My First Trench Coat - Part 1

Wow, I had major goals this month.  I wanted to complete a trench coat, pants suit and a shirt dress.  Well, the pants suit and dress will not happen this month.  My trench coat has become a lengthy process for a couple of reasons.  First, I haven't been able to devote full weekends to sewing this month.  So, I have had to sew in sessions. Second, I chose to tailor my trench coat. So additional steps have been added to the process.

For my trench coat I decided to use Silhouette Patterns Barbara Trench Coat.  Actually, I started making this coat last year.  I became frustrated with it and put it to the side.  My frustration was centered around trying to back into my size for this pattern. See, the measurements under the sizes are not body measurements. They are finish garment measurements.  So you have to determine your size base on these measurements.  This was not fun for me and my only true dislike of this pattern. However this year, I am determined to complete this trench coat.

My solution to determining my size, was to use a vogue jacket that I made as my base.  I thought about using the measurement from my RTW coats. But my coats do not fit me well. So that was fruitless to me.  Using the finished garment measurements of my jacket as a base, worked well. After 2 muslin's, I had my sizes and fit complete. I have to say, after that session I wanted a drink.  So,I had myself a full blown Pepsi. I normally drink caffeine free.  Here is a peak.

I decided to custom tailor my coat with fusible interfacing's.  I used a combination of techniques from my all time favorite book Singers Sewing Reference Tailoring and Louise Cutting video on interfacing a classic lapel. Singer shows how to custom tailor with sew in and fusible interfacing's. Louise uses the same fusible techniques as Singer tailoring, but takes it up a few notches.  For example she shows how to shape a fusible interfaced lapel with machine stitching.  Trust me when I say after you shape the lapel using this technique, you will feel like you pad stitched.

The instructions for this pattern is divided into session.  Which actually works out great for me.  So, all the belt loops, belt and epaulets are a session. Sewing the body is a session and sewing the lining is a session.  Then joining the body and lining is a session.  I'm just about finished with the body and will be starting the lining tonight.  The goal is to have the coat done by 9/30. 

OK I have a confession, I had a sewing quickie. This coat is so involved I needed a break.  So, I made a pair of silk charmeuse pillow cases. I'm tired of tying up my hair at night, so this has become a hot item on my sewing list.  I use this link as a guide. The dimension were a little big for my pillows, so I made a cuff. I'll have to tweak the dimension on the next pair. This took all of 1.5 hours tops from start to finish. I'm loving being able to go to bed pretty and not having to do much with my hair in the morning. Viva Silk Pillow Cases!!!! LOL
Until next time.............keep sewing!!


  1. Congratulations on your coat progress. It is a very involved learning process, but you'll end up with a customized garment at a fraction of the cost. Happy Sewing!

  2. Uhm....this is looking fabulous already!

  3. Making a coat is definitely no short task. With perseverance, patience, and chocolate, you'll be fine!

  4. I just came across your blog. Thanks for the link to the Louise Cutting video. I am working on my second coat and that link couldn't have shown up at a better time. Also, I love your trench coat. It has inspired me to give the Silhouettes trench pattern a try.