Robson Coat

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.

Robson Coat |

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.

Robson Coat |

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.

Robson Coat |

My Tweaks:

  • 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.

Robson Coat |

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.

Winter is here

It seems winter has arrived in NZ!

That’s right, we have snow on the nearby hills. So while other parts of the country are without electricity, are facing floods or trapped by snow, we have escaped with merely a snowy view and chilly temperatures. We are the lucky ones. Continue reading

Refashion Fail

*sigh*.  Well, another valuable sewing lesson learned.  Fortunately (or should that be unfortunately?), the only thing lost was my time and a little sanity.

The idea was to take an old pair of Hubby’s pants and by keeping the existing fly and button, create a cool pair of pants for our Little Man.  Would’ve been a quick way to convert pants, that’s for sure.

The problem is, that the fly required for a grown man is, quite obviously, larger than that required by a 2 year old.  Duh.  So the finished product was hugely bulky in the crotch and made my gorgeous toddler look … um, let’s just say, extremely well endowed.  It was weird.

The other issue was that I had to force Little Man into them so many times to try get the right fit, that now whenever he sees them, a look of sheer determination comes over his face and there is no chance of me ever getting him into them again.  Hence the photo of the pants lying flat rather than lovingly modeled.

So I’m totally over these pants.  Don’t want to look at them ever again.  Hello rubbish bin.

However, This Mama Makes Stuff has a fantastic tutorial (intermediate level) in making slim slacks for boys and she gets around that crotch issue well.  It does involve recreating the pants a little more than I had hoped, but the end result is totally wearable so well worth the extra time.

I haven’t made these yet, but next time I refashion pants for my lad, this will be my go-to.