Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Almost Trendy


Wasn’t it interesting to hear all the different opinions about a jacket? Thanks so much, as always, for your contributions to what looks best and how to fix that which doesn’t. I’ve had a hectic week and just didn’t get round to replying to each comment individually but thank you for taking the time and dispensing such invaluable advice.


You are probably well aware of the trend this season for oversized coats; voluminous cocoons of luxurious wool and cashmere in which to wrap up and snuggle. Well, I think I unintentionally made one and therefore I’m bang on trend!

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This little blog was voted as one of Top 50 by Burdastyle followers – thank you. One of the rewards was a selection of five patterns and I’ve finally got round to making one of these up.

Burda 12/2010 120A Suit Coat. Based on masculine tailoring with a narrow collar and lapels, boxy, back vent, mid-thigh length but with little interesting details like the pockets sewn in to the front panels. Can also be made to jacket length. I liked this because it’s the type of coat you can wear over a suit – the final topping of an outfit.

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My fabric was from Joel and Son and may well be the most expensive cloth I’ve ever bought, although I did buy it from their sale section before the summer. It’s a black and cream patch-worky wool, really loose weave and frayed like mad.

Having just finished one tailored item, I wanted this make to go a little quicker and easier and hence I mixed some tailoring techniques with bog standard sewing. I pad stitched the collar and hand sewed the lining in with a little fancy piping; but !shock/horror! I used fusible interfacing (hate the stuff) on the fronts, back vent and hems.


The unintentional bit of this make was in the sizing! Last time I bought some clothes I wore an European size 42/44. So without thinking, measuring or anything else really, I tiled up the PDF pattern and traced a 44. Off I went, cutting out the fabric and sewing up the seams. When draped over Doris, I thought it looked a bit big and that’s when I checked Burda measurements! Like most of us I span across a couple of sizes but none of them 44! I’ve made a UK size 18 and I’m closer to a 14 – so instead of crying and wailing and tearing my hair out: no ripping out or re-cutting – no – this is now an oversized coat!


I narrowed the shoulders and inserted huge shoulder pads. I just made sure the sleeves are the right length which helps to make it look like the coat was made for me! I didn’t have enough fabric for the lapels and facings so I used a fine black wool to make up the difference.


The lining is black with embossed circles and for a pop of colour the inside piping is a bright pink silk scarf cut up into a bias strip.

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However – my coat is not a pale pastel: the lapels are too narrow: the shoulders too boxy and so not really on trend at all!

But I like it.

I made no attempt to match the pattern as I thought the pieces of the pattern would work with the patch work fabric and apart from the fact that I didn’t have enough to do meticulous matching.


I don’t sew many Burda patterns but now that I know what my Burda size is – I will be making more……


I always think that Burda patterns are for ‘quick’ makes but this one took me ages (tailoring aside). I know that Marina takes Burda and haute coutures her sewing,  so I suppose it’s a state of mind and approach. Sewing a garment can be as quick and easy or as precise and detailed as you want to make it.

Anyway, my almost trendy coat is certainly big enough to wear over a suit. It’s certainly big enough to wear over another coat!

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17 thoughts on “Almost Trendy

  1. Love it, love the fabric and if you saw it in a high end shop you would want to buy it and take it home! The fact that it is soft will be really nice for so many occasions and even traveling it it resists wrinkles and you can even spill drinks on it without showing too much…perfect!

  2. Your jacket is fabulous!!!

  3. I know that the fabric will be yummy to wear as you have purchased from Joel and Son ( lovely company and the staff are terrific too).
    Grey works beautifully on blondes and it so suits you Ruth.

    Lovely winter warmer!!

  4. Congratulations on being in the top 50! Love the coat and the fabric.

  5. You look absolutely fab, you should be very pleased with gorgeous new coat!

  6. Stunning coat! Joel’s fabrics are lovely but yes they are expensive. You have really used that one to perfection. Enjoy your coat.

  7. A Chesterfield coat in shape. Fabulous fabric makes me yearn. You’ve done another stellar job and it looks great on you. I’d say that was a very happy mistake. According to the photos you’ve shown, it looks very on-trend and absolutely gorgeous..

  8. I really like it; however I’m into oversized clothes especially during the cold months. You look wonderful in it!

  9. You have a lovely fabric there. I like the oversized coats for the cold weather!

  10. I think it looks fabulous! 😉 I think overly fitted winter coats look skimpy and stifling, personally….like them to be a little on the easy side… that fabric is beautiful!

  11. And plenty of room for winter comfort food! It looks great. Fabulous fabric.

  12. Looks fab!

  13. Funny woman. Reminds me of the time I cut out size 42 pants…which never fit me! At least you can wear your coat! Great fabric, I hope you really do wear it.

  14. Fabulous fabric. Wonderful construction and great save!

  15. Ruth. Love that coat, you are very clever! (when you grow tired of it just remember your new crafty friend!) Stephanie

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