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My Winter Coat Progress: Part 1

Other posts in this series: Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

I’ve been wearing the same winter coat for the past 4 years.  Joe has been telling me that I should buy a new one for the past two winters already.  He even increased my budget this year and basically gave me the OK to get almost anything I want.  Unfortunately, buying a coat has always been an ordeal for me.  I have a petite frame with disproportionately small shoulders.  Its almost impossible to find a coat that doesn’t make me look like I’m swimming in it.  Even when I do find one that fits my frame, its usually more of a fashion piece and doesn’t have enough insulation to keep me warm. Frustrating…

So I finally caved in and decided to make my own.  I’ve been really into the whole military parka look that’s really popular right now, but I’m putting my own twist on the trend.  I plan to make mine out of felted wool, rather than the woven cotton that you usually see. I want to give it a slightly more dressed up look.  It will almost be a parka/duffle hybrid. This is a pretty monster project and I’ll be lucky if I can finish it before the winter over.  It’s such a big project that I’m not going to give a DIY tutorial. I think it is simply way too complicated to explain step by step, but I’ll show you my progress so far!

I’m not that experienced of a draper and I wanted some sort of guarantee that I wouldn’t waste my time/money on a coat that would end up not fitting me. So I decided that I would base my pattern on a coat that I already own (the one I’ve been wearing for four years). In the picture below you’ll see that I started pinning muslin to my old coat to create the pattern.  It’s only a guide and starting point though, I did change the design quite a bit.

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

Here’s my finished pattern (I might have revised or added to some of these pieces since I took this pic).  Creating the pattern took me one whole day off of work during Christmas time.

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

The next step was cutting the pattern out of the actual coat fabric, both the shell and the lining.

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

For the shell, I bought the thickest wool felt that I could find in an army green.

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

In this pic, I’m cutting out the lining fabric. You are looking at the reverse side here.

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

This is the correct side of the lining. It’s some sort of faux fleecy material for extra warmth. I like that it has light tips and dark “roots” giving it a more authentic fur-like look.

Once all of my fabric was cut out, I ironed on fusible interfacing for added structure to the parts that need it.  It wouldn’t hurt if it offered a little extra insulation too.

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

At this point I have devoted three full days of work to this coat with still nothing actually constructed.  I decided that I wanted to work on all of the detail work first, which tends to be the most time consuming.  I bought this great fur trim for the hood.  Mood sells strips of fur already finished with an edge of grosgrain ribbon. It’s also the perfect length for a hood.  I wanted to make my fur trim removable with snaps, so this was the most challenging part of constructing the hood.

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

I bought mini anorak snaps and a home snap setting kit. Normally professionals use a large press for setting snaps.  The Dritz kit is a little more crude and less clean, but it did the job just fine.

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

Snap Setting tool for use with hammer.

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

Female snaps set directly onto pre-sewn grosgrain fur trim.

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

Finally did some sewing! here you can see the male snaps attached to the lining of the hood

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

furry lining!

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

I added an extra flap of wool to hide the snaps when the fur trim is not attached.

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

See how nicely the trim snaps in?

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

Lining with fur

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

I also sewed the shell for the hood.

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

I didn’t attach the lining to the shell yet, but here’s what it will look like when I eventually sew them together.  For now it’s just pinned in place.

My Winter Coat Progress Part 1 - >> joeandcheryl.com <<

I love hoods because they keep my head warm without messing up my hair the way a hat does.

And that’s all I’ve done up to this point!  All of this took me about three and a half days.  In my next entry I’ll show you how far I’ve gotten with sewing the shell of the coat.

 

4 comments to My Winter Coat Progress: Part 1

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