This adventure all started back at the end of January when daughter no 2 sent me dozens of links to oversized, long, black winter coats. She wanted my opinion on the best one for her to buy, but I had a problem. They were “Debenhams” – just Boohoo in disguise. I really don’t want to support the sort of business that is Boohoo, so I offered to make her a coat instead. Unsurprisingly she wasn’t too keen initially – I have form in offering to make something and then taking aaaaaaaaages to get it done. So this time I thought : “challenge accepted!”
While we were still talking on the phone, I was googling suitable patterns and fabrics and sending her links to choose from. The two front runners for pattern were the Fibre Mood Hunter coat and an offering from Viki Sews, the Martina Coat. The Martina won because it was less structured and had a less formal look. I know there are people who, in the current climate with Ukraine, wouldn’t buy a pattern from a Russian company and I did have my doubts, but there was no other pattern she found to be as suitable. We got the pattern on sale on the company’s Etsy store, so at least I can say the Russian government isn’t getting very much in tax income from this one pattern!
The pattern called for 3.3m of fabric for her size, which is the 36-3. The 3 indicates height. Daughter no 2 ordered the exact amount of black viscose “wool” from a large online fabric company (who I don’t usually buy from) and it was on the button! I had black on black paisley lining in my stash, as well as black cotton pocketing, so all I still needed to source were snaps. These I got in a little haberdashery in London.
As I was up against the clock with this, I didn’t toile. I had asked her to check the finished length of the coat and the sleeve length when purchasing the pattern, but because it has so much ease I wasn’t too concerned with “perfect fit”. This coat doesn’t have the amount of interfacing and structure I’m used to putting into an overgarment. It relies a lot on the use of Vilene bias tape, which I was lucky enough to have a little stash of.
The instructions for the Viki Sews patterns are comprehensive and sit alongside photographs of each step. I really like how they did the back vent, you get a fabulous finish with their instructions. I only deviated when it came to the lining – I don’t like bagging coats and jackets, so handstitched the hem of the coat and sleeves in place before hand stitching the lining to it.
The fabric was really nice to work with, given that it wasn’t real wool! We ordered a sample of it before purchasing, the website describes it as medium to heavyweight, but I’d say it’s more medium than heavy. It was perfect for this project though, a heavier fabric wouldn’t look as good and I feel that for the £12.99/m price tag, we did well. The black colour is nice and deep and it’s really soft. It pressed well and stayed put when I wanted it to. This was helpful for making the welt pocket! Daughter no 2 is happy with the pockets especially, they’re deep enough to hold a phone comfortably and not let anything fall out when you sit down.
Once the fabric and pattern had arrived and were prepped, it didn’t take me long to make this coat, just three days once it was cut out. I was happy to get it done quickly and she was equally happy to get it that fast! She’s worn it pretty much every day since getting it (hand delivered in the first half of February), so that’s good to know!