My October Minerva Make – Sewaholic Robson Coat
I MADE A COAT!
This is the Sewaholic Robson Trench coat, which I have wanted to make ever since the pattern was released. The pattern was kindly given to me by Simona in a pattern swap, and the fabric and notions were supplied by Minerva Crafts. I chose a navy polka dot cotton canvas for the coat, and contrasting red buttons, red binding and red topstitching. The canvas was a great choice for this coat – easy to work with but reassuringly weighty. The fabric is only 45″ wide, so I ordered a whopping 6m, and used approximately 5.5m of it.
It took me about three weeks to make the coat, which is a long time by my standards. There are a lot of pattern pieces – I think I had to cut out 29 pieces of fabric! Just cutting the pattern and then the fabric and interfacing took me about five hours and I used two entire boxes of pins!
I made some changes to the pattern:
- A lot of people in the sewing blogging community have made this coat, and on the majority of them I observed that the front storm flaps stuck out a lot, so I altered the pattern piece to take out some of that excess fabric, otherwise the flaps would have really annoyed me.
- I underlined the sleeves (the lining fabric was from Leicester market and not supplied by Minerva). I wanted the coat to slip on easily over whatever I wear.
- I cut the interfacing so that it didn’t extend into the seam allowances around the collar. I knew from having made shirts before that attaching the collar was going to get tricky, especially with such a thick fabric, so I wanted to reduce bulk wherever possible.
- I bound my raw edges by sewing one side first and then the other, rather than folding it and sewing both sides in one go. It took longer, but was easier to control and the results are better. Incidentally, I ordered 15m of bias binding, and it was enough! The pattern envelope calls for 12 yards, but I noticed a few bloggers saying they ran out, so I wanted to be sure I’d have enough.
- I added a fourth button hole on the right front to match the left front because I’m a Libran and everything has to balance!
The construction of the coat, although time consuming, was not actually any more difficult than making a shirt. Sewaholic patterns have always been amongst my favourites because Tasia’s instructions are so clear, and this pattern did not disappoint. Part of what took so long in the making of this coat was the constant changing of threads: I had red topstitching thread, normal red thread for attaching the bias binding, and navy thread for actually putting the coat together. I also had different machine settings for my topstitching (higher tension, longer stitch length), so I had to remember to change the settings, too.
I am really pleased with the finished garment. The length is perfect for me. It feels quite roomy, but it doesn’t look it on the photos so I think that’s a good thing. The only thing I’m not sure about is the length of the sleeves – I’m not sure if they’re a bit too long. If I decide they are, they certainly wouldn’t take long to alter, anyway.
This coat wouldn’t be much use in the rain, but for dry days it’s brilliant. It’s the kind of coat that if I saw someone else wearing it, I’d be all :”Ooh! I love that coat! Where is it from?”. I’m really proud of it.