The snake print trench coat is finally finished! Actually, it didn’t take as long as I had imagined, at least once all the pieces were cut out. Although this is probably the most complicated pattern I have used so far, just because it has so many small detail pieces:
Although I made the pattern from the January 2006 issue, I was actually inspired by the photo in the February 2006 BWOF:
|My inspiration: BWOF 02-2006-110A|
Although the print on my coat is not quite as distinctive as the fabric used by Burda, I am pretty happy with my results:
|Front without belt tie|
And here is my official pattern review:
Pattern Description: Classic double breasted trench coat with raglan sleeves, welt pockets, flap pockets, flap and tab details, and tie belt.
Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 38-44. I made a straight size 40 with no alterations.
Were the instructions easy to follow? For the most part yes, although I don’t usually have as much trouble with Burda instructions as a lot of other people. A few things though: (1) It took me a while to figure out how the collar and collar stand attached. The side with the notch marks attaches to the facings and the plain side attaches to the collar. (2) Attaching all the pockets takes a long time. I followed Burda’s instructions for the welt pocket and then pretty much make the flap pockets exactly the same way. Overall they turned out ok, though I accidentally cut a little too much past one of the welts. Because of the print fabric it isn’t too noticeable, but it would have been if I had made it in a more solid color. With the pockets I was debating how much of a seam allowance Burda had included, because it sure wasn’t 5/8″. I think their seam allowances are the distance between the sewing line and the cutting line for the pockets. (3) I did follow the instructions, but I made almost everything out of order. I made the lining first, and then I made all of the detail pieces so I could just attach them once I got to that step of the instructions. This word out very well because I did all of the sewing, then all the topstitching, then button-hole making so everything was very uniform and I didn’t have to keep changing thread and settings on my machine. (4) The instructions never tell you to topstitch around the collar and down the front of the coat, although it is clearly shown in the line drawing. I did that step after attaching the lining, before doing the large buttonholes.
Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it? Yes, I think it mostly did. Since I used a print it is a bit more difficult to see all of the details, but then it also hides some of my mistakes.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Likes: I really like the style of this coat. It feels very classic – like a trench coat from an old detective movie. As always, I love the Burda drafting – the fit is top notch. I have to make so many adjustments with envelope patterns, but Burda patterns just fit so well without any changes. Surprisingly, I actually like all of the details. I had not previously considered myself a fan of shoulder tabs or flap pockets, but in this instance I really like all the extra touches. I like the raglan sleeves – I think the style looks good on me and it was very easy to sew together. The sleeves are quite roomy, so I had plenty of room for underlining and interlining them. I also like that this pattern has a collar stand, despite it being confusing to sew, as I think it gives necessary structure to the collar. Also, since this is intended to be not too fitted and then tied with the belt I did not have to make my usual swayback adjustments. Dislikes: I don’t really have any dislikes other that that it took forever to cut out all the pieces for this pattern. Also, I will say, that before I added the buttons it was feeling a little too much like a bathrobe to me, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. After adding the buttons to the front I really loved the end result. As far as my project goes, I am a little sad over some mistakes by one of the welt pockets (I cut a little too much), and I wish my machine was a little happier dealing with topstitch thread or had a nicer three-step straight stitch, but that isn’t really a reflection on the pattern.
Fabric used: The snake print is a polyester microsuede from Joann. It was surprisingly easy to press and sew. It washes like a dream and overall behaves itself marvelously well. Much better than I expected. I underlined all of the major coat pieces with cotton muslin, to help the suede have a bit more substantial look and drape. I used fusible interfacing for the detail pieces, collar, and facings. The lining is a polyester charmeuse from Michael Levine’s online store, and it is interlined completely with cotton flannel for warmth. I love the charmeuse/flannel combo – it is so cozy!
Pattern alterations or design changes you made: No major changes. I did not interface the front pieces because I wanted the coat to have a more drapey feel to it. I think the muslin underlining helped to provide a little extra structure though. I also did not have as large an ease-pleat in the lining as suggested as I accidentally cut it just a little bit too small.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I think I might sew this again in a solid color fabric so that the details are more obvious, although I probably won’t be making it for quite some time. I would recommend this pattern to others – since it has a nice amount of ease it will probably be easy to fit for most people. I think the style is very classic and would be a great addition to a fall wardrobe.
Conclusion: Overall this is a really great pattern! For the most part the coat is fairly simple to sew together, although it does take a long time to cut everything and there is a lot to keep track of. The most difficult part is the pockets, followed by the collar. I would say it is a great coat pattern for an intermediate seamstress. I think the details and the somewhat spotty directions may be a bit frustrating for a beginner, though I think a really ambitious beginner with some sewing experience could make this coat if they don’t get discouraged too easily. I think it is helpful to have some experience with other Burda magazine patterns though – you have to be very careful about the extra pieces that aren’t included on the pattern sheet as some of them include allowances and some don’t. Overall though I would say this is a great pattern with lovely details that would be a great addition to any wardrobe.