A coat is a satisfying and impressive make, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming.
If you planning on sewing a me-made coat this year, now is the time to start! A coat can be a nice challenge to take on, to develop your skills and create a garment to be really proud of. Because coats can be quite an involved project, a lot of people feel quite intimidated by them, but if you have some dressmaking experience, it's not hugely different to sewing a lined dress, for example.
Here are our top tips for sewing your own coat this winter!
Break it down.
When we run our coat making class, we sew for two solid days, and ask that you bring your fabric pre-cut out. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, I would give yourself three full days worth of time to sew a coat, even cutting it out can take a lot longer than you'd think. If you cut out one evening, and then give yourself smaller manageable goals each time you sit down at the sewing machine it will feel less overwhelming and much more achievable.
A Walking Foot is Your Friend
A walking foot helps fabric feed through a sewing machine evenly, ideal when your working with multiple layers and different fabric types.
Use Pressing Tools
For a clean, tailored finish, use pressing tools as much as you can. A tailors ham helps create a smart finish at the sleeve head, and a tailors clapper allows you to add extra pressure, without adding too much heat on seams. All the little details add up to help create an impressive finish.
Crack out the Tailors Tacks
On bulkier, textured fabric it can be difficult to see your markings clearly. I would highly recommend using old fashioned tailors tacks instead for coat making, in a nice bright contrasting colour.
Think About Your Lining Fabrics
The main thing to consider when choosing a lining fabric is how easy will the coat be to get on and off? A satin or viscose lining, at least in the sleeves, will make wearing the coat that bit easier. Woven cotton or jersey will also work, and be that bit warmer, and you can always mix your linings a little.
I hope that helps you feel more confident when sewing your first coat! Once you start, you might realise it's not as scary as you might think! I have decided I love sewing coats, and I'm already planning my fourth!