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!