for the very detailed feedback! I was wondering about shoulder pads so will definitely see if I have a pair around to try tomorrow. The collar still has its seam allowances on it so I should trim those off to get a better idea of the finished scale.

  2. I think getting the sleeves to fit right and be comfortable are both the most challenging and yet the most important thing when it comes to outerwear. I suggest you detach the top of the sleeve about 3 inches either side of the top shoulder seam, the sleeve will relax and perhaps show that you need more height in the sleeve cap. Also most of us have forward shoulders, I often just shift the entire sleeve in the armhole, so the top dot is moved toward the front by 1/2″. the underarm dot is shifted toward the back 1/2″ you might be surprised how the sleeve fits the body and arm better after doing this. Good luck, a classic trench is a great wardrobe addition.

      1. The black and white looks more like a coat dress than an outer garment. My first thought is that your muslin is too big all over and may swamp you in a heavier fabric, Majena’s observations are excellent and rotating the sleeve is very good advice too.

        It’s a great style for you, muslining is tedious but it’ll pay dividends once done. Have fun!

  3. Great project and pattern. I was about to add suggestions regarding the sleeve and collar when I read those already provided. Covered! BTW, love the idea of a red trench in a lightweight gabardine or twill.

  4. Reading your adjustments, I suspect you didn’t need to add the 5 cm to the bodice for this one. And I agree with the above comment that the black and white photo looks like a coat dress–very close fitting with nothing underneath, rather than a real trench. Personally, I’m drawn to the coat with the drape but have already got four trench coats and really…I know…

  5. Coming back again! I’ve examined the Burda photos and they definitely have shoulder pads, which is a little tricky if you’re going to follow the Easy instructions and omit a lining. Personally, I’ve added linings to Burda Easy coats in the past and recommend it—it does kick the fit/hang of the garment up a notch.

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