Friday, February 26, 2010

Autumn trench coat

I made a trench coat!  Inspired by the beautiful coats in Burberry, but not by the sky high price tag, I set out to make my own....  I actually finished this a few weeks ago and have been dying to show it off(!)
but haven't been able to wear it because of the 40C+ temps we've been having; seriously, the weather has been stifling, and I'm wearing sunnies in these photos to disguise the fact that I'm bleary-eyed through lack of sleep...
I used Burda 7786, which is a pattern for a single breasted trench coat and one I've used before here.  I modified the front lapels to be double breasted and added tabs at the wrists to bring the sleeves in, I think this will be a welcome feature when the weather turns cold ... (please, turn cold.... ?) 
The coat is made from something called Ribstop cotton from Spotlight, and whilst I think it will be a good, very hardwearing fabric it did present some challenges in working with it.  Firstly I know from previous experience (long story!) to wash it before using it, as it shrinks like nobodies business.  I washed my length of fabric twice, in a heavy duty cycle.  Also it has a very fine dense weave, again good for a coat fabric, but in sewing it the needle didn't so much glide up and down through the weave as it did audibly punch through this tough semi-impenetrable fabric.
Setting in the sleeves was a bit of a nightmare as this stuff simply would not gather satisfactorily or iron-shrink down AT ALL.  I ended up having to increase the length of the armscye and cut down some of the sleeve cap to get the sleeves to sit in nicely, which they eventually did.
As part of my new resolution to finish things off properly, I used Hong Kong binding on all the exposed seam allowances.  For this I made my own bias binding out of some leftover black cotton.  I am extremely happy with how this turned out.  For the lining I used a nice contrast print shirting cotton which is lovely and soft on the skin and will provide an extra layer for warmth....  ha ha, anyone in Perth at the moment will laugh at that one!, but will be welcome in a few months, I'm sure!
The belt presented its own saga, as I found nothing remotely worthy in Spotlight (although I did get the brass "end" of the belt there), and Fabulous fabrics runs more to diamante buckles! so set out to tour the op shops.  Luckily for $2 found a lovely brass buckle of the right size attached to a hideous vinyl belt.  I've said it before; I would never cut up a leather belt unless it was in a really bad way, but a vinyl belt is fair game...  Binned the vinyl portion, attached the brass buckle to my self fabric belt and sewed little miniature "buttonholes" for the belt holes...
And, finally finished.
Any dramas aside, I'm thrilled with my new coat and will be showing it off lots more.... ;D !!!!
(Thanks to my husband for the photo opportunity!)

Coat; Burda 7786, with some modifications, beige cotton
Top; New Look 6252, white seersucker
Skirt; Louis (?), op shop
Sandals; Micam by Joanne Mercer, from Hobbs shoes


  1. What out Burberry! Just like a bought one only better. Beautifully finished off and very stylish. Looks great with the outfit and the car. You might have you borrow the later more often looking like that.
    Tre chic!!!

  2. What a great looking trench coat - lovely work!

  3. Wow! Would you look at all that beautiful detailing? You are so awesome. I just that picture of you with the car. That needs to be in a magazine.

  4. Beautiful work Carolyn,(and beautiful model). You would look much better than Craig in the car: Why don't you swap?. Sorry Craig.
    Mum has just bought some fabric to make a coat, it is heavy looking stuff, almost like a felt, but I don't think it is.

  5. Wow...I love what you do with neutrals. You look right out of BWOF magazine standing next to the convertable.

  6. Wow! I'm in love with trench coats and this one is fantastic! Such great work!

  7. What a STRANGE coincidence! With Spring just around the corner in Michigan, I have been absolutely drooling over the Burberry trenches for weeks - (but NOT the 1,000$ to 5,000$ prices!). I thought of making a copy but didn't find a suitable pattern to start from until I saw your post on Wardrobe refashion. Thanks a ton! I'll be glad to use your post as a reference when I begin construction. :) (P.S. I REALLY loved the trenches with the "twists" of fabric, so pretty, but much too challenging for me.)

  8. Awesome trench coat! Well done! I can't believe you found that great fabric at Spotlight! I also want to make one so I'll keep your fabric in mind. Does it come in any other colours?? I look heinous in taupe.

    Sorry about my lack of commenting. I do read your blog every day, I've just been dead busy, having to leave the house every day and all!

  9. mmmm ... I love the sleeve tabs ... and the attention to detail on the seam finishes. It's always fun when you want to show off the interior construction details of a garment almost as much as the outer!

  10. wow this is amazing! i can't believe you made it!

  11. Fantastic finish with wonderful attention to detail.

  12. I saw your coat on Burdastyle. It really looks great! You inspired me to buy the pattern too! I'm not sure whether to make it double breasted or not. I think the double breasted ones look better but I have just gone through the entire winter with a double breasted coat and I don't like how it looks if it's open, not buttoned up...

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