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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mans Dress Coat

I have the best husband in the world. He works hard and studies hard to provide for his family, is a ton of fun to be around, and totally supports me in my crafting. When I say totally, I mean 100%. He's encouraging, gives praise, brags about me to co- workers, even goes to Joann Fabric stores with me and picks out notions or stands in line to get fabric cut. What a stud! So, for his birthday today (happy birthday babe!) I wanted to make him something great to tell him thank you. I decided on a nice, handsome, coat. And, doesn't he just make it look great?

This was quite the project! Why are there not more patterns for men? I bought vogue 8720 (on sale for 3.99) since I liked the belt, the pockets and the bottom of the back. I also bought McCalls 6143 (on sale for 1.99) since I liked George Washingtons single button front and Abraham Lincolns collar and sleeve.
 I basted and pinned my mismatched pattern pieces to form a trial coat out of cheap muslin fabric, and once I embraced the learning process- I had a blast! I had my husband slip it on and I started scribbling all over it! I wrote Oops! Don't sew this. And, add seam allowance here. I drew arrows for a better pocket placement and lines to re shape the collar and arm attachments. I also had to change the shape and size of the arms, back and shoulders as my husband is apparently broader and stronger (and therefore, sexier) than both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

 I was more cautious when I cut and sewed the wool as it was 26 dollars a yard! (On sale for 40% off; I still spent 65.00 for his coat, plus 20.00 for the static free lining.) The past two days have been an ongoing cycle of pin, baste, try on, adjust and sew while our babe napped and slept into the late hours of the night. The two hardest elements for me were the pockets with a welt as I had never sewn one before, and the collar. The pockets I am satisfied with, even proud of, since I did eventually figure them out all on my own. The collar is my frienemy. (Friend/ enemy.) I think it looks good... It just isn't as sharp and crisp as I envisioned.
I realized somewhere in the middle of making the coat that I hadn't allowed for an over lap that would be necessary when adding buttons. Shoot! [Allow for a few seconds of panic, a few pessimistic I hate sewing phrases...] I found a solution! The end result helped with the over all fit of the coat as it added an inch to the width and looks really nice because of the top stitching. Since I think this will come in handy for future projects, I'm going to post a mini tutorial here.

All together, including the buttons, thread, and muslin (I used four yards of wool and lining) his coat cost less than 120$. I think that is great especially compared to this brown coat from Nordstrom originally priced at 595$ and currently on sale for $399!
Nordstroms Wool Coat


  1. Looks fabulous!!! That's a coat that will be worn and treasure for many years to come.

  2. Wow!!! You are amazing. I so admire anyone who can take on a huge project like that--and even combine two patterns! The coat looks wonderful. What a special thing for him to have!

    (and yay for husbands who encourage our crafting!)

    ♥ Bethany