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V8346 wool coat.
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A wool coat for winter: The Finished V8346 coat

Here it is! I started planning this V8346 coat in October, so all in all it took four months to finish it. Of course, I made several projects at the side and left this coat alone sometimes for weeks when I felt too frustrated to continue. The most difficult stages were definitely drafting the sleeves and then getting the coat fronts to drape nicely. However, I think that the finished coat was worth all the effort, even though I can still see a lot of room for improvement.

The inspiration

Vogue patterns V8346 envelope.

My original idea was to make a shawl collared coat with a wide hem, since I had a similar RTW coat that I loved despite it not fitting very well. The pattern V8346 was a very good starting point. It had a shawl collar and the wide hem and I didn’t have to make huge fitting adjustments. The only minus with this pattern was that it didn’t have a two-piece sleeve. That’s the reason I ended up drafting my own.

The insides of my tailor-made vintage coat.

I own a vintage tailor-made coat that I used to figure out how to make my coat warm. Traditionally, Finnish-made coats used to have a layer of wadding but as the coat-making industry moved to warmer countries, those coats disappeared from the shops. My vintage coat didn’t have only wadding but also a layer of cotton to block the wind. When you take into account the actual viscose lining and the wool, I basically had to sew four coats!

The V8346 coat from the side view.

The materials

I found my gorgeous red wool-angora coating from Materials in Helsinki. I managed to negotiate a small discount when I promised to mention where I got the fabric from on my blog. However, I still spent a staggering 300 € for the main fabric and the wadding! I had interfacings in storage, so I didn’t have to buy those this time. But the hair-canvas and the wool canvas came from the Lining Company. The support for the upper back was cheap unbleached Ikea cotton. The cotton for the wind-blocking layer was from Eurokangas and the jacquard viscose lining from the ClothSpot (about 44 €) in UK.

The red wool-angora coating fabric.

Then there were the threads. I used basic Coats polyester sewing thread for the machine sewing. Then for the hand-sewing I used three different kinds of silk. All the interfacings were fastened with grey Gütermann hand silk that is pre-waxed silk thread. I also used thinner red silk and a bit thicker (buttonhole weight) golden silk thread to make some of the details.

Finally, the big red snaps and the covered buttons came from Nappitalo in Helsinki. What else? The gold bias-binding for the hem was from Eurokangas and I got the ermazine tape from my sewing teacher Michele as a gift.

All in all this coat might be the most expensive garment that I own, especially if you count the hours of making it (although then my trench coat might come close!). The good thing is that the coat is made to last and that the cost of the materials made me really motivated to finish! I didn’t calculate the exact cost but I estimated that it is a bit over 400 €. However, I can’t really compare that price to RTW coats that are not fitted to my exact figure and no tailor would make a coat like this that cheaply!

The finished V8346 coat

The V8346 coat from the back.

The finished coat is pretty heavy but it doesn’t feel that heavy when I put it on. The collar stays flat when I wear the coat, although I must remember to check it after I put the coat on since it might turn up at that point. I cut the collar slightly smaller than in the pattern and it shrank, even more, when I sewed it up. Finally, however, it looks just fine.

I was a bit worried whether the snaps would hold but they stay closed just fine. The hem flows nicely and the lining and the coat seem to move nicely together. The pockets are big enough that I can stash everything I need in them.

Twirling in my new red V8346 coat.

There is a bit of wrinkling at the sleeves which I think is mostly because the sleeves are perhaps a tiny bit too long. However, that doesn’t finally bother mee too much since the sleeves at least fit otherwise. If I get really bothered by it, it’s a small thing to shorten them. There might just be a tiny bit of fabric pulling in the front but that might also be due to the way the coat happened to sit while we were taking the pictures with my hubby. However, the coat fronts go straight down now and there is no bagginess at the bottom.

The length for the V8346 view D is perfect since I can fit all my skirts underneath and the coat keeps me warm. This is actually the perfect coat when I need to wait for a bus at the bus stop. A slight drawback is then that it takes a while to arrange the amount of hem when I sit behind a steering wheel myself!

The lining and the piping.

I love the rose-patterned jacquard lining although I snagged it several times while sewing the coat. Luckily the pattern hides all the snags pretty well! The gold piping works as well. With the first facing, that I later ripped off, the lining was not sitting completely flat against the piping. The good thing about making the new facings was that I managed to do a much better job with the piping on the second run.

The V8346 coat from the front.

I attached my rose reflector brooch to the collar to bring some visibility in the dark. I also think that this coat fits very well together with the white Aeolian scarf I knitted about 10 years ago. (Another mega-project with silk-merino-lace yarn and 2500 little glass beads!)

I hope this coat making adventure of mine inspires you to try to make a coat, too. However, if you are planning to use my blog posts to help you I recommend you read all 7 blog posts and make notes where I retraced my steps. There were things that I tried and ended up unravelling, since they didn’t work such as the off-graining. Finally, there are some things in sewing that you just learn with experience. After this project I am much better with heavy, drapey fabrics that I was before.

The previous posts in this series are:

1. Planning
2. Toile
3. Cutting and interfacing
4. Smooth seams and warmth
5. Collar, sleeves and the lining
6. Hemming, problems with the facing and the finishing touches.

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to subscribe to follow my blog! Warm thanks to all of you that have already subscribed! Happy sewing!

Katja

I am a mother of two. I sew, knit and create and blog about it.

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