Hello!!! Sorry I’ve been MIA for a couple of weeks. Life got a little crazy around here, but I am back and bringing with me a big blast of color and pattern! I have some awesome projects lined up to share, but I must say that I absolutely adore this yellow plaid wool coat. It really is everything I love all rolled into one garment and just might be my favorite recent make.
You may have noticed that I’ve been on a bit of an outerwear kick lately (you can find my latest outerwear makes here and here). So, it was no surprise I picked up McCall’s #M7481 at a recent JoAnns pattern sale. The pattern has variations for a vest or coat, with options for slim or wide sleeves; patch or inseam pockets; and a collar and hood. I like the casual vibes of this pattern and thought it would make a good everyday sort of coat (that is until I decided to use bright yellow plaid – ha!). I decided to make view C, with the collar, but I swapped out the patch pockets for the inseam pockets in view D.
While looking through my stash of wool for something suitable for this coat, the yellow plaid just spoke to, or more accurately, screamed at me. This plaid fabric had been hanging out in my stash since last spring, when I found it at the Salvation Army Fabric Fair. It’s a wool or wool blend – the tag didn’t specify – and it seems to be of the vintage persuasion. It is a light to medium weight wool, so this coat is more of a jacket. Which works out great, because I feel like lighter-weight jackets are missing from my wardrobe.
I realize this bright yellow plaid isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but pass me another cup, please! And since I was already making a coat with quite possibly the most polarizing fabric in my stash, I decided to go all in and line it in bright yellow as well. Since the wool itself was on the lighter side, I decided to use a weightier lining. I selected a crepe back satin from JoAnns. I can’t find the yellow online, but here is the fabric in another color.
This pattern was very easy and went together quickly. I think this would make a great pattern for a beginner looking to make their first coat. I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern – it’s so nice when patterns fit right out of the envelope. The only changes I made were in the construction. The first change I made was to add a one inch back pleat to the lining. I’ve started doing this with every coat I make, and I think it really makes a difference in the fit of the finished garment. The pleat gives just enough extra ease in the back, so the lining doesn’t pull or cause the shell of the coat to bunch up.
My second construction change was how I added the lining. The directions provided seemed unnecessarily difficult. The pattern instructs you to add the lining to the bodice and then attach the sleeve and sleeve lining. This means you would need to hand stitch the sleeve lining to the coat. I instead opted to bag the lining, which meant I only needed to hand stitch a small opening at the bottom of the coat. I got the same result, with less time and less hand sewing! If you want to bag your own lining, Grainline Studio has an awesome tutorial, with a ton of pictures. Closet Case Patterns also has a good one here – this is the method I used for my Claire Coat, and it worked like a charm.
After I completed the coat, I seriously considered not adding the snaps to the opening. I know that I will probably NEVER wear this coat snapped up. I think it looks much cooler un-snapped, with the sleeves rolled up to show off that lining. In the end, I decided to add the snaps, so the coat actually looks finished. This was my first time using these giant snaps, and I’m just going to say it – they were a snap to sew on!
In the end, I’m glad I added the snaps. I used antique-bronze colored snaps I had in my stash, and I think they give the coat an industrial/cool (is that even a thing?) quality to the coat.
I think I’m going to take a bit of a break from coat making. Although, I do have a few more in mind that I’m hoping to make before it gets too warm to wear them. I’m even contemplating making a raincoat with view D from this pattern. I think it would be so cute in a bright green or blue.
Oh…and one last thing before I sign off for this week. I suppose this could be considered a sewing PSA – watch out for those broken needles! A few weeks ago, I was sewing and had to untangle some thread from my presser foot. What I didn’t realize was that I had pulled the foot slightly out of position. When I started sewing, the needle hit the foot and broke. Unfortunately, it flew up and hit me in the eye. Don’t worry! I went to the doctor, and everything is OK. It really did freak me out though, so I’ve started wearing some protective eye wear when I sew. Now, not only are my eyes safe, but I look super cool too – hahaha. Just wanted to give everyone a friendly reminder to stay safe while sewing. Which as I’m typing it sounds ridiculous, but you just can’t trust those sewing needles!
Until next time,