A Lightweight Trench for Spring

I know what you’re thinking. I already have a trench coat – one made with some amaaaazing lace), to be exact – do I really need a second one?

Polkadot Robson made with reversible cotton/poly  from Mood Fabrics

If it involves polka dots – well, duh, the answer is always yes!

Polkadot Robson made with reversible cotton/poly  from Mood Fabrics

In all seriousness, though, this trench absolutely fills a gap in my spring wardrobe. I realized recently that I need something lightweight for this temperamental weather – something to get me through the cool mornings, something that wasn’t too bulky to carry around when it inevitably warmed up outside in the afternoon, and bonus if it protected my clothes during the rain. Also, polka dots.

This reversible cotton/poly polka dot woven from Mood Fabrics ticked all my boxes. I love that it’s reversible – since the pattern I used doesn’t call for a lining, this is a fun and easy way to add interest to the inside of the jacket. The double layer means it’s slightly warmer than your standard cotton, and the addition of the polyester gives it a little hand and sheen that makes it look totally trench-appropriate. Oh, and it also keeps the thing from wrinkling too much – which I can attest to, after wadding it up and shoving it in my bike basket when the rain stopped. Shook it out when I got home and that thing looks good as new!

Polkadot Robson made with reversible cotton/poly  from Mood Fabrics

Since the fabric isn’t outlandishly thick, I was able to use it for all the bias binding on the inside of the jacket as well. I used the right side (navy with white dots); I think it adds a nice contrast to the wrong side of the fabric.

The construction on this jacket was pretty straightforward, especially considering I’ve already made up this same jacket before. I used the Sewaholic Robson as my pattern and shortened the hem so it would sit about hip length on me. I also raised the pockets – one thing that bummed me out about my lace coat is that the pockets are just toooo low! Fortunately, they’re in the right place now, at least on the dotty version 🙂 I also swapped out the tie belt for a proper belt, using a gold belt buckle I had in my stash.

Polkadot Robson made with reversible cotton/poly  from Mood Fabrics

Sewing this fabric was BEYOND easy. I admit I was a little apprehensive at first about that polyester – I thought this stuff was gonna be a nightmare to press. Honestly, it pressed better than some of my natural fibers! I used a sharp Microtex needle and tried to be stingy with the pins – this particular fabric does like to show pin marks (and also needle punctures, should you decide your topstitching is in the wrong place and you want to unpick it and redo at a different width. OOPS. Not tooooo noticeable once you get it good with the steam iron, though!). It doesn’t ease terribly well – I have a few small puckers in my sleeve caps – but overall, not too bad. The only downside is that it LOVES to fray like crazy. I found that as long as I bound off my seams before they had a chance to be handled much, it kept the fraying to a minimum. But definitely consider finishing your seams should you choose to use this fabric.

I initially had chosen buttons from Mood Fabrics to finish off my coat, but once I got them in the mail they were just all sorts of wrong. Thankfully, I was able to return them for store credit (yay! Thank you, Mood!), and I decided to go with some gold crest buttons I had in my stash. I think they give the coat a very luxe feel, yes?

Polkadot Robson made with reversible cotton/poly  from Mood Fabrics

I’ll confess now – I actually finished this coat a week ago, and have been wearing it ever since (hooray for random cold snaps!). I really really love it- the shape and fabric are super cute, and make me look put together even if I’m wearing pajamas underneath (which… may or may not have happened). I even waterproofed the whole thing with Scotch Gard, so it actually serves it’s purpose as a real rain jacket.

Now I just need a matching umbrella and I’m all set! 🙂

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Comments


  • Nicole
    May 19, 2014

    I have this fabric. I may end up copying this! I originally wanted to make a House of Pinhiero Brazil dress, but it looks so much more like a jacket fabric. Looks great!

    • Lauren
      May 20, 2014

      You totally should make one! Then we can MATCH haha! 🙂

  • Peter
    May 19, 2014

    Wow — what a great trench coat. The polka dots are fantastic and the whole look is very crisp and chic — nice job!

    • Lauren
      May 20, 2014

      Thank you, Peter!

  • The Nerdy Seamstress
    May 19, 2014

    I’ve been stalking you so I can check out your trench. I love it, as I’ve mentioned before. Hehe. I love your pictures. Oh, I might want to make my trench hip length too!

    • Lauren
      May 20, 2014

      I definitely prefer the hip length to the longer length that the pattern is made for – I reckon the longer is good for rain, but it is also almost too warm! I also think hip length just tends to be more flattering for my height 🙂 haha

  • Mary Danielson
    May 19, 2014

    What a fabulous coat, Lauren! I love the pairing of those polka dots with gold button–so very luxe, indeed. Gorgeous!

    • Lauren
      May 20, 2014

      Yes! The gold buttons were a happy accident -the best kind 🙂

  • Canal Couture
    May 19, 2014

    Such a beautiful coat! I think this shorter length suits you really well! And I love the look of the belt.
    I have been curious about Scotch Gard. Does it really work? And how does it hold up through wear & washing?

    • Lauren
      May 20, 2014

      I’ve worn my jacket through light drizzles and the waterproof has held up. As far as holding up through washing and wearing – well, holler at me in 6-8 months, ha! 🙂 I will say that my parents are devout users of Scotch Gard (I actually got the idea from my dad – he keeps a can in his truck) and while I think you do eventually need to reapply it to keep the fabric waterproof, it works quite well 🙂

  • Fiona
    May 19, 2014

    O Lauren this is so dreamy! I love so much about it and how all those elements work together; the length, the reversible fabric, the belt buckle and those lovely gold buttons! How does the whole Scotch Guard thing work?? Sounds interesting

    • Lauren
      May 20, 2014

      It coats your fabric with a light waterproofing shield, so it works as a raincoat (maybe not so great for torrential downpours, but standard drizzle/rain – no problem!). My first experience with Scotch Gard was actually the one time I went to London as a kid – we waterproofed everything, shoes, jackets, etc. Works pretty well!

  • Sallie
    May 19, 2014

    Awesome! Just awesome! Love the navy and white polka dots with the gold buttons (good call!) and the length – everything is just perfect! I also realized this spring how a lightweight jacket could really come in handy, but we’ve already moved into summer temps here so I guess that will have to wait till next year. However I’m filing away that Scotch Guard tip!

    • Lauren
      May 20, 2014

      Ohh I hear ya on the summer temps! While I was making this jacket, I was crossing my fingers that I’d actually get to wear it before it got too hot outside! Fortunately, we had a random cold snap (which appears to have since reversed, ha), so I got a little bit of wear out of it 🙂 I would tell you to make ahead so you’ll be ready when the weather comes, but you and I both know that sewing ahead of the season is no fun!

  • Lori
    May 19, 2014

    I love this coat, navy and white is just the best for spring and summer. Great job on the style and all the finishing, you look great.

    • Lauren
      May 20, 2014

      Thank you, Lori! 🙂

  • Ginger
    May 20, 2014

    This looks great! It’s definitely more casual than the lace trench- you totally need them both! This length really works on you, too!

  • Cennetta
    June 5, 2014

    Outstanding! Love your attention to the details in your lovely spring trench. Thanks for the inspiration.
    C

  • Carol
    June 6, 2014

    Love your trench coat. The print is cute without being cutesy. I’m thinking I should add this to my make list. Also, there is no “age appropriate” thing to worry about with this pattern. Here in the PNW it would come in handy both in the spring and late fall. I love to see how all of you seamstresses take a basic pattern and change little things to make them perfect.

  • Gayle
    June 8, 2014

    Love your coat; very cute and fits you so well.

  • Sew Busy Lizzy
    June 13, 2014

    This is so funny = the first time I saw this fabric on the Mood site I thought TRENCH! Bingo – awesome make.