The new coat begins!

I finally have all my parts to begin construction on a new wool coat.

I am excited to jump in and just start cutting, but because I am 63 and no longer very aware of my body shape… I will start with a muslin, to get the right fit, before I cut the pattern out or take scissors to Wool.Β  I can’t remember the last time I made clothes for myself.Β  Perhaps it was as far back as my wedding dress?


I was very excited to be able to order my wool Melton from Mood Fabrics with a discount of 60% off!Β  Otherwise the fabric alone would have set me back over $150.00.

I will begin the measurement taking and start the muslin process on Friday.


Do you sew?

If so, do you make a muslin first or just dive right in?




34 thoughts on “The new coat begins!

  1. katechiconi says:

    Normally, I just dive in, but I’m working with cotton and the things I make aren’t so fit-critical. For this, I’d make a muslin, and I’d use something substantial to imitate the way the wool will hang. I might even use a cheaper wool/polyester mix and get a bonus second coat if it works! That’s a lovely camel colour, and I love the pattern. Good luck!

    • Lynda says:

      Kate, I took your advice about the substantial weight. I bought some inexpensive poly felt that is washable and can be dried in to dryer on low. I will use that for the ‘muslin’ and when I am done will sew it together without a lining and then bind all the edges in a cute cotton I picked up to coordinate. It will then be a good spring gardening/animal work coat. πŸ™‚

      • katechiconi says:

        That sounds like an excellent plan! It will have more ‘drape’ and behave more like the wool than a heavy calico, for example, which can be very stiff. Plus you end up with a nice, more casual coat πŸ™‚

    • Lynda says:

      Joan, normally I did too, but Butterick patterns have always been far too large for me. today I have worked on my best plan of attack for this pattern and for the first time EVER I actually read, and then reread the instructions for cutting and sewing before I started. πŸ˜‰

  2. quilt32 says:

    I made almost everything we wore when the kids were growing up, including shirts for two sons and a husband. Now, I rarely sew but make a muslin version first even if it’s just a doll dress. Your pattern looks like one I’d love. Good luck – will be looking forward to seeing your progress.

    • Lynda says:

      Lori, this one is going to be a slooooow go. I really don’t want to make any major (read unfixable) mistakes! I see me getting this done by say… Next Fall? πŸ˜‰

    • Lynda says:

      Norma, now to figure out the right weight (and inexpensive) fabric for this job of muslin making. I’m thinking of felt but it is polyester. Cotton velveteen would be a good match for drape, but I simply can’t afford it! Sigh…

      • norma says:

        Don’t know if it’s helpful in your circumstances but I bought a very cheap wool mix from a street market and made a wearable toile. It was a very inexpensive coat and wouldn’t have mattered if it hadn’t become wearable.
        I can give more information if you’re interested

          • norma says:

            I bought quite a bit more fabric than the pattern said – you never know! I fitted the paper pattern to me to see how that went. I then went up a size because I couldn’t see how there’d be enough room for a thick jumper. I cut the coat and checked the fit as I went.
            Despite the effort I put in, I would change the cuff finish and change the pockets in another version. There were also details to do with the hood that are annoying. I would have been upset if I had spent a lot of money on the fabric but as it is I have a decent coat ( not for best) and an exact idea of how to alter it for the future.
            You could always make it as a cheap but warm jacket to save money?

          • Lynda says:

            I am going this route, and yes, more is always better! I hadn’t considered a cheap wool blend, but decided on a felt for the mock up. The felt is washable and at just under $3.00 a yard it is affordable for me. I don’t expect the felt to last like the wool, but on cooler mornings it will look better than my old fuzzy robe and will be cooler than the huge wool overcoat ($10.) I found at the thrift store to be used as a “yard coat”. Our weather is quite variable here in winter. πŸ˜‰ (This year the morning low has been anywhere from 10 deg F to 56 F) I will be posting the mock up and finished coat as I go. πŸ™‚
            Thank you!

  3. bluestempond says:

    I used to sew everything till I was overwhelmed with a house full of toddlers. Now, I too have a different shape than I did at 35 years ago and I don’t trust that anything I made would fit well. Muslin-first is a good strategy. Be sure to show us that coat. I love the pattern.

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you I certainly will. Today is back to back appointments in Huntsville, but on the way home I will stop to see if Wallmart has the fabric I have in mind for the muslin fitting.

    • Lynda says:

      Celi, if you have a working sewing machine you can learn. I learn many new skills from Youtube and also from Craftsy. (wait for the big sales on their classes!) Or, in the meantime you could practice straight stitching on simple quilt blocks! It is easier than you think and just way too fun to do!

  4. shoreacres says:

    That’s a beautiful coat. I haven’t seen a Butterick pattern in forever — Mom used to use them a lot. I don’t sew, but I remember with complicated things that took a lot of material, she would make a muslin first. My aunt says that when she was sewing for her sisters, she’d just whip out dresses, blouses, and such without even a pattern. Amazing.

    I’m looking forward to following your progress!

    • Lynda says:

      Linda, it has only been since retirement that I learned that people actually made a ‘muslin’ for fitting. I never did before and must admit it probably would have saved me a lot of frustration. I have sewn items that I couldn’t fit into and then gave away. I also made a few items that fit like a tent and I had to cut them way down (those were usually Butterick). So, now that I know about muslins, I read about them in Threads Magazine, I am certainly going to make use of one for the Butterick coat! Actually, the only pattern I had no trouble at all making was my wedding dress and it was a Vogue! It took me three months to finish, but when I was done it fit very well.

    • Lynda says:

      That would be me too, but this time the stakes are high and I really want this coat to work! Thank you for the good wishes as I am sure to need them! πŸ™‚

    • Lynda says:

      Laurie, so far, I have not begun the actual sewing process, but my pattern pieces are cut and pressed, my ‘muslin’ fabric is washed and ready, and my dress form has been reconfigured to more closely resemble my 63 years… bust has been lowered and one inch has been added to my waistline. 😯
      Pinning the tissue pattern tomorrow and hopefully cutting the ‘muslin’ will follow quickly after that.

  5. pattisj says:

    I did use a muslin if I had quality fabric, new pattern, and wanted to get it right. I gave up sewing for myself eventually and would like to sew for fun, but I never seem to make the time for it.

    • Lynda says:

      Patti, I never really had time to sew all the years that I was teaching. I made the occasional item for myself or the house, but that was it.
      I have to say, that patterns are not as detailed as I remember them to be. This one along the shoulder where the collar attaches is throwing me for a loop! I’ll keep searching, because somewhere out there someone has solved it and written it all down. πŸ˜‰

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