The Neutral Staple Coat — Italian Tan Angora Wool Coating

I have wanted a tan, wool coat since forever.   Last year I decided to move this coat to the top of the list after I stumbled upon this gorgeous Italian Tan Angora Wool Coating.  It is exquisite.  Perfect for the classic silhouettes as well as the oversized boyfriend coat.  I wish Mood had this coating in every colors.

Please forgive the frown, the sun was very high.

The surface is super soft with a brush-like hand.  The drape is a little stiff; but no matter, it is the perfect match for Butterick 6385. 

Tan is the perfect  neutral to wear with anything.  I wanted a simple, softly tailored everyday coat that was warm, soft, and beautiful, coat that could stand up to the harshness of the strong winds that jet across lake Michigan.

By no means should this neutral be restricted to a “tailored” look.  You can pair it with many styles:  wide lapels, double breasted, or a flirty peplum on your styled coat.  All would showcase the beauty of this Italian wool.

My journey to make this coat was a long one.  I started working on how to fashion it  December 7, 2017.  In the beginning, I was slow to start.  There were many things to consider.  First, the pattern to be used.  Then, how closely I would actually follow the pattern’s style and construction.

Once I decided, I was good to go, ready to see if my plan would work.  Let me start with my pattern description and why I chose it.   It is fitted, with princess seams, back yoke with forward shoulder seams, two piece sleeve, collar and pocket variations.  I closely followed the style of view B.  I wanted to make minimum pattern adjustments.  This one included separate pieces for A/B, C, and D cup sizes, a big help with reducing fit time.  It comes in sizes 6 to 22.  I used sizes 14 and 16 with additional modifications.

My modifications did not change the overall style lines of the coat.  So my coat looks similar to the picture/diagram.  I made several changes to the construction of the coat with my standard fit adjustments.

Fit Changes:

  • Skipped the FBA.  I added 1/2″ to the length of the center front.  I don’t like the marked distance from the edge to the button hole.  I like a little more room across the center front.
  • Lengthened the sleeve by 1″.  Most coat sleeve are not long enough for me.  I always add a inch or so to make sure the edge of the sleeve covers my wrist bone.
  • Lengthened the body of the coat by 3″.  I wanted it to fall below my knees.
  • Lowered the pocket 1.5″.  They were at an uncomfortable height for resting my hand in the pocket.
  • Lowered the bust dart 1.5″.  Too high in my opinion.
  • Swayback adjustment.  I tucked about 1/2″ access at the lower back.  But I don’t think it was enough, though.
  • The shortened the length of the shoulder seam.  I actually didn’t cut the excess away.  It helped form the roundness of the sleeve cap.

Construction Changes:

  •  Bound Buttonholes instead of regular ones.  Six button holes instead of five.  It took my a long time to decide on the size of the buttonhole lips.  BTW- bound buttonholes are on my goals list for 2018.  I’ve made them several times before, but each time I nervous about how they will turn out.  I always do a practice test before making them on the garment.  Such was the case with this coat.

  • I interfaced the entire coat except for the sleeve.  I only interfaced the upper portion and the last 3″ of the sleeve.

  • I made my own shoulder pads. 3/4″ instead of 1/2″.  The sleeve fits easily around and under my arm.  

Even though I changed a lot of the construction of the coat.  I did read the instructions.  They are typical and I saw nothing confusing in them.  For #17  edgestitch and topstitch ends of flap to side front was difficult to do because of the thickness of the fabric.  I hand stitched the flaps to the side front.

I’m very pleased with how my coat turned out.  I must admit when it came time to finish the inside of the bound buttonholes, I decided to sew something else to give me a break.  That is, three something elses.  😉   

Oh yeah, I almost forgot.  I have a million buttons.  When it came to finding the “right” buttons from my stash, I only had sets of four or five.  So initially, I sewed some round button on the coat.  Nope..,  no go.  So I made a trip to a local store to get yet another set of buttons.

So let me point out my likes:

  • Sleeves
  • Princess seam and back yoke
  • Buttonholes
  • The tan angora wool

My dislikes:

  •  The excess fabric above the bust area on the side front.  I tried eliminating it.  No luck.

I’m planning to make a coat for my daughter using the same pattern, but view A.

Overall, I am very pleased with my new tan (neutral) coat.  A perfect winter staple for the mid-west.  

Happy Sewing!



  • Connie Turner
    February 6, 2018

    Beautiful coat, you are such a fearless sewist.

    • Cennetta
      February 8, 2018

      Thanks, Connie.

  • Carol
    February 6, 2018

    Your coat looks amazing! You did a wonderful job.

    • Cennetta
      February 8, 2018

      Thank you so much, Carol.

  • Betty
    February 6, 2018

    WOW! Great job. I have the pattern but am leery of getting started. Your suggestions help.

    • Cennetta
      February 8, 2018

      Thanks, Betty. I’m glad the information is helpful. Good luck on making you coat. You will do fine.

  • Pat Cochran
    February 6, 2018

    Simply Beautiful!!!! and Elegant!!!

    • Cennetta
      February 8, 2018

      Pat Cochran, thank you. I’m hoping to wear it many years to come.

  • Rose Britton
    February 7, 2018

    Superb fabric and sewing! You are inspiring me to make a coat– less needed in North Carolina than Michigan, but would feel so very polished!

    • Cennetta
      February 8, 2018

      Rose Britton, thank you. You should go for it. You can always use a lighter weight fabric.

  • Kmoon
    February 7, 2018

    This is fabulous! Great job.

    • Cennetta
      February 8, 2018

      Thanks Kmoon.

  • Peter
    February 8, 2018

    A truly stunning coat. Great job!

    • Cennetta
      February 8, 2018

      Thanks so much, Peter.

  • Marina G. Villalobos
    February 9, 2018

    What satisfaction you must feel for a job well done! Congratulations!

    • Cennetta
      February 12, 2018

      Thanks, Marina. I am very pleased with it.

  • Lori
    February 12, 2018

    This is a beautiful coat, Cennetta, you did a great job. Have fun making one for your daughter.

    • Cennetta
      February 15, 2018

      Thanks, Lori.

  • Chris Griffin
    February 16, 2018

    Gorgeous and gives me hope for my rumana coat languishing in toile stage…
    What about a free-shoulder stay for the area that’s getting a little smushed in? Ive been reading about them and I’ll probably put one in my coat. It’s supposed to make the coat support itself better above ones bust 🙂

    • Cennetta
      February 19, 2018

      Thanks, Chris. Best of luck on your coat. I no, no free shoulder stays in my coat. That’s I need to research. Thanjs again.

  • RZT
    February 17, 2018

    I was thinking it looked like Michigan out there! That coat is going to serve you well for the winters we have. It looks amazing.

    • Cennetta
      February 19, 2018

      Thanks, RAT. It’s been pretty cold in Illinois with lots of snow.

  • Sallie
    March 2, 2018

    WOW WOW WOW!!! This is so elegant! Such a gorgeous, classic coat! And you look stunning in it, Cennetta!