I made this coat last fall for my daughter, and it is literally her favorite thing. She watched me while I was sewing, and every time I paused to adjust or think, she'd chime out, "Is my very special coat done?" She wore it every day through winter, and now that I've hung it up for summer, she still asks me to take it down for her now and then.
Emmie's coat was a huge blessing for us! I made it at a time when she had nothing warm for winter, our bank account was drained, and the weather was getting colder. I remember praying, "I have nothing. I can't buy her a coat," and then (maybe a little too whiny), "Why do I pay tithing? I could've bought a really nice coat, but now I can't and I have nothing to give her." I felt the spirit remind me, "No, you don't have nothing. What DO you have?" I thought about the bolt of nice wool felt that had been donated to the Scrap Box and I bought for next to nothing a few months ago. I also had some quilt batting from when they cleaned out the relief society closet, and I had some cute yellow fabric that I had been saving for something special. I had absolutely no idea how to sew a coat. But I felt inspired that if I would start with what I DID know, God would help me fill in the blank spaces.
I honestly can't believe how well it turned out! And Emmie loves it even more, knowing that her mom made it especially for her.
- Quilted interior
- Large hood
- Wide sleeves (for layering a sweater beneath)
- Classy and sweet pleats
- Grow-into-size. I designed it to fit up to a size 5, but still look nice on a 3T. I just roll her sleeves until she grows into them.
1. Gather your supplies
2. Download, print, tape, and cut the pattern.
You'll need to tape it together before cutting it out. Follow the instructions on the first page of the pattern.
3. Pin and cut your fabric
Use the pictures above as a suggestion. Note that the skirt and hood pieces are shorter on the lining and batting, while the sleeves are longer on just the lining.
SUPER IMPORTANT : When you cut out the batting, cut each piece at least at least one inch larger than the pattern all the way around.
Mark where the pleats are located on the skirt pieces.
4. Pin each batting piece to the back-side of each coordinating lining piece.
5. Sew around the perimeter of the lining pieces.
Get as close as you can to the edge without going over, always keeping a seam allowance smaller than half an inch. This is going to keep your batting flat and in place while you piece together the coat. Note that when you are sewing the batting to the sleeve pieces, the batting is shorter than the lining. At that place, sew along the edge of the batting instead of the lining.
6. Trim off all the excess batting
7. Time to quilt it!
Sew several straight vertical lines an equal distance apart on top of the lining fabric, then repeat with horizontal lines. Start with a vertical line down the center of each piece to keep your quilting pattern centered. I taped a strip of paper about an inch and a half long to my presser foot, to help me keep my lines straight and spaced equally.
Don't quilt on the bottom of the sleeve pieces where the batting is shorter.
8. Add a cute tag (optional)
I did this step later, but it will be easiest if you do it now. First I designed a little tag with the words
“You make my heart so happy” (that’s mine and Emmie’s phrase). Then I wrapped some fabric around a piece of paper, taped it, and printed my design right onto the paper. You can google better ways to print on fabric, but after some trial and error, this way worked for me. Sew your tag onto your bod-ice back piece.
9. Assemble the three bodice pieces
Place the "bodice back" piece face up, and put the two "bodice font" piece face down, overlapping slightly as shown. Pin and sew four lines: at the shoulders and under the arm holes (shown with red lines in the picture). Use a half inch seam allowance.
10. Sew the sleeves
Fold each sleeve piece in half long-wise and sew along the red line in the picture.
11. Attach the sleeves to the bodice
Turn the sleeves right-side-out. Slide them into the bodice and up to the arm holes, lining up the top and bottom corners to the top and bottom corners on the arm holes (pic 1). Open the sleeve up and pin the edge of the sleeve all the way around the arm holes (pic 2). Sew in place (pic 3). Trim around your seam with pinking shears (pic 4).
12. Sew pleats in the three coat skirt pieces
Find the marks for your pleats on your skirt pieces. Fold the skirt piece between the two marks so they are lined up, and the batting is on the inside. Pin and sew a straight seam about an inch down along the mark (as shown by the red line, pic 2). Lay the skirt piece flat, and press the pleat down in the middle with your finger. Secure with a stitch close to the edge (shown with the red line, pic 3). Repeat with all four pleats (two on the back piece, one on each front piece).
When you repeat this step with the outer fabric later, you should fold it with the right side of the fabric inside instead, so the pleat will face the opposite direction.
13. Sew the skirt pieces together
With right sides together, place one skirt front piece on top of the skirt back piece and sew along the side (shown with the red line). Repeat with the other front piece.
14. Attach the skirt to the bodice
Open the bodice and lay it down flat. With right sides together, place the skirt on the bodice, so the top edge of the skirt lines up with the bottom edge of the bodice. Sew them together as shown by the red line.
15. Assemble the three hood pieces
With right sides together, pin and sew the long edge of the hood center piece to the curved "back of head" edge of a hood side piece. Repeat with the other hood side piece on the other long edge of the center piece.
16. Repeat steps 9-15 with the outer fabric
17. Sew the outer and lining hoods together
Turn the outer hood right side out, and the lining hood inside out and set the lining hood in the cup of the outer hood. The patterned lining should be visible. Line the straight, bottom (shoulder) edges up as well as you can. The outer hood should extend about 2 1/2 inches around the sides and top (So sorry I don’t have a picture of this).
Fold about 1/2 inch down all the way around the outer fabric and iron to keep it in place. Then fold the remaining 2 inches of outer fabric down over the lining fabric. Iron and pin. Sew around the edge you’ve just folded with a wide seam allowance. You should now have a complete hood!
18. Place the outer coat and lining coat together
Turn the outer coat right side out and the lining coat inside out. Put the outer coat inside the lining coat, pulling the sleeves through, and lining up all the edges and seams. Remember that the outer coat will be about 2 1/2 inches longer at the bottom and 2 1/2 inches shorter at the sleeves.
19. Place the hood in between the outer and lining layers
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good picture of this step, so I’ll try to explain as well as I can. Open the hood up a bit, so the straight (shoulder) part lays flat. Place the hood in between the outer and lining layers of the coat with the lining side of the hood facing the lining of the coat, and the outer side of the hood facing the outer side of the coat. The straight (shoulder) edge of the hood should be up, and the curvy top of the hood should be downward. Center the hood along the top edge of the coat, aligning the hood edge with the coat’s top edge. Make sure all the seams on the lining and outer coats are still lined up and pin all around the edge, especially where you’ve put the hood.
Turn it out through the open bottom. Make sure to turn the sleeves as well, and tuck them back into each other. Iron the seam you sewed in the last step and secure with a topstitch. Next, line up the lining and outer shoulder seams exactly. Pin in place, then sew a topstitch along the seam (shown in red) to keep it all in place.
21. Turn, iron, and topstitch
Turn the coat right side out through the open bottom. Make sure to turn the sleeves as well, and tuck them back into each other. Iron the seam you sewed in the last step and secure with a topstitch. Next, line up the lining and outer shoulder seams exactly. Pin in place, then sew a topstitch along the seam (shown in red) to keep it all in place.
Fold about 1/2 inch up on the bottom and edges of the outer fabric that’s extended at the bottom of the coat and iron to keep it in place. Then fold the remaining 2 inches of outer fabric up over the lining fabric. Iron and pin. Sew around the edge you’ve just folded with a wide seam allowance.
23. Cuff the sleeves
Fold about 1/2 inch of lining fabric up on the end of the sleeves and iron to keep it in place. Then fold the remaining 2 inches of lining fabric up over the outer fabric. Iron and pin. Hand sew an invisible stitch to secure the top of the cuff to the sleeve. Or just hand sew a topstitch if the invisible stitch is too tricky.
24. Add buttons
(I don’t have any pictures for this part… But I believe in you!) Now you can add your buttons! Be-cause the coat was so thick, I didn’t think my machine could handle a traditional button-hole. So I decided to make loops. I cut a long, thin rectangle, and folded the sides in, folded in half skinny-way again (like double fold bias tape), and secured with a topstitch. I marked where I wanted my loops on the coat, and attached them with a few good stitches. Then I cut out 4 U shaped pieces of leather and hand sewed them to the coat. The buttons I had didn’t match the coat, so I wrapped a circle of fabric around them and used a gather stitch to secure the fabric around to the backside of the buttons before sewing them on by hand.