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Sewing Workshop Soho Coat

March 15th, 2008
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This is a pattern I’ve eyed for a long, long time. I bought it a year or so ago, and ordered some rainwear silk from Denver Fabrics.



When the fabric arrived, I was surprised to discover that it was coated on the wrong side (hence, I suppose, the “rainwear” designation). (I was happy with Denver Fabrics’ service, but do wish their descriptions were a little more complete.) The urethane-like coating was a bit ‘sticky’ and wasn’t going to be nice to wear, so I was going to have to line the coat.

The whole point of using silk was to keep the coat as filmy and light as possible. When my mother-in-law and I went on an excursion to Field’s Fabrics, I found a delicate, light polyester called (I think) “crepe de silk”. I took it back to my in-laws, and encamped in my mother-in-law’s sewing room for nearly a week, during which I produced this:


The pattern was easy to cut, and the directions were very clear. I made life much more complicated by lining the coat, and it took at least twice as long to make because of it, but the result was excellent just the same. I love, love, love the lines of this coat, and that fabulous hem. It looks wonderful on, and feels marvelous to wear. On my body, it looks exactly like the sketch on the pattern envelope.

These photos don’t do it justice, but I’m not ready to appear in person, so we’ll just have to make do with these. Here’s the back:


The hood is cut all-in-one with the body (fun construction!), and forms that wonderful collar in the front. It lies nice and flat in the back (at least when it’s not wrinkled from a recent trip to the city), looking great when you’re walking away, too.


Naturally, I goofed up a couple of things. I altered the length above and below the belt, and in the process got the pockets slightly misplaced. There’s nothing particularly wrong with that; they just don’t look exactly as they do on the pattern envelope. In the end, I think I placed the belt a little low. When I make it again (and I will!), I’ll raise it a little.

Because I could, I added two pockets inside the coat, in the lining, and gave them zipper closures. (I do like me a couple of security pockets!)


The lining fabric turned out to be exactly what I needed (thank you, great Field’s consultants!). It’s so lightweight that the ‘silk-ness’ of the coat doesn’t seem much compromised. Lined, my coat is reversible, unless you mind seeing my ‘mark’ on the outside (that yellow tag).

The silk is interesting; when it gets wet, huge, terrible blotches break out all over, as if I’ve spilled my lunch everywhere. Then they dry almost instantly. A peculiar effect, but not at all bothersome once you’re used to it. And, oh, yes, it wrinkles like crazy where I sit on the skirt (or lean on the hood). This doesn’t bother me a bit; I rather like the wrinkly mess natural fabrics become. They look real!

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  1. November 16th, 2008 at 23:08 | #1

    Hi, Julia — I’m going to have to take a look at my coat, which I can’t do just at the moment, to make sure that what I’m telling you is accurate, but here’s my best recollection: I think I used a very light interfacing only for the outer coat (that is, the brown silk), and just essentially made a second coat for the lining (no interfacing at all for the lining).

    I eliminated the hems and facings for the lining, so it just went to the edges of the outer coat; the outer facings and hems folded over, enclosing the lining. Top-stitching and edge-stitching kept it all in place.

    I was very happy with the result (and still am!). This is one of my favorite coats, and it still feels terrific every time I wear it. Doing the lining was more time and effort, as you note, but I can honestly say that I’ve gotten pleasure way out of proportion to the effort expended. Good luck with yours!

  2. November 16th, 2008 at 08:32 | #2

    Noile–I’m contemplating making (and lining) this coat and have been reading your review at PatternReview.com and here. Thanks! Would you tell me whether you simply underlined each piece, or did some more complex approach to lining, and whether you were satisfied with your method? I can tell it added time and labor, which is to be expected, but yours is certainly beautiful!

    If possible, please reply to my email address. Thanks much!

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