Sunday, December 10, 2017

Coatigans for the Win!

Hello! I'm back again with another quick share--Seamwork Mag's Jill Coatigan.  I haven't made a lot of Seamwork patterns since signing up for the subscription, although I do have a couple earmarked--in particular, I'd like to try the Leonora mini skirt at some point. I just wish they provided a bit more variation. For example, they never do a raglan style

 This winter, I've been wanting to make a new coat to offer some variety from wearing my black Clare Coat all the time, but I didn't feel like taking on all the work that's involved in making a coat--the closures, lining, sleeve fitting, etc. I've also been wanting to work with boiled wool and to make a  simple shell (without a lining) that isn't too heavy since I don't need it to be super warm.  So when Seamwork's Jill popped into my inbox, I was ready to dive in right away.

It also didn't hurt that the absolutely gorgeous model was selling the hell out of it.

Besides not being too warm, it's very much a crossover garment, which is nice when you live in an area that doesn't have clearly defined seasons.  I also like that I can wear it with jeans on the weekend, but it also looks great over my work clothes. I wear my Blackwood cardigans a lot, and it's nice to have an outerwear garment that covers the length of my sweaters.

Before getting into the sizing deets, I want to quickly talk about this fabric cuz I love it. It's a boiled wool/rayon blend, and it was SO fun to work with. It doesn't fray, so you don't need to finish the seams unless you want to. It has lots of built-in body (i.e., without interfacing), is soft against the skin with a slightly spongey feel and a bit of stretch, and the stitches sink right in. It's a great choice for a casual, unstructured coat. I downloaded the pattern the day it dropped and went to Fabric Outlet the following Saturday to catch the last day of their 40% off everything sale. Normally, I haaate driving to the Mission and dealing with all the traffic, but I really wanted to make this in boiled wool and knew I'd find a good price on coating there. I initially had grey in mind, but when I saw this aubergine, I knew I'd found my fabric. The only problem was that the pattern in my size calls for 4.5 yards, and there was only 3 and 3/8 left on the bolt. I crossed my fingers and bought it anyway. Cutting it flat (as opposed to on the fold) helped tremendously, and I ended up with plenty of fabric. Cost was around $20 per yard minus 40% off.

Here are the deets:
  • Size XL. I haven't gotten the sizing down yet for Seamwork patterns yet. If I had access to a time machine, I would definitely make a large instead. You can see that the sleeves look more like a dropped shoulder. Even on the model, it falls a bit more past her shoulders than the line drawing indicates. It doesn't bother me too much, though, since it's a look that's on trend right now. Outerwear is tricky. I didn't want it to be huge, but I did want to make sure I could comfortably wear it over layers. 
  • I used an old sheet to make a muslin of the front and back. Had I also muslined the sleeves, I might have known to size down. Ah well, shoulda woulda coulda...
  • I shortened the length of the coat 5" at the shorten line and the sleeves 2".
  • Shortening the coat length threw off the pocket positions a bit. I raised them a few inches but may raise them  an additional 2" since my fingers can't quite reach the bottom. 
  • Speaking of pockets, I really love the angled shape. Such a nice detail. 
  • Generally, I'm not crazy about shawl necklines (they look too much like bathrobes to me), so if I were ever to make another version, I would like to draft a notched lapel collar instead. 
  • Also, even though the seams don't need to be finished, the seam where the facing attaches to the back neckline would look much nicer if it was bound. It's three layers of fabric after all. Ditto for the sleeves.
Overall, a fun pattern that satisfied my desire for a quickie coat. I didn't get everything right size-wise, but it's nice to have a new piece of outerwear and I love the color. I've been wearing it nonstop despite the fact that it's been an unseasonably warm December so far.

I hope you're having a great weekend. We survived the annual adventure of wrestling a tree to get it home and up three flights of stairs, and now the decorating fun begins. This may be my last apparel project for 2017 as I have a number of gifts I want to make. I'm feeling extra crafty this year. 

Thank you for reading and have a great week!


  1. I love this color on you!! Happy Holidays!

    1. Thanks, Annie! Happy Holidays to you as well!