Caroline’s Spring Coat

I’d like to introduce you to my first self-drafted coat pattern that actually went together correctly.  I’m pretty good with tee shirts, pants and hats, but jackets are always throw-it-across-the-sewing-room-and-pout for me.  They come out right eventually, but it’s always a tense situation.  I know, I know, I should do a muslin first.  I know I should.
Anyway, that all changed when Erin from Children’s Fashion Workshop contacted me and asked me to try her product.  Honestly, I was going to say no because I’m ridiculously busy, but when I clicked over to the website I was intrigued.
I’m so glad I said yes!  Y’all, I had been adding ease to jacket sleeves incorrectly forever.  That’s what you get for being self-taught.  When I read through the sleeves lesson and looked at the photos a major light bulb went off in my head.  
I traced the base pattern, then added ease, seam allowances, and all the other little details that go into drafting a pattern.  The whole time I was thinking ‘there is no way this is going to all go together right, I will not be that lucky.’  But it totally did.  
Can you believe I’m crazy enough not to use a muslin first?  I cut into these beautiful fabrics (Amy Butler Sketchbook and Carolyn Friedlander Architextures) not knowing whether or not this whole thing was going to work out.  
It fits her perfectly.  
And she loves it. 
I even got crazy and added a pleat in the back to make it a little more tapered in the back.
I made the sleeves extra long so I could cuff them and she can grow with it.  My kids love to have a growth spurt right after I’ve made them some awesome, tedious piece of clothing.  Do yours do that?
Sorry for the scraggly dress up dress pic, I wanted to style it with skinny jeans and cowboy boots but this princess was having none of that.

Would you like to win a free basic pattern and two lessons?  Do you have a project you want to make but don’t know quite how to do it?  This is your chance!  Simply comment on this blog post and answer this question:
What sewing skill still baffles you?  Mine is using the blind hem stitch on my sewing machine!

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44 thoughts on “Caroline’s Spring Coat

  1. The jacket came out really lovely! Such pretty fabrics.
    I just recently decided to use the roll hem foot on my sewing machine and I think I’m a MORON for not doing it earlier. It’s so funny how these little tips help SO much and yet us self taughters insist we know a better way haha.
    One thing I need work on is arm hole sizing. I seem to get the shoulders right, but the arm put area is always more snug than I’d like. I’m sure there’s a simple method that I’m missing out on 😉

  2. Buttonholes. The worst part is that my machine has a one-step-buttonhole thingy but I’ll be damned if I can get it to work. I can do a lot of other things, including draft a semi-decent pattern but if it has to have a buttonhole, it’s going to be substituted wherever possible!

    1. Jessica – try a twin needle – it makes all the difference in the world!!! You can also put tissue paper underneath or use a walking foot if you are having problems with stretch, but usually all I need is the twin needle!

  3. Honestly, since I’ve been sewing for almost 45 years, there isn’t too much that baffles me. I even made my wedding dress & 2 of my bridesmaids’ dresses. But so I don’t sound like I’m above learning new things, I’d just say that using some of the fancy embroidery stitches on my machine sort of get my sweat glands working. (Hah!)

    Love your coat. Looks so sweet on her! Great job…keep sewing!!!

  4. the jacket is GORGEOUS!!! You did an amazing job, and I love all the unique details like the back pleat!
    Hmmmm – skill that alludes me, can I say cutting? I can’t cut a true square or rectangle to save my life… this is why I am not a quilter ;op I also am slightly scared of computerized machines, I’ve used my mom’s a few times, but honestly I like the control I have over my beat up old Bernina ;op

  5. I love that gorgeous coat! I’ve been learing how to sew my children’s clothing for about a year now, and one thing that still baffles me is collars. It doesn’t matter size or shape or technique, I somehow always screw it up! Thanks for introducing us to this awesome workshop, can’t wait to try it out! hpickett183(at)hotmail(dot)com

  6. Beautiful coat! Love the fabric! The one thing that I have the most difficulty with is my narrow hem foot. I know it just takes practice, but I still haven’t produced anything with it that I am 100% happy with.

  7. i’m not really baffled by much as i have been sewing for years….but with that said….with all of the amazing things on the internet i have learned soooo many new techniques that is what i would consider “baffling”…..people are so clever and i’m so grateful that they share what they know!

  8. wow, i would love to win! i still quite a beginner in sewing and there are just so many things that i would love to get better in. (zippers, ease stitching, working with knits…) (

  9. What an amazing coat :). I’m baffled by loads of sewing things and try to blunder through anyway .. the thing I’m most scared of is making clothes for myself… such gorgeous fabrics that I’m worried I will ruin. I can never seem to measure myself properly and get an item to work !!! I’ve always wanted to draft my own patterns, it would be amazing 😉 thanks for the chance.

  10. I have sewing for years but I have entered new territory with a little boy. Honestly, sleeve and shirt plackets get me. I have even watched YouTube videos. I could probably fake it. I haven’t dared try.

  11. I am ALWAYS learning something new with sewing! Today at work I was trying to master sewing a rolled hem on a sewing machine, going over seams, and making it look right. It’s so tricky! I’m not sure I will ever get it done right! ha!

    I just adore this coat!!!

    Vanessa (at)

  12. There are tons of things I haven’t tried, but I think pattern drafting is the most baffling. I understand how to use clothes to make a pattern but not how to make one for something my boys don’t already have (like cute little sports coats or pea coats).

    Thanks for the chance to win.

  13. OMG that spring coat is beautiful! I am learning how to sew so the technique of making a pattern and cutting the fabric is my problem.
    Thanks for the chance to win this great prizes!


  14. Pretty much every sewing skill still baffles me, but I think my skill I am lacking the most in is taking my time. I always rush so much, and end up making silly mistakes.


  15. Add me to the list of those who don’t know how to use the blind stitch. I’m also very wary of lightweight knits which don’t seem to behave for me no matter what tricks I try. Even though I’ve sewed for years, my drafting experience is very minimal. I’d like to learn how to enlarge a pattern.
    Erin’s site and her creations are inspiring!

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