Black and White Wool Plaid Coat

It’s been a couple of months in the making, but I’m happy to finally announce that my plaid coat is finally finished!

Black and white checked wool coat made with fabric from MoodFabrics.com and a vintage Vogue pattern.

Making this coat was truly a labor of love. I chose to fully tailor the coat, which definitely added to the time and expense involved, but it also just makes the coat feel so much more substantial and nice. This is a piece I see myself wearing for years – it’s made to last that long, anyway! :)

Black and white checked wool coat made with fabric from MoodFabrics.com and a vintage Vogue pattern.

My pattern, a vintage Vogue pattern from the 70s, included everything I needed in the instructions to get the coat fully tailored. I also consulted my favorite tailoring book to help me with a few things that weren’t included in the pattern – such as drafting a back stay.

I picked up my black and white plaid coating from Mood Fabrics a few months ago, which was the initial inspiration for this coat. Since the fabric has a very soft body to begin with, I knew it wouldn’t stand up well on its own for all the madness that goes into tailoring a coat. I decided to underline every piece with silk organza, except the facings, which are interfaced with a medium weight fusible. The fronts of the coat are interfaced with hair canvas, the collar and lapels are padstitched with silk thread and lots of steam, there is a muslin back stay, and the hemline is interfaced with bias strips of hair canvas. Whew! Just writing all that makes me feel tired again. You can see my progress posts on this coat here and here.

Since coat is only underlined with the silk organza, it’s not exceptionally warm – I wouldn’t try to wear it to, say, hike up a mountain or anything. But it is perfect for the mild winters here in Tennessee, especially since most of my going-out involves walking from a heated car to a heated building! I actually took these pictures on an uncharacteristically cold day – I think it was around 25 degrees at the time. Ouch! My coat stayed nice and warm, though, so bonus for me!

Black and white checked wool coat made with fabric from MoodFabrics.com and a vintage Vogue pattern.

Black and white checked wool coat made with fabric from MoodFabrics.com and a vintage Vogue pattern.

For my lining, I chose a gorgeous silk charmeuse in a brilliant, shiny red. I LOVE how this turned out – I think it really steps up the coat game and makes it look totally luxe! Plus, I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve never owned a coat with silk lining before now. Feels pretty freakin’ fancy!

I originally waffled pretty hard on my lining choices – I generally go with Bemberg rayon, which I love love love, but I wasn’t loving the colors on the website and I felt like trying something new. I also briefly considered China silk, but ultimately decided it was too lightweight for something that will get pulled off and on constantly. Silk charmeuse is wonderful because it has a nice body and doesn’t slip around much – making it easy to cut and sew. Plus, it’s so shiny! I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of looking at that rich color.

Black and white checked wool coat made with fabric from MoodFabrics.com and a vintage Vogue pattern.

I finished my coat with topstitching – using a proper topstitching thread in the needle, so it would be really visible – and black glass buttons in bound button holes.

Black and white checked wool coat made with fabric from MoodFabrics.com and a vintage Vogue pattern.

Black and white checked wool coat made with fabric from MoodFabrics.com and a vintage Vogue pattern.

Making this coat was fairly easy, just time-consuming. The fabrics were not hard to work with – the most difficult part about the plaid was cutting all the pieces to match, princess seams and all. I think that alone took me close to three hours! My only advice for that sort of undertaking is to take your time, don’t rush, and cut everything on a single layer to ensure accuracy. Once the pieces are cut, though, it’s pretty easy to match them up and go from there.

Black and white checked wool coat made with fabric from MoodFabrics.com and a vintage Vogue pattern.

If you’ve ever toyed around with the idea of sewing up your own coat, here’s my advice – DO IT. It’s so fun, a little addicting, and you really can’t beat how wonderful a hand-tailored coat feels when you wear it.

35
By:

Comments


  • Jenny
    January 8, 2014

    What a wonderful result! I’m sure that’s going to last you ages. I’ve just managed to block fuse my fashion fabric and cut out the main pieces, but there’s still a looooong way to go.. Good to get some inspiration!

    • Lauren
      January 8, 2014

      I feel like cutting and fusing is the worst part of sewing, so hey, at least you got that part out of the way ;)

  • Lori
    January 8, 2014

    Lauren, your coat is wonderful and such a classic style and fabric. All the hardwork paid off, you have one-of-a-kind coat and you will enjoy it for so many years.

    • Lauren
      January 8, 2014

      Thank you, Lori! I definitely feel pretty proud of this coat, I think it’s my best one yet :)

  • angela
    January 8, 2014

    Great coat. I have not started mine yet, but am very motivated after seeing yours ;) It is cold here! I love having lots of coats because I am always cold and now that I live here in NY I am cold all the time. I think my fabric will be difficult too because it is a little thick. Nice to have your blog to read about your coat before embarking on my coat :) Thanks for posting!

    • Lauren
      January 8, 2014

      As long as you make sure your coating is a good natural fiber that takes to pressing well, and use a really hot iron (with a press cloth, if necessary) with a lot of pressure, you can usually get the thicker coating to behave as you need it to. You might even want to consider getting a clapper so you can really pound things down if they’re not laying flat enough. Making coats is so fun and sort of violent, ha!

  • Karen
    January 8, 2014

    This coat is adorable! All your hard, meticulous work shows and you’ll wear it with pride for years!

    Karen

    • Lauren
      January 8, 2014

      Thanks, Karen! Meticulous is the perfect adjective to use when describing how I went about putting the whole thing together!

  • Sallie
    January 8, 2014

    Oh my god. This turned out So. Beautiful. Your plaid matching is envy producing, and all the hand tailored love you put into it is just the icing on the cake! Definitely a piece to be worn and loved for years to come! Awesome job, dude!

    • Lauren
      January 8, 2014

      Thank you thank you! Pretty sure this might be the highlight of my plaid matching career, ahaha :)

  • Ginger
    January 8, 2014

    This is fabulous! You did a great job! The lining is a great detail– it’s like a secret party inside your coat!

    • Lauren
      January 8, 2014

      I gotta admit, after seeing your secret party silk lining on the coat you made last year, I was inspired to have my own secret party too! haha!

  • Amy
    January 8, 2014

    Beautiful coat, Lauren! You put so much thought and time into this project, and all the details really stand out because of it. I haven’t made a coat in awhile, and while I knew this winter wouldn’t be a good time for starting a project like that, but your coat really has me dreaming about getting to one post-pregnancy! Bravo on another great project!

    • Lauren
      January 8, 2014

      Thanks, Amy! I say, once you get your body into it’s not-pregnant state, make yourself the most opulent coat you can imagine. You’ve definitely earned it at this point :)

  • Kimberly
    January 8, 2014

    I appreciate all the work that you put into your coat. It is beautiful, especially the up close shots. You should do more of those types of shots when you tailor to the extent that you did.
    Well done.

    • Lauren
      January 8, 2014

      Thanks, Kimberly! I really enjoyed documenting my progress with this project, so I’d definitely like to try doing that more in the future (at least with projects like this, maybe not so much if I’m just sewing knit tshirts or something!). Just gotta remember to keep my camera on hand as I’m sewing!

  • The Nerdy Seamstress
    January 8, 2014

    Oh my goodness! It looks amazing! I love how it turned out. The lining is amazing! You really gave me the motivation to make my coat now! :)

    • Lauren
      January 8, 2014

      Yaaay!! Now don’t forget to choose an equally fun lining for yous ;)

  • Carolyn
    January 8, 2014

    I’ve been waiting to see this! You did a fabulous job on it and I love it on you! Fantastic!!!

    • Lauren
      January 8, 2014

      Thank you so much, Carolyn! When I come to NYC, I’m gonna need you to wear some of your fabulous houndstooth so we can match. Plaid and houndstooth sort of match… right? lol

  • Cissie
    January 8, 2014

    Love, love,love your coat — especially the glorious luxurious lining. It was worth all of your effort. Maybe I’ll try tailoring this year!

    • Lauren
      January 8, 2014

      You definitely should! It’s really fun and just a little addictive ;)

  • Rose Britton
    January 8, 2014

    Wonderful! Beautifully finished, a garment for the ages!

    • Lauren
      January 8, 2014

      Thank you! :)

  • Peter
    January 8, 2014

    Beautiful job, Lauren! A real classic in the colors you chose. I love the lining too — good for you for lining with silk!

    • Lauren
      January 8, 2014

      Thanks, Peter! Obviously I had to go with silk since you one-upped me in the speed department ;) hahaha kidding!

  • Faye Lewis
    January 8, 2014

    You tailored the heck out of that coat and it looks marvelous too!

    • Lauren
      January 8, 2014

      That I did! Haha! Thank you!

  • Virginia
    January 8, 2014

    I love the colour of the lining! Coat making always looks so scary but I guess it’s a whole year till next winter. That’s long enough to learn.

    • Lauren
      January 8, 2014

      The lining color makes me happy, especially with that shine factor! I promise coat-making isn’t scary, it’s just time consuming. Which means, I guess you’ve got a whole year to make your first coat :) haha

  • Sarah Gunn
    January 9, 2014

    Perfect in everyway, Laura and the red lining pops! I’ve read your posts with interest as you worked on the coat and am so impressed. Congratulations!

    • Lauren
      January 10, 2014

      Thanks, Sarah! Quite a compliment coming from you :)

  • Amanda S.
    January 10, 2014

    Wow, Lauren, fabulous job on this coat! I LOVE the collar and the pop of red lining. Enjoy wearing it for years to come!

  • Sandra (Sewist-Stitch)
    January 13, 2014

    Wow your coat is amazing – the red lining is just the perfect match. As I was reading our post I could feel the quality of how it would feel. I’m sure you will get loads of wear from it this winter.