The trench coat is one of my all time favourite jackets. The structure, the practicality and the fact they never seem to go out of style makes for a solid investment. I already own a vibrant coloured one (via Ezibuy, no longer stocked) that has been worn consistently every winter for the last seven years … and it’s still going strong.
So when I spotted the Robson Coat by Sewaholic, I just couldn’t say no.
I found some navy fabric (I think it was Raintex? That was too long ago) at a local fabric store that was sadly closing down and sourced the pattern from DressesandMe. If you’re in New Zealand and want to buy indie sewing patterns, this is THE place to go. Penny is super lovely to deal with, so if they don’t stock what you’re after, flick her a message and see what happens.
This is a great pattern to use with clear instructions and lots of illustrations (yay for visuals). The pattern is for a double breasted unlined jacket with front and back storm flaps, welt pockets, epaulettes and a tie belt. It uses princess seams on the front and a two part sleeve, both of which make the finished jacket look beautifully tailored.
I considered underlining this and using french seams, but yikes, that sounds intense for the first try! Instead I skipped the lining and just serged the seams instead of using the recommended bias tape. Much quicker and super easy.
- I lopped a whopping eight inches off the bottom because I like the shape and flare of a shorter coat.
- A 1cm sway-back adjustment. While I can’t tell what difference it’s made, I like the shape so no harm done.
- Lifted the pockets by an inch, based on reviews by other bloggers and this was definitely a good move. Actually, I lifted them by two inches in the beginning, but that was overkill, so I had to unpick them and start over. One inch is perfect (I’m 170cm).
Things I’d Do Differently:
- I am having issues with the front flaps and they won’t sit flat. I think I’ll add some hand stitches to help it stay in place, but next time I’ll try the fix suggested by Purls and Pleats.
- I don’t think the collar needs as much interfacing as the pattern says either. It’s unnecessarily stiff, so next time I’ll leave the interfacing off the collar top and only put it on the bottom pieces.
- When ironing the fabric, I inadvertently melted the fabric in two places while pressing seams, despite the low heat. Argh! Rookie mistake. By placing a tea towel between the fabric and the iron, the heat was diffused and the fabric protected. I highly recommend doing that right from the beginning if you have a heat delicate fabric e.g. Nylon.
- There is a lot of ease in this pattern and I’m considering going down a size next time. My measurements put me in three size categories, but because I was a size 8 in the Sewaholic Saltspring dress, I chose that. It’s generally a good fit, but the underarm area is very spacious and the sleeves are wider than I’d prefer. While you generally want coats roomy enough for all those winter layers, our winters are mild and I prefer a snug fit. Just personal preference and if you have harsh winters, you’ll appreciate the ease.
Despite my tweaks and preferences, this really is a great little pattern and one I’m so pleased to have in the stash. It’s got everything I love about a good trench coat and the classic style means it should be useful for many more years. Totally recommend it to anyone on the fence about it!
Wouldn’t it look awesome in a vibrant, fun colour to chase away any dreary weather moods? Mmmm, yes please.
I am working through the Robson now. I appreciate your take on the project. Your blog is clean and uncluttered too. Good job on both fronts. I chose to underline mine which is proving to be good experience.
Thanks Lyric Joy. I love this jacket and it’s one I wear a lot. Underlining it is a great idea and will no doubt be worth the effort. I hope you’ve chosen a fun fabric for it 🙂
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