Winter coat musings

So about this time last year I was agonising over what pattern to choose for my winter coat. And the perhaps inevitable result was that I didn’t make a winter coat at all in the end but made my ancient version of Vogue 1276 last another year. The lining is destroyed and there are lots of shiny patches where the fabric nap has worn off but it’s still plenty warm. Just don’t look too closely.

But I’d still really like to replace it with something less scruffy. I am currently trying to decide between two patterns, neither of which was in the running last year. The first is (out of print) Vogue 1321, a Donna Karan design that I’ve got a copy of in my pattern stash.

I’m pretty sure the design is this one from her 2011 Fall collection, although it looks a different colour from the pattern envelope one. Anyway it ticks most of my boxes: it’s quite long, should be warm with all those yards of fabric in the skirt, and I love a dramatic collar.

One detail that’s not very apparent from the photos is the raw edge finish. This means using a fabric that won’t fray too badly; Melton or boiled wool probably.

Of course it’s not a perfect choice: the pattern is unlined. If I make this one I’m definitely going to have to add a lining. It’s unsurprisingly a complete fabric hog as well; something like four and a half metres of wide fabric.

My other choice is completely different and very new: the long padded coat from the November 2019 Burda. I’m showing the technical drawing and not the model photo because I don’t really care for the fabric they used for the sample. I’m also not sold on the ribbon tie, but that’s purely decorative and can be left off: there’s a zip and snaps as well.

Burda 114 11/2019 puffed coat line art

I think this would look great in a high shine metallic fabric – real science fiction vibes.

There are possible construction issues with this plan. Sewing the lines of top stitching on metallic fabric will be tricky. They are sewn through the shell fabric and a layer of batting, so there needs to be some way of preventing the batting from shifting. I can’t use pins because they will leave marks. I understand that basting spray for quilting is a thing, but I’ve also read that it doesn’t work well with high loft batting which is what this pattern needs. Maybe basting spray and then pins in the seam allowances? Anyone with experience of basting spray willing to advise?

I’m very torn as to which of these to pick. They’ll cost about the same and they’re both big projects. The Donna Karan is more classic, but the Burda is more fun. Decisions, decisions…

38 thoughts on “Winter coat musings

  1. I have no experience of basting spray but I love that Burda coat with its warm padding and asymmetric closure (a huge single button of decorative frog would be a nice altrnative to ribbon).

  2. Hi! I made the Donna Karan coat and still wear it a ton, but not in the depth of winter or when its very windy. It closes with only two snaps and lets through lots of that famous Dutch wind. Also, i remember narrowing the sleeves a bit and raising the armhole because i really didnt like how much fabric bunched up under my arms. But that collar is a head turner! I get so many compliments every time i wear it. There are more details in my blog in case it helps:

    1. Thanks for the link, that’s really useful. Your version is lovely. I’m in East Anglia – similarly cursed with icy winter winds! Good point about the arms. They don’t look so bad in Vogue’s pictures but in the catwalk shot they seem enormous.

  3. I really like the Burda coat. It reminds me of a Issey Miyake coat from about 30 years ago. I have no suggestions on how to quilt a metallic fabric but it would stunning if you can figure it out. Yes I don’t like the model design either in that fabric.
    For the DK design do you need to add facings to a single layer design to line it?

    1. It’s got facings already so the drafting of the lining shouldn’t be terribly hard – but the pattern pieces are all enormous!

      I’m still a bit sorry I discovered sewing too late for the real golden age of Issey Miyake Vogue patterns. There are some glorious OOP designs.

      1. I’ve held onto Vogue 2978, an unused one-size only Issey Miyake coat pattern for years despite knowing I’ll never make it up. If it interests you as a viable coat option, just let me know, and I can mail it to you.

  4. I’ve no tips either but the other day I did see this Russian sewer make a Burda puffy jacket. Of course it’s in Russian and I couldn’t get a lot of the details on the translate thing, but I think it looks amazing. So my vote is the Burda one.

  5. The Burda is more fun, and would be more you in a metallic.. You might consider an under layer of thinsulate if you’re using washable rather than dry cleanable materials? It’d make a big difference in warmth without adding bulk, and you could get some decent puffiness from more manageable batting. Also you can get “bonded” batting which is less likely to shift as you work with it. If you have a quilt shop nearby, it might be worth a consultation in person, maybe a sample to experiment with before you commit? Or maybe you could even consider outsourcing the quilting? They have -machines-, they have technique…

    1. Oh that’s a good idea thanks…my local sewing shop has a lot of things for quilters so definitely worth an ask there. And I hadn’t considered Thinsulate at all.

  6. My vote is for 1321. I also love the dramatic collar. But I could also be biased in my opinion as I’m a huge Donna Karan pattern fan. I’ve have no advice on basting spray. I have used basting tape in the past, love it but be warn that even though the package says it washes away, I haven’t found that to be the case. When I’m sewing fabrics that I shouldn’t/can pin, my furgal self has found that clothes pins work just fine. Have you been able to find pre-quilted batting, I’ve seen that in one of the local stores for skiwear projects? I don’t know if it could work for the Burda project.

    1. Clothes pins sound like they’d be helpful for sure! I guess the pieces of the jacket are fairly small when compared to a typical quilt so that ought to make it a bit easier.

  7. I have tried to use basting spray before – it did not work well for me at all. So I wouldn’t rely on it. I would vote for the Donna Karan coat, but no lining is a major bummer. A few years ago I made Vogue 1276 and it’s held up well. It comes with lining pieces. It’s probably out of print too but maybe you can find it on eBay?

  8. All depends on what your end goal is. Considering the time and expense involved do you want something that will used for a long time? Then go with the Donna Karan. Do you want a real statement piece that might be outdated quickly, then the Burda. I can see you in the Donna Karan looking amazing. I’ve tried quilting metallic fabric and it isn’t for the faint of heart. Avoid the basting spray at aka costs, it doesn’t work well, in my opinion. Good luck with either!

  9. I think the Burda is more funky and fun and that’s what I would go for. However if you want classic, dressy the other one would be best.

  10. DK with a removable quilted gilet type lining….

    As for the quilted one, talking about metallics, one of the fabrics I bought for the panto wedding dress turns out to be a LOVELY quality, heavy silver cotton, rather like a projector screen used to look!
    Very sci-fi, very you [for one project or another]

    1. Ooh thanks very much! That’s a lot better value than the one I was looking at and I have a few other potential uses for silver cotton. So much metallic fabric is super stretchy.

      1. this is very firm, good quality, that faintly rough ‘projector screen’ texture. It would be going back into stash but D actually wants it for a giant projector screen lol

  11. looking forward to see what you choose, as i love both options.. and, i;m also planning to make that burda version.. but i planned to use prequilted fabric, i didn’t even know you’re supposed to quilt it yourself 😀

    1. Prequilted might be the answer…come to think of it Minerva had some quilted silver fabric a while ago, I wonder if it’s still there. What colour are you going for?

      1. dunno yet, gonna visit my favorite fabric store tomorrow and see what my options are.. hoping to find something in vibrant color.. it;s a silly reason why i wanna make the coat: i need something very warm to wear when i go to the gym, as it;s getting really cold out, and i don’t feel like wearing any of my other coats over sweaty gym clothes.. so i was thinking something brightly colored to go with all my technicolor handmade activewear..

  12. Those are great options. I love the Burda coat and saw the perfect fabric earlier this year—big, puffy, pre-quilted in a slightly matte silver (with golden warm) fabric. I would be a fast sew, I would imagine in a pre#quilted fabric. The DK really appeals to me. I imagine it would require a very light, flow wool, given the amount of fabric that is belted. I would line it without adding bulk. Interesting that is has raw edges. Looking forward to seeing which one you choose. Abbey (Sews)

    1. Yeah I’m starting to think that prequilted will be the way to go for the Burda. The choice might well depend on which one I can find the best fabric for. You’re right that the DK could be overwhelming if it’s not drapey.

  13. Such different coats. Difficult to choose as I could see you rocking either one. Like others I made the DK coat, it is still in my wardrobe and always attracts compliments (it is bright red!). Mine is made from a hand dyed quilting cotton, underlined with a heirloom cotton batting (a bit like flannel) and lined with silk twill. This gives the coat a lot of structure and emphasises the shape. From memory it runs large so I chose my size based on the finished garment measurements printed on the pattern. Even then I narrowed the shoulders, sleeves and collar. Loved making and wearing the DK but think I vote for the Burda.

  14. Wow – I’m looking forward to seeing either of these taking shape. I love a good in-depth coat project. I can’t even begin to work out how to sew the Burda one!

  15. Both are fab, I would choose the one which is most different from coats you already have, partly for the exploration, partly as it will fit other styles of clothing. Or just make both 🙂 Am looking forward to the result!

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