Quart Coat: Autumn

Finally Autumn has arrived and I’ve jumped into coat making – Paulinealice Quart coat.

I hope you’ve already read Sewmanju’s Quart Coat review. Or maybe Claire’s review. There are a bunch of great Quart Coats around now. Beth’s reviews have lots of good.

Paulinealice Quart Coat is certainly distinctive and requires good sewing skills to achieve but she’s done the leg work with her pattern pieces (separate lining pieces with wiggle room) and since the Quart Coat was launched last year, Pauline has developed a few more distinct styles from this pattern.

Did you see her biker jacket version? She’s such a helpful designer that Pauline has posted a ‘how to‘ so you can create your own biker jacket version.

Pitt Trading

The first Autumn fabric haul at Pitt Trading was too good to ignore and coats are something I adore making because of the work that goes into them. Each coat extends my sewing skills – or at least that’s what motivates me to keep making coats and jackets. Thank you again Pitt Trading for these fabrics and notions.

If you’re looking at planning posts, Sewmanju, Claire and Beth have great posts to learn from.

Dualling coats

I did test this pattern on some navy wool fabric I purchased in New York two years ago. Let me clarify this. I wanted to test and practice bound buttonholes, the pleats, check the centre back seam and following the sleeve zipper instructions correctly on the real version. 

The test navy coat

I do make a lot of mistakes and my handy unpicker saved me on a number of occasions as I wanted to get the stitching right. Having a test coat prepped at the same time as the real coat let me relax a bit when I started working on the ‘real’ fabric. So I was sewing ‘in parallel’.

Once I had constructed the sleeves and bound buttonholes I got stuck into the real coat. The real fabric from Pitt Trading was much easier to work with. There are lines in the weave so I used this as an additional sewing guide.

Bound buttonholes
The technique Pauline suggests is easy to follow. You can make this coat without bound buttonholes but I decided to include these. After practising on the navy test version, my bound buttonholes became more accurate. Both fabrics had varying thicknesses and movement so when I sewed machine buttonholes on the epaulets, they were a welcome relief. Making bound buttonholes means I have to be accurate (#anxiety) and hand stitch them closed (#sorefingers). 

Swayback adjustment

On the pattern, the centre back is cut on the fold. To cater for my sway back, I’ve created a centre back seam to follow my curve ie no fabric pooling. Yay.


I love epaulets. I added a longer epaulet to the centre back waist as an additional military feature. Pauline suggests using the lining as the underside of the epaulets. I did this on the grey version but I used a lighter weight dark purple for the navy version.


On the test version, the pleats threw me. They have to point to the back so by the time I made them with the real fabric, they worked out.
The ironing press made these pleats a whole lot sharper. I’ll be using the old ironing press again for a future pleated project #hint.
As Beth did, I initially sewed the lining onto the pleats and then I took them off.

Petite change

The only change was to make the pocket bag shallower, but still keeping the bag part, if that makes sense. 
I left the coat length, sleeve length and collar width as is. When is frightfully cold, this coat style is going to come into it’s own. 

The main part I focused on was getting the shoulder positioning and kept the lengths as is.

Excuse my ‘zipper in sleeve’ joy.

Any jacket with zippers on the sleeves has me at ‘hello’. 
I collect unusual zippers and buckles because they can be difficult to get when you actually need them. These zips were just what I needed for the navy version.
Pitt Trading provided me with their zippers for the grey version.

Navy coat lining.

Lining and trims
Let’s just say, great colours under a dark cover keeps me motivated.

The fabric used for the grey version wasn’t lining fabric but when I saw it on the shop floor at Pitt Trading both Sylvia and I loved it as lining.


Pauline suggests interfacing the hems and this gives a much sharper finish. I know a good press at the dry cleaner will make this coat look less home made. 

Thank you Pitt Trading for providing the fabrics and notions for my grey coat. Their new website is being filled with fabric every week.
Pauline’s done it again with a lovely and unique coat pattern.

Vintage military – New Look 6214

Nothing to wear. Hardly. But what do you wear to a vintage show?

Yes, I bought fabric and buttons.
Sewhopefull made a gorgeous shirtmaker dress version from this fabric too. She has classic styling taste. I thought I bought this from Pitt Trading but Sylvia who was at the vintage fair said it wasn’t one of hers. Sewhopefull bought her fabric from Spotlight so that’s probably where I bought my fabric from too.
This is the New Look 6214 pattern pic.

I cut this dress out and fused it on Friday night, sewed it up and bought the buttons on Saturday and wore it on Sunday.

This is a simple shirtmaker dress. I kept adding military finishings to balance off the floral rose print. Love the buttons.

A back inverted pleat makes it easy/comfortable to wear.

This shows the waist carrier tabs and self-made belt.

The collar tab was a breeze to make. It was my third one in a week, so it should have been. See the shoulder epaulets? I know it’s not that clear in these pics.

And every seam is bound and gaged – sorry – french seams and bias binding have been used to finish each seam. This is a cotton woven so it’s going to crease but this print will hide that!

The vintage show made me realise while I enjoy drooling over vintage clothes, I prefer to use vintage styling when I sew and wear new clothes. It was a day of admiring past styles, reinventing classic designs and catching up over coffee and sushi with good friends.

m5525 – shoulder detailing

Epaulets and shoulder detailing makes a trench more trench worthy. And the options for finishing these did delay construction time.  There are no buttons on these epaulets because they don’t show up under the collar.

Then there’s the question – add shoulder pads? or not? Thankfully this pattern has set in sleeves so I added shoulder pads but the padding wasn’t the traditional shoulder pad shape.

I thought the shape similar to a sleeve head shape would work better because it’s more likely that I’ll be wearing this trench coat with work jackets that have shoulder pads. I thought I might look like I was becoming a gridiron football player, with 2 sets of shoulder pads by the time I put my trench coat on.

And I’m short so I’d look like the shortest gridiron player ever.

Oh, and I did add the right front shoulder detail although lots of trench coats have front detailing on both shoulders.
Go to Peggy Sagers webcast on Trench Coats Part II – Construction and Finishing for some good details on finishing your trench. She show you industry techniques.

These are the trenchcoat posts:
Trenchcoat sewing
Jalie 2680: city coat trench
McCalls 5525: single breast trench
McCalls 5525: a hood in the collar
McCalls 5525: pockets
McCalls 5525: shoulder detailing
McCalls 5525: bound buttonholes
McCalls 5525: belt carriers
McCalls 5525: finished