One last coat for cool spring nights




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My most sincere apologies, I might have brought the cold weather back with this coat. Mea culpa.

oona oonaballoona mood sewing network



One of the great things about visiting  Mood Fabrics in person: you get to know the people there, who in turn know the fabric.  When I ran up to my favorite top floor, my angel Eric greeted me with his sunbeam of a smile and said have a couple things I think you might like. I knew I wouldn’t even have to browse that day. He has me pegged.


This woven piece of madness is very much like a blanket.  A blanket with a most unsafe shade of safety orange on one side.   On the bolt, it was pure shocking orange, and when Eric unfurled it to reveal this faded denim blue my eyes rolled out of my head, down 8th avenue, and into my apartment to comb my pattern stash for a duster coat.  They came back empty, but they were too late, Brain had made the deal and Hands would not let go.

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I really ought to check my camera lens for dust.

For once I kept to my initial desire.  To make the coat, I used Simplicity 2812, the princess seamed bodice coat that everyone adores.  Erica made a fabulous version here, and after reading up on her review and comparing the pattern to images of duster coats, I decided to go for it. And by go for it I mean: I taped the bodice pieces to the skirt pieces, evening out the seamlines where I thought it was needed, cut it in my regular size, and sewed up at the seams at 3/4 inch, since most reviews said it ran big. It was definitely a shot in the dark.  Sort of like cooking by feel, which I repeatedly prove to be terrible at. But something told me it would work.

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Did it?  I think  it did!  Of course, those seams are pretty long, and the coat is weighty, so the absence of a waistline could shoot me in the foot.  I did stabilize the shoulder seams.  Those poor teeny shoulder seams.  I think I’ll name them Napoleon and Dynamite.

After machine stitching each vertical seam , I turned under and hand stiched Errrrrry. Last. One.  16 in all.  But who’s counting.

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I used up almost every little bit of this yardage (and believe me, there were bits everywhere).  I had exactly enough selvedge to trim the bottom of the coat and stabilize the neckline interior.  Cuffs and collar took this on a fast train into Hobbitsville, so I left them off.  Looking at the pics, I might go in and tighten up that pleat on the sleeve and make the shape more exaggerated…what say you?

And have you ever, but ever, seen a John Deere tractor in Manhattan?









  • Peter
    April 15, 2014

    Love. It. What a fabulous coat and such beautiful lines. Great job!

  • True Bias
    April 15, 2014

    its amazing. that fabric is to die for. i am a sucker for that exact color of blue. And i was thinking. is this the first time i have ever seen you in pants? these are the coolest jeans ever by the way.

    • oonaballoona
      April 17, 2014

      you might be right!! tho i’m cutting out a pair of jeans tonight. when i’ll sew them is anyone’s guess.

  • SewSavory
    April 15, 2014

    OHHHHHMYYYYGAWDDDD! This is some kind of wonderful. This coat has got to be one of my favorite OonaMakes. It’s up there with the Anna Sui panel dress. Hubs concures (yes, I share the good stuff with him). Pure sunshine on a chilly day. Enjoy your beautiful coat, sweetie. We certainly do!

    • oonaballoona
      April 17, 2014

      thank you!! i believe i’ll be searing the eyes of a small town in NH this weekend with it 🙂

  • Debbie Iles
    April 15, 2014

    WOW! I love that fabric! The coat is perfect for it. Love your style, and totally wistful for the in-person fabric shopping I used to be able to do. So much better than online…

  • Ginger
    April 15, 2014

    Wow! What a fun, dramatic coat! Eric’s got you pegged, alright!

  • SunGold
    April 16, 2014

    You’re amazing and the coat is stupendous. Wish I had it in me to do it.

    • oonaballoona
      April 17, 2014

      with a name like sungold, i think you might…. 🙂

  • Sandra (Sewist-Stitch)
    April 16, 2014

    Wow what a beautiful coat. I love the colours and the close up of the fabric … I can feel it already! Perfect 🙂

  • Nicole
    April 16, 2014

    Wow, this coat is fantastic! I love the colors and they look so dramatic made up into this pattern.

  • Sallie
    April 16, 2014

    A blanket-y duster coat?!?! How do you always know what is missing from my wardrobe?? It’s only when you make it that I realize how much I need a floor length, blanket-y, denim blue + safety orange, princessed seamed beauty to wrap myself up in! Gorgeous make, Oona!

  • Connie
    April 16, 2014

    Marcy, wherever did you get those jeans?! You look great in them!. The coat is as usual spectacular. I love the fabric and your make is great.

    • oonaballoona
      April 17, 2014

      oh connie, they were 5 dollars at forever 21, about 4 years ago. TERRIBLE!!! but i could absolutely not resist.

  • Lori
    April 16, 2014

    Oh my, that is a fabulous, fabulous coat. Great job on transforming the pattern to work for you, I just love this on you.

  • Kimberly
    April 17, 2014

    LOL…..this one leaves me speechless with a great big smile. Nice coat….and no, never saw a John Deere in Manhattan

  • Sue K
    April 17, 2014

    Gosh, this is truly fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing this make, it’s so inspiring. Love the fabric, the pattern, and your changes.

  • oonaballoona
    April 17, 2014


  • Mary Danielson
    April 17, 2014

    Zomg. Oona. OONA! This is the best coat in the history of coats. I love it so much! The colors are fab, the princess seams work beautifully on a duster length, and it’s just utterly fabulous.

    Also, I am in awe of your hand sewing down those seam edges. Just the thought makes me queasy! You deserve a plaque of some sort for such a feat.

  • Angela
    April 17, 2014

    Absolutely awesomesauciness! I love this coat. I need that fabric. And I want that coat. Love the seam detail. Fabulosity to the max!

  • MB@YarnUiPhoneApp
    April 18, 2014

    Awesome is right…and the selvedge use is incredible! Selvedges are totally underused by sewers….and some fabric has the most delish selvedges on the planet, in the universe, the solar system. Man, this is one striking duster that has knocked down 8th Avenue right with you and I don’t even know where that is…

  • Cennetta
    April 18, 2014

    Your new duster is a head turner. You look fabulous and confident. Splicing two patterns is the perfect solution to drafting. You save time and effort. Thanks for sharing your how to tip. I’ll put it in my vault of creative solutions.

  • Amanda S.
    April 19, 2014

    What a fun duster!

  • Mary
    April 20, 2014

    Oona! you strike again. Gorgeous duster! Beautiful colors! Great work!

  • Fiona
    April 21, 2014

    Awesome as always! Such a perfect choice with what to make with such an amazing double face. I love that you start with the fabric and let it tell you what to make

  • Sarah Gunn
    April 24, 2014

    John Deere and Oonaballoona just don’t jive……. until you bring that gorgeous coat into the mix 🙂 Love the pics and of course, the coat !

  • JustGail
    April 25, 2014

    Your coat is fabulous – I’m glad you let the fabric be the star by using a clean-lined pattern and not adding too many details.

    Living close to fabric stores that carry something besides fleece and quilting cottons must be wonderful, and possibly dangerous to the finances. Maybe it’s a good thing I don’t.

  • One word: flawless. I’m a new sewist (just learned that word) and your princess seams are almost too much to even take in. I want to sew just like you when I grow up. Thank you for the marvelous inspiration.

  • Karen Helm
    May 6, 2014

    Wow, do I love a beautiful coat – and this IS one! Worth the return of winter just to wear this even once. Really stunning!

  • Sonja Koenig
    May 15, 2014

    GORGEOUS!!! oh my gosh I’m so inspired!!!