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M5717 Tailored “Sabrina” Coat

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

About the author: Hi, I’m Amanda, a New York City gal who loves nothing more than a summer sundress! I’m particularly fond of mid-century styles and the craftsmanship of yesteryear. When I’m not sewing, I work as an architectural historian in this great city I call home.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Glyn March 25, 2013, 11:52 pm

    Lovely! Nice work.

  • Deb March 26, 2013, 12:44 am


  • Linda L March 26, 2013, 5:59 am

    Great looking coat! You did a fabulous job.

  • tanya maile March 26, 2013, 8:02 am

    What a fabulous coat! You did such an exceptional job creating it.

  • EmSewCrazy March 26, 2013, 12:44 pm

    Lovely! All that time and effort really shows in the beautiful finished product. I have some of those buttons too. Aren’t they great!

  • Sewin in the Rain March 26, 2013, 7:56 pm

    Thanks so much, ladies! EmSewCrazy, those buttons sure are keepers! I have a bunch more that came with the package. I need to find a clever way to display them. 🙂

  • Jia March 27, 2013, 1:32 am

    You did such a beautiful job, and I love that you used real tailoring techniques. It’s coming into Autumn here in New Zealand and I have planned to make a new winter coat soon, so this is very inspirational. Thanks for posting it!

  • lunefantasy March 27, 2013, 6:14 am

    great job, your coat is beautiful, so beautiful !!!!

  • Amanda March 27, 2013, 8:49 pm

    Thank you both! Jia, best of luck with your coat creation – it’s a lot of fun to make and even more fun to wear. 🙂

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