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Making your own Coat:: Part 1

I finally picked out my next project.  It is going to be a short coat from Simplicity 2508 out of an aqua/forest green boucle wool from Vera Wang.  Making a coat isn't nearly as difficult as you might think, but it does require a lot of prep work. I'm sure that everyone approaches making a coat differently, but I'll share my process with you.

After you cut out pattern pieces, you need to apply interfacing.  I use the iron-on type, and for coats, I like to use a specific type called "weft" interfacing.  You'll need a lot for a long coat, so wait for a sale and stock up!
Depending on your fabric, you might just interface the front, front facing, and collar.  If you have a very light fabric, you might want to interface the entire coat.  My fabric is very loosely woven, so it needs extra interfacing, but because I didn't want to loose it's drapy quality, I decided to just interface the top few inches of the other pieces, as well as the full length of the front, front facing, collar, undercollar, pockets and flaps.

This step can be very tedious, but can go a lot faster if you have a steam press.  The nice thing about the steam press is that the surface area is 7 times the surface area of an iron, so you can finish 7 times faster.  Even with that time advantage, I get bored, so I usually will steam at the same time I do a free weight workout.   Your arms will get a very good workout after interfacing an entire coat!

The next step is an optional one and also depends on your fabric choice.  If your fabric ravels, like a boucle will, you'll be smart to serge finish the edges.  If you don't, while you are sleeping, your boucle will unravel to the point that you will think some ghosts are haunting your sewing room and having a fabric unraveling party.  So, I serge finish all the edges before they have a chance to do that. This picture shows what the serged edges look like.

Now, you can start sewing!  But, before you start, there are a couple of essential tools that I recommend for coat making.  The first is a tailor's ham.  It looks just like it sounds- a fabric covered ham.  This will make pressing curved areas look so much nicer. The picture here is showing the raglan sleeves on the tailor's ham.  See how nicely the ham imitates the line of a human shoulder?

The second essential tool is a sleeve board.  This is like a mini-ironing board, that you can fit items with smaller circumferences like sleeves on.  You will use if for much more than coats.  I use mine for everything, but here is a picture showing how nicely my coat sleeve fits on it, so I can get a nicely pressed seam. 

So, that's enough for one blog post!  Have a Happy New Year everyone!  I will hopefully have a finished coat to show you after the New Year!


  1. Seeing the weights in the photo reminded me that I do have hand weights in the house, that could act as pattern weights. Thanks for the visual reminder!!

    Do you ever carry pink or rose colored denim?



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