One of the first sewing books I bought when I got back into sewing clothes a couple of years ago was The Maker’s Atelier: The Essential collection (2017) by Frances Tobin. I’ve made several of the patterns by now, and the most recent one I tested was the Raw-edged coat, but as a lined coat with finished edges. A classic winter coat in black wool. I wonder why it took me so long.
Making this coat was part of my 20/21 Challenge, and the September theme was “outerwear”. I wasn’t nearly as productive as in August due to a busy work schedule, but that’s fine, really! I managed to make the Stacker jacket and this coat, and they are both very useful. Who needs a closet full of coats anyway? (I’m getting there, eventually.) My main objective in September was practicing sewing notched collars and lining, and with two wearable toppers to show for I think I achieved what I wanted.
The fabric is a gorgeous wool coating I’ve hoarded for at least a year and a half, a fabric I bought in the sale but still at a very stiff price. It seemed very precious and I had a hard time deciding what to make from it. I didn’t have more than 2 meters, so I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I could make a full length coat. It has fantastic drape and is so soft and warm, like wearing a cuddly blanket. I lined it in tencel lining with a matte sheen to it, and it is a lovely match with the coating.
I followed the instructions in the book for how to add facings to the coat, and I made a lining pattern as the original version is unlined. That’s quite simple, and there are many tutorials available. I like this one from melilot.no. The split pockets are a fun and simple hack, and I used this tutorial, also from Melilot.no. I didn’t want to add patch pockets, and welted pockets seemed scary (stupid, I know), but these are a nice in-between solution. I think they suit the style of this coat really well.
The sizing was a little challenging. I like my clothes to be moderately oversized, or with a not too relaxed fit, and I know that The Maker’s Atelier designs often are rather roomy, at least on me. A couple of the other patterns I’ve made from the book are way to big in my size and I had to size down. I didn’t want to bother with a muslin since the shape is quite simple with very little shaping, so I figured I could find the right size by measuring my existing coats and jackets. It worked out fine, I went with the suggested size and I really like it this way. For a lighter coat I suppose downsizing would be a good alternative, or if the fabric is a lot stiffer. I do consider moving the buttons a little for a kind of double breasted look which I think will work well, too. It IS a lot of fabric.
Not everything went according to plan, if I’m being honest. To be able to get a coat out of only 2 meters I had to play tetris with the pattern pieces, and unfortunately I ended up cutting the back and front in opposite directions. The fabric has a nap, and the mistake is unfortunately visible, but not as much as I feared. The disappointment when I realized this was enormous. I was really angry with myself as this is something I should have remembered by now. However, I have decided to consider this a creative twist to get away with it, but it is a disappointment after all. I just can’t stand thinking that I’ve wasted this gorgeous fabric, and I wear the coat with pleasure anyway. Let’s just say I will not forget to consider the nap next time.
The Raw-edged coat is made up in many versions in several issues of the brilliant The Maker’s Atelier Magazine, a quarterly publication you definitely need to check out if you haven’t already. There aren’t, however, that many to find online, and I really don’t understand why. The book is very popular and I’m sure there are quite many versions scattered around the world by now. Mine is out for a spin ever so often.
Pattern: The Raw edged coat from the book The Maker’s Atelier: The Essential collection (2017) by Frances Tobin
Fabric: 2 m black wool coating plus lining from Sømsenteret, Oslo (sold out)
Size: 3/4 (I’m a UK size 12/EU size 38/40 normally)