Hi Sew Retro community! I just finished this winter coat from McCall’s 5717 and even though it’s a modern pattern I modified it a bit to give the coat a more classic look. I really love mid-20th century coats that extended down to below the knee to cover dresses, and that’s what I tried to achieve here by lengthening the skirt of the original pattern.
Here are some views of the coat taken at Lincoln Center here in New York.
I was really excited about trying my hand at tailoring! There’s a whole lot of pad-stitching, hair canvas, and fusible interfacing in this coat. Rather than follow the pattern instruction, I walked myself through the process with the book Tailoring.
I used a size 10 at the bodice and size 12 at the waist/hip. The nice thing about this pattern is there are pattern pieces for A/B, C and D cups! The fabric is Italian herringbone wool from Gorgeous Fabrics and a flannel-backed satin lining from B&J Fabrics here in New York.
The lining was attached by hand with invisible stitches and the sleeve lining was attached with fell stitches using doubled up waxed silk thread. There’s a jump pleat at the bottom of the lining for ease and a center back pleat that’s held in place with feather-stitches at the top, waist, and hem. I added side seam pockets and belt loops to the pattern to hold the belt in place.
I also used 4 anchor buttons that were originally from a U.S. Navy pea coat (found on Etsy), which I based off my grandfather’s WWII version. Each button is backed with a flat black button on the other side of the facing in order to relieve stress on the fabric. I also decided to mirror the shape of the anchor in the way I threaded the button to the coat; it wasn’t until after the fact that I realized the thread kind of looks like rope!
I dedicated a bunch of blog posts to the making of this coat if you’re interested in seeing more of the process. You can also see the “reveal” post here: Sewin’ in the Rain