Another Winter Jacket Project

By Tiffany - Sunday, November 16, 2014

I'm sewing another winter jacket project. Well, actually more of a coat. It's going to be a wool coat for my Mother-in-Law as a Christmas gift. So, I'm tackling a bunch of new challenges at once: sewing for someone else, sewing plus sizes, and sewing with wool.

Of course, first we had to choose a style. My MIL really loves raglan sleeves and I think wants to look like a tent. I joke, but the look she really likes are probably best represented by 1950s swing coats and opera coats. I think the issues are that she never had a coat that actually fit her (like most of us) and that she has body issues (like most of us). So, I persuaded her try a coat that fits (but is not too 'fitted') first.

"Excuse me, tent coming through."
So, my MIL is in the 'plus size' range. I already know how ridiculous that is, since I myself are at the top end of the 'regular size' range and I'm not very big. Thanks to the collection of Burdastyle magazines, I had a lot of patterns to pick through.

Unfortunately, none of the patterns were quite right. There was this raglan sleeve 'bubble' coat pattern (Burdastyle 04/2014 #130):

But, the bubble is almost as bad as a tent, so no dice. I think you would have to be pretty tall to pull off this look.

What we were really looking for, is something more like the raglan sleeve coat I had tried for my winter jacket (Simplicity 2149). Unfortunately, I only have it in small sizes.

To make that pattern, I turned to a dress pattern I had. This dress pattern is a lot like a raglan sleeve sloper (Burdastyle 08/2014 #142).

To turn it into something resembling the coat pattern we wanted, I first added ease to all of the pieces, so they were the right (hopefully) size for a jacket. I aimed for 3" of ease in the bust and 5-6" in the waist and hips. And added 2.5" to the sleeve widths. Below is the original front piece, which I slashed and spread to the right size.

I then re-traced the new front and did the same with the back. Using my new front piece, I eliminated the bodice darts and created a princess seam (this post by ikatbag was very helpful). I positioned the princess seam about 1" to the outside if the original bodice dart for styling. I also added fabric along the center front for a button band.

I stole the collar from Burdastyle Plus Special 2/2014 #405 short coat. It's a really nice asymmetrical collar. I shortened it's height and made it the right length to fit the neckline.

Whew! I've made up a test coat, but I'll save that for another post.

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