Men’s Plaid Overcoat


My first fall sewing project is a garment I hope to wear straight through till spring — a medium-weight, water-resistant overcoat/raincoat and my first plaid coat ever.

I purchased the sturdy cotton/nylon plaid (below) at Mood Fabrics in New York City last winter.   It has a feel similar to that of a London Fog raincoat.  The plaid is muted enough to go with pretty much anything.  (You can find a large selection of plaid coating at Mood Fabrics here.)


To make the coat, I used Burda 7780, a men’s coat pattern that has two front welt pockets and a half lining. I added a full lining, along with two inside single-welt pockets (for wallet and sunglasses), and changed the two outer single-welt pockets to double-welt pockets. Confession: while cutting my pockets open, I cut the width twice as large as I was supposed to, so I HAD to make them double-welt pockets — a lucky save.



I decided that a hidden button placket would be an elegant touch, and copied one from my Japanese men’s coat pattern book. As a result, all but the top one of my four keyhole buttonholes — which I made myself with my vintage Singer buttonholer — are hidden.



I lined the coat with 100% rayon bemberg, also from Mood. The imitation tortoiseshell buttons are from my stash: I’d cut off from a worn-and-torn trench coat I found in the trash, no joke.  The facings and undercollar are interfaced with a lightweight fusible; in retrospect, I might have interfaced the overcollar as well to keep it looking extra-crisp.

The most difficult part of this project was the pattern matching. I did a good job on the two fronts and back; I didn’t try to match the plaid across the sleeves, though they’re pretty close.  A walking foot attachment helped a lot.

I love the classic look of this overcoat/raincoat.  It’s roomy enough to wear over a blazer or over a heavy sweater when the weather gets colder.  Since it’s water-resistant, it’s perfect for the rainy/snowy days to come.









Anybody planning a plaid coat in the months ahead?

Thanks for reading!




  • renee
    September 24, 2015

    I remember seeing this fabric at Mood last year and being really intimidated by matching plaids. I LOVE this so much! I did end up with a solid blue from Mood to make one up for my husband. Love, love, love.

  • saro
    September 24, 2015

    I really like this! I want a trench coat for myself in this fabric.

  • Dolores
    September 24, 2015

    Love it! Great job!

  • Lori
    September 24, 2015

    Oh, I love this one you. Great job.

  • Jacqueline
    September 24, 2015

    I love it! Thanks for the tips.

  • Carol
    September 24, 2015

    I’m going to start call you Hammer! Cause you nailed it! LOL!!!

  • Cennetta Burwell
    September 24, 2015

    Bravo, Peter!
    You are off to a great start with this beauty. Love the details and the fabric.

  • Caroline Beckenhaupt
    September 24, 2015

    Awesome work, as usual, Peter! You are the coolest urban dwelling sewist on the net! Carry on!!

  • Jeannie Neely
    September 24, 2015

    Great job, and looks fabulous on you. It seems like classic luxury, quietly rich looking.

  • Lusty
    September 24, 2015

    Love!! Very nice details!

  • Justine
    September 24, 2015

    Love the coat, but wouldn’t a bright color tote, say in pumpkin or rust, really pop against the dark blues?

  • Sandi
    September 24, 2015

    That plaid would make a great cape as well, just sayin.
    Great Work as always.

  • Susan Campbell
    September 24, 2015

    Awesome. Good recovery on the weekly pockets. One of the wonderful things about becoming a better seller is learning how to take care of problems. I bought a book recommended by Seam Ripper Joe on how to deal with Sewing Emergencies but I confess I have yet to look at it.

    Sue C

  • Susan Campbell
    September 24, 2015

    WELT pockets. Darn autocorrect.

  • Kate Carvalho
    September 24, 2015

    Looks awesome!!!

  • Pam O'C
    September 25, 2015

    As my son would say, that coat is BOSS!!

  • Ustabahippie
    September 25, 2015

    Your coat looks great! I thought you would need structure in the shoulders and chest, but it really fits and lays well on your shoulders without it. Nice job.

  • Rodney
    September 26, 2015

    Very classy looking coat! It’s the type of work I hope to do eventually. Nice to see there are at least a few patterns for men out there.

  • Manju
    September 27, 2015

    Beautiful work as ever Peter. Very classy.

  • Roberta
    September 29, 2015

    I love it! A very sophisticated look.

  • Sonja
    October 2, 2015

    This is great! It’s very autumnal and perfect for this lousy weather!

  • Amanda S.
    October 2, 2015

    You’ve made another great coat, Peter! I always enjoy seeing those from you. It looks timeless – I’m sure you’ll be wearing it for years.

  • Fiona
    October 3, 2015

    What beautiful welts! You made some excellent design choices and changes to the pattern. And what a perfect use for this fabric!

  • Jenni
    October 4, 2015

    Excellent job! I want!

  • Michael
    October 6, 2015

    Love it!!!

  • Meichelle
    October 7, 2015

    Wow So very cool and inspiring