Pattern Review: Butterick 5295

One of my goals for this blog is to post about all of my sewing projects.  Since I have only been sewing for a short time, I think it should be possible to post about the projects I made last year, as the quantity was far fewer than what I have been attempting this year.  And, as a continuation from the previous post, I thought I would show off the first coat I ever made, Butterick 5295.

Butterick 5295

Before last winter (October 2010), I was really only interested in sewing skating dresses and costumes.  However, after losing the sewing mojo for a bit, I decided I wanted to make something really great that I could wear out on a regular basis.  And, after losing weight, I was sorely lacking a decently fitting coat.  Aside from being the first “normal” clothing piece I made (aside from a few things for my sister), this was also the first time I was really interested in correcting the fit of the garment.  I used Claire Schaffer’s High Fashion Sewing Secrets and The Perfect Fit to help me enter the world of non-costume garment sewing.  Despite the mistakes and issues, overall it was a fairly successful project and I am still pleased with the results as a first attempt.  The coat took me about 2 months to make; I finished it during the first week of December 2010.

My first coat!

The fabric was some sort of synthetic/metallic houndstooth blend on sale from JoAnn.  I decided to make this shortly after Mondo had lost Project Runway, and the combination of houndstooth and sparkly seemed like a fabric of which he would approve.  I also grabbed some poly charmeuse to use as lining; this was in a time before I had much of a fabric stash.  I bought everything at JoAnn in one shot because I wanted to make a coat and I didn’t want to wait.  The total cost came in under $50 though, despite my lack of planning and sales tracking.

Crazy colorful lining!

I love the back of this coat – it is what sold me on the pattern in the first place.

The back – love the shaping with the darts.

I didn’t really like the patch pockets, so I changed them.  I used the Schaffer book to add double welt pockets instead…

My very small pockets.
And my buttons.

So, as you can see, the first coat project was, overall, much better than the second coat project.  I am just now starting on a third coat project (I know, I know – in the middle of summer?  When it is 110 outside? But it is for my sister who will be away in the coming year, so I really do need to make this now), so hopefully I can use what I learned from the previous two projects – muslin first!  Use good quality materials!  Don’t use bad interfacing!  Use real silk organza as underlining!  Press, press, press!  But make sure to use a press cloth.  And make sure to use distilled water in the iron.

Now, the official pattern review:

Pattern Description: Lined, semi-fitted knee length coat with buttons and pockets.  View A: notched collar.  View B: shawl collar with cuffs.  I made view B, but I changed the pockets.  Sadly, this pattern is now OOP.

Pattern Sizing: (8-10-12-14) and (16-18-20-22-24).  I made a size 12 based on the upper bust, but I graded out around the hips/thighs to more of a size 16 (which wasn’t included in the envelope, so I guessed a bit).

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Yes!  I had never made anything so complicated as a coat before, but I was able to figure out the construction using only the included instructions.  I did use supplemental books to help with fit and design changes, however.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the envelop once you were done with it? Yes, I think so.  I did change the pockets, but the overall shape and collar did turn out like the picture.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I really like the design of this pattern.  The fitted shape with the darts is really what drew me to the pattern in the first place, and I am very happy with the end result.  I also like the collar options, and the cuffs.  When I first made it, I wasn’t too excited by the patch pockets, so I changed them, although I would consider using them in the future.  Also, I like that the pattern seemed to run pretty true to size.  I used a 12 based on upper bust measurement, and it worked well.  Overall I really like the pattern, can’t think of any major dislikes.
Fabric used: Some sort of synthetic/metallic blend?  This was before I started really looking at fiber content.  Probably a polyester/metallic as it is from JoAnn.  I used polyester charmeuse for the lining.  I also used cotton muslin for an underlining, and some not so good Pellon interfacing on the collar and cuffs.  Other than the Pellon, I like the materials I used.  The metallic didn’t press super well, but it was better than I had hoped it would be.  This coat is really great though – because of the extra cotton layer, it is nice and warm in windy weather, but not too hot to wear when it is only mildly cool.  The only sad thing is about the Pellon starting to bubble after one wear.  Urg.  Learned my lesson right quick – don’t use the cheap interfacing.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  This was the first pattern where I really thought about alterations for the sake of fit.  I tissue fit the pattern, and made an FBA (with a dart) and increased the length by 2″ above the waist.  I also increased the upper arm circumference, since I have slightly large upper arms.  I was also stubbornly dead set against shoulder pads at the time (that was silly of me, I know, but I was just growing out of my “I don’t need interfacing” phase, so we can’t expect too much) so the sleeve openings were too low.  I added gussets so that I could move my arms.  Also, I had been reading Claire Schaffer’s High Fashion Sewing Secrets, and so I used her technique for double welt skirt pockets, bound buttonholes, and adding extra interfacing to the jacket top front and back.  I am pretty pleased with the welt pockets, but not quite as happy with the buttonholes.  If I were going to make this again I would include the shoulder pads so that the arms would fit correctly.  I would also increase the back width just slightly, since it pulls a bit tight when I move my arms forward.
Would you sew it again?  Would you recommend it to others?  I think I would sew this again, but probably not for a long while.  It is a very distinctive shape and style, which I love, but I want to try other coat patterns in the near future.  I would highly recommend this pattern however, it creates a great hourglass silhouette and is not too difficult, even for a beginner.
Conclusion:  Really like this pattern.  If I make it again, I will have to do some minor alterations, but overall I like the fit and the shape.  This is the first non-costume garment I made, so I really like the fact that I could wear it and show it off.  Also, this project is really what started my interest in learning more about techniques and quality in my sewing, so for that reason it is also a sentimental favorite.
So there it is.  Butterick 5295, my first non-costume project!  I still have a few dresses, some costumes, and a top in my backlog of projects to show off, as well as my skating costumes for this year.  Hopefully some more skating posts coming up as well, 
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3 thoughts on “Pattern Review: Butterick 5295

  1. I just bought this pattern and am so excited to see that you've made and reviewed it! Your coat is gorgeous. I really fell in love with the slender lines of the coat, but also have NO intention of using the large patch pockets. They just look too….1970's for me. I have a difficult time finding coats that fit off the rack, and with their cost, to add tailoring fees to one is just to prohibitive. I'd rather make my own. Never made a coat before, just historically based clothing but I am optimistic!

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  2. I am sure you can make a coat! This was my first coat – I think the pattern was quite good, and I also loved the lines in the back. Patch pockets make me feel like I am wearing a lab coat… I always think I might use them, but then I aways do inseam or welt pockets instead.

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