For quite a while now I’ve wanted a classic beige trench coat. Every now & then I’ll be getting dressed & think, a classic beige trench coat would be perfect right now. Then I’m disappointed because I don’t have one. I end up getting dressed, thinking, I’d love a coat just like this one:
Or this one:
18 months ago I even bought some fabric that would be perfect for a trench coat while I was in Shenzhen. And then I spent ages tracking down a pattern, (it’s ridiculous how hard it is to get a pattern for a classic trench coat), until my friend Anna came to the rescue with Simplicity 4084. But then I totally wimped out and didn’t do anything with it. For some reason I had this mental barrier to sewing a trench coat. It was totally stupid I know. I’ve made heaps of coats & jackets before, even a Chanel style jacket. I made my own wedding dress, why on earth would I be afraid of a trench coat?
I decided enough was enough, it was time to face my fears & make a trench coat.
All in all, I’m REALLY happy with how it turned out. It’s exactly what I wanted. I went to quite a bit of effort to make this jacket. I used a proper top stitch thread for all the detailing & I’m so glad I did, it made the world of difference.
The annoying thing about the top stitch thread is that, because it’s so much thicker than normal thread, it requires a different needle & totally different tension settings on my machine. It got really annoying sewing a seam & then having to re-calibrate everthing just to top stitch a small item (like the pockets) before going back to normal sewing. In the end I set up both my machines on the dining room table, one with the top stitch thread, on with the normal thread. Having two machines set up made it so much easier & faster to sew the jacket.
I got the buttons from Buttonmania in the city & the buckles from Darn Cheap Fabrics. The lining (which I love!) was from the sale table at Spotlight.
The one part of this coat that drove me crazy was the sleeves. Setting in the sleeves was a total pain. Normally I have no problems setting in the sleeves by hand, I match seam line to seam line & manipulate the fabric with my fingers to account for the difference in lengths at the selvage, (I don’t like the term ease, because it implies that the sleeve head is larger than the armhole & that isn’t always the case). For this coat I found that method to be very difficult. The pattern suggests to gather the sleeve head but I really don’t like this method as it as always resulted in puckers at the shoulders for me. I eventually got the sleeves in though it did take me 30mins per seam!
Turns out, after all that fuss & bother I had nothing to fear. I reckon I’m pretty good at trench coats.