I’m a bit of a coat junkie, but I rarely actually follow through on my coat cravings because I commute by scooter, so every day I wear my motorcycle jacket. When I saw the Sewaholic Robson Trench Coat pattern, there was no question, I had to buy it and make myself a trench coat. And I happened to have the all the needed fabric, underlining, and bias tape in my stash!
I don’t know anything about this fabric other than I bought it on sale quite a while ago, it’s a navy blue of something synthetic that sloughs water, and it has silver paint dots all over it. It has almost no drape which gives great structure for the collar. However, it wasn’t easy to work with the painted fabric. I put together a post of hints for working with heavily embellished fabrics based on my experiences with this fabric.
Because the blue fabric doesn’t drape, I ended up taking out many inches at the bottom of the coat, divided across a few seams. Instead of a nicely draping skirt (as intended), my stiff fabric gave a giant garbage-bag looking puff. Unfortunately, I discovered this after having bound the seams, sewn the seams together, and topstitched both sides down. So, a lot of seam ripping went into getting this coat to be the best shape for the fabric. But, it was totally worth it.
I didn’t get the fit perfect on this coat, unfortunately. The bust waist and hips were spot on as I am a pear shape, but I didn’t account for my strong shoulders. It looks beautiful if I stand perfectly still, but if I move around, you can see that it pulls across my shoulders a bit. Oops. It’s totally wearable but not totally perfect, which is a bummer for how much time and energy I put into this coat. The fact that the fabric doesn’t drape at all doesn’t help to hid the fit flaw.
My favorite feature about this coat is the ability to add a crazy underlining. You may think the jacket is all staid and conservative from the outside (well, aside from the silver polka-dots), but it’s got crazy bright colors going on inside! I had this mid-weight synthetic chinese brocade in my stash from the Punjabi market years and years ago. I slightly modified the construction instructions so that I could have the underlining show off to the best of its advantage and install in the easiest way possible. I’ll have a post tomorrow detailing what I did. All of the bias tape was also in my stash, thanks to a recent acquisition from my grandmother. The many yards of bias tape were surprisingly easy and quick to install using my bias binding foot.
I really wanted to take pictures on the top of Diamond Heights with the beautiful SF city view behind me. But the wind picked up and made it uncomfortable, so we went further down the hill instead. The trench did turn out to be the perfect weight for keeping me comfortable in the wind, so it’s already proved itself in action!
If this coat inspires you to make your own similar version, I have some tutorials to help!
Learn how to use a bias binding foot.
Learn how to work with heavily embellished fabric.
Learn how to underline the Sewaholic Robson coat.