Sunday, January 10, 2016

A trench coat for my son

There are hundreds of patterns out there to sew for girls, and not that many to sew for boys.   My younger son has sometimes felt left out when I sewed for his sisters and not for him, so when he started asking for a trench coat I decided that was something I could do for him.

Trench coats are quite hard to find in pre-teen and teen sizes.  It's the sort of thing that is easy to find for men, but not so much for your boys.   I suppose if I wanted to spend the funds I could have bought him a Ralph Lauren one.   That seemed a little over the top even knowing how much he would wear it.

I was excited to find a pattern on Burda Style.  It's BurdaStyle #147.     The pattern was drafted well.  It fits beautifully and looks quite sharp.  I like the front and back flaps, the epaulets, the sleeve straps and the true welted pocket.  The details work together to create a classic trench look.  

That said, I'm not sure I would recommend this pattern to anyone.  Yes, it looks good, but it was a monster to sew.   I consider myself near expert level with my sewing.  I have spent thousands of hours sewing and have sewn more than one formal gown.   Hey, if you can sew a wedding dress, you've learned a few things, right?    The instructions for this pattern left a lot to be desired.  I don't need everything spelled out for me, but it seems I need more than this pattern is willing to give.  The pocket instructions were especially confusing.   I had to just put the pieces together and sort of backwards engineer my technique based on what I wanted it to look like when I was done.  I'm happy with how it turned out, but frustrated with how little help the pattern was.   I basically stopped bothering to read them after the pockets and just sort of went my own way after that, only stopping to check every once in awhile to be sure I was doing things in the right order.  Even that screwed me up because it wanted me to sew on the front facing before I attached the collar.   I should have known better than to trust the pattern and I ended up having to rip a few seams to get things laid out correctly.    Don't even bother trying to use it to install the lining.  

I used existing garments to decide on lining technique.  I should have done it a little bit more than I did; there's a few things I should have done differently.   

I used easy to find materials for this with a basic bottom weight cotton for the exterior and yarn dyed flannel for the lining to add extra warmth.   The lining is purple plaid and he loves it since purple is currently his favorite color.   The buttons are basic LaMode wood buttons.   The buckles I ordered off Amazon.  They are leather trench coat buckles in exactly the right sizes for the coat.  I was excited to find them.  

All in all, it was a good project that tested my skills.   You really only learn when you stretch yourself, so it makes this trench coat an excellent learning tool.  I've been wanting to be a better seamstress lately.  I guess I should be careful what I wish for, huh?  


  1. You did a fabulous job! Not sure I'd be brave enough to even think about tackling one!

    1. Thanks so much! Coats are pretty much new territory for me. it was an interesting project.

  2. Looks great! I just found your blog, and am wondering if it is still here????