Its the hottest week of the year where I live, so naturally, I made a coat!
Confession time: Last winter I attempted to sew a coat, got frustrated, and binned it. Funny enough, I wasn’t intimidated by coat-making until I tried it! I really needed to wrap my head around the construction AND get my coat-skills up.
The Cambria Duster by Friday Pattern Company is the perfect way to ease into things. Its not lined, not too many pieces, no closures- so you can focus on the shape, collar construction, and seam finishing. Even just getting the hang of the weight of the fabric- it was definitely a new experience!
I found this ultra-soft coating at the local hospital charity shop. There was over 6 meters, which could coat my entire family, ha ha. The volunteer at the cash register told me she had donated that fabric herself, after it sat in her stash for 12 years. She was excited to hear a coat was finally going to be made, and it was extra encouragement for me to not put this process off any longer.
This fabric is THICK. It is a lot heavier than I anticipated. But it is also incredibly soft, I am annoyingly sensitive and I cannot wear wool next to my skin- so if its not lined, its not wool! I struggled with the bias-bound seams due to the thickness, and resorted to serging most of them. The insides could be a whole lot prettier, but it won’t keep me from wearing it.
I used my bust measurement to choose my size, and flat-fitted the length of the sleeves and waist (measured the paper pieces, subtracted seam allowances, and measured where they would land on me.) I decided that the sleeves needed 3″ added to the length, but the waist was right where I wanted it. I typically do a broad shoulder adjustment on woven set-in sleeves, but I didn’t have to this time. The overall length and fit are exactly what I was aiming for.
The shape of this coat is stunning. It suits my style perfectly. We are often found hurrying to get out the door and I rarely bother to fully fasten my coats anyways, so the tie is ideal.
It does get very cold here in the winter and I’ve planned a lined wool coat, and now I feel like I can take on that project. I’m favoring this one so much, I will probably adapt the pattern for a lining. PLUS, there are a few things I could do better next time. For example, I’ll under-stitch the front and collar facing edge to keep it from rolling out.
If you have been nervous about making a coat, I HIGHLY recommend this as a starting point!
You can do it.