Coat – finished!


My coat’s finished! Just in time for autumn, by the looks of the impromptu photoshoot I took with my sister in the park this lovely afternoon. A bit lumpy, bumpy and imperfect it might be, but it turned out perfectly wearable – even a bit cute – so I’m calling it a win.


To recap, I started out with Burda’s Retro Short Coat pattern, but made a bunch of alterations. Briefly: I took all of the gathering out of the front yoke and some out of the back; shortened it; removed the lapels and collar; added a hood; added fastenings; and constructed the facings and linings totally differently. Thanks to my toile-ing the final sew went pretty smoothly; the only thing that didn’t go to plan is the bottom hem because I tried to do this jump hem technique without practicing first. It wound up too short and kind of bulky, although steaming and pressing helped a lot and it pretty much looks OK right? I wonder if topstitching would help it lie even flatter – might give it a go.


I’m pleased with how neat the welt pockets turned out (I invented a genius construction method involving chalk and sticky tape, which I’ll write up if anyone’s interested), less pleased how they ended up awkwardly close to the bottom due to aforementioned hemming woes. I shortened the pocket bags so at least they fit, but they’re stupidly small now. Wah.


Mmm, details. I like the buckles and magnetic hood snap a lot; as well as being practical additions I think they go a long way to making the coat look more professional. The buckles come with holes pre-punched so it was an easy task handsewing them on, though it took nearly a whole episode of Project Runway. The snaps just have prongs which push through the fabric and secure at the back.


I almost like the inside the best, especially the little hang loop and snazzy diagonal plaid across the yoke. I even pattern-matched the checks horizontally across the inner seams, how’s that for attention to detail? I mostly used Jen Grainline’s bagging tutorial to insert the lining but had to alter the process a bit to accommodate the hood. There’s just a few inches handsewn at the back neck, all the other seams were machine sewn from the inside.


I decided to tot up the costs (like Karen did for her coat) – here’s the breakdown:

  • Pattern, Burda Retro Short Coat: $5.40 / £3.40
  • Toile fabrics, Rolls & Rems and Ultimate Craft: ~£8 (some leftover)
  • Main fabric, Dalston Mill, 2.5m at £17.50: £43.75
  • Lining, Dalston Mill, 2m at £7.60: £15.20 (some leftover)
  • Gutermann thread and brushed cotton interfacing, Sew Essential: £11 (some leftover)
  • Buckles and magnetic snaps, £13

    Total: £94.35

    That’s probably more than I’d usually spend on a RTW coat because I’m a cheapskate, but in terms of a learning experience and getting a totally unique (albeit slightly wobbly) coat, I am happy with the investment.


    I think this coat might mark a turning point in my sewing, actually. Up until now I’ve considered myself in ‘training mode’: buying mostly cheap fabrics and rushing through constructions, not paying much attention to the overall finish and details in favour of fast gratification. For this coat I really took my time and enjoyed the process for what it was: a learning experience, a wealth of new techniques to master, an investment in time and materials. Certainly it showed I still have a long way to go, but it proved to myself that I am able to be patient and methodical and see how it pays off.

    Phew, essay over. Anyone else making a coat this year? I feel like this may not be my last.

  • 22 thoughts on “Coat – finished!

    1. AvatarMadeByMeg

      I absolutely love it! It’s totally cute the way you reworked it. The ‘wonky’ things might bother you, but to an outsider it looks exactly as planned ;)

    2. AvatarMelizza

      It looks absolutely stunning. No wobbly-ness from what I can see. I can’t believe you made this so quickly. The insides really do look super nice and the closures give it a super polished look.

      1. AvatarKatie Post author

        Thank you. It was pretty quick to actually sew! I’m glad it looks polished, even if I tend to notice all the faults.

    3. AvatarElena

      Wow, this is AMAZING! I think you should feel so proud. The welt pockets look immaculate, and I love the professional finish the buckles give. Love it!

    4. AvatarAlex

      Wow, that’s gorgeous! I love a good coat and always find myself wanting to buy more and more and more. Yours totally reminds me of one from one of the designer brands at Urban Outfitters called Sessun that was like £225 or something. It was kind of my dream coat but £225? Pfft. After seeing yours I wonder whether I should try and make my own! It looks so professionally finished inside, and love the little loop. Serious inspiration!

      1. AvatarKatie Post author

        Oh you’ve made my day, I love Sessun and often stalk their designs for sewing inspiration! Go for it, I had so much fun making it and the sewing itself really isn’t that hard.

    5. AvatarDiane

      Congratulations Katie – your new coat looks great! I especially love the little details, like the lining, buckles and pockets. Well done, you’re awesome!

    6. AvatarTanya

      I love it! Really suits you and looks very versatile.

      I’m very much in training mode, but it feels very good to level up and do things I haven’t done before. Maybe I’ll be ready to try a coat for next winter :D

    7. AvatarStevie

      That is a pretty darn awesome coat if you ask me! I love the leather styled accents, you did so well making this, I can’t see any wobbly bits either and I love the style! x

    8. AvatarMichelle

      Wow so impressive, I love how the wool has a sheen to it makes it look very smart indeed! It’s nice to spend some time over certain items and I think it really shows in your result.

    9. Avataremily marie

      Soooo wonderful, Katie! You’re right, all of the details and extra time you took with new techniques really paid off. Isn’t it so great to expand your sewing repertoire?! AND it has a hood! :)

    10. Avatarkaren

      I had been following the WIP posts and am amazed at the speed you finished it! It is a very nice coat – I like the fabrics you chose for it a lot. Congratulations!

    11. AvatarKathryn

      This coat is epic!! Can’t believe how quickly you made it. Seems like it was a good idea to use nice fabrics when you see how awesome it turned out. My favourite part is definitely the buckles, they look amazing. V inspiring!

    12. AvatarHaylee

      I am super loving the fit of this adorable coat! It looks both comfortable and soo cute, and wow it seriously looks really well made. Definitely no lumpy, bumpy imperfections visible from an outsider’s perspective, that’s for sure. I love when that happens! Like when you make something that seems so imperfect to you since you made it and know exactly where you messed up, but then no one else notices them. That’s always the best!

      Also great job on bound pocket holes! Wow! That’s no easy feat. I’m definitely interested in your chalk/sticky tape how to if that’s still up for grabs at all. :) The last time I attempted this skill it didn’t go over so smoothly so I could use all the help I could get! haha

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