In case you missed it on Monday, I’m bringing home my Flip This Pattern for the DMK Pea Coat. It’s a busy time of year and I’m sure you’re all stitching your hearts out for the upcoming festivities but, if you have a spare moment I’d love it if you could support Frances Suzanne’s Flip This Pattern series by heading over and voting for your favourite flip. It is truly amazing to see one pattern taken in so many directions – princess seams, lots of zips, faux leather, a Christmas dress – if you haven’t been following along go immediately and check out what you’ve missed!
Well, hello there flipped pattern enthusiasts! I’m Laura from Behind the Hedgerow and I’m here to confess that I have spent far too much time, energy and all-consuming thought on this flipped version of the Dear My Kids Trendy Unisex Pea Coat. My kids are unwashed and hungry, there is not a single pair of clean underpants in the house, and my own family members have given up having a meaningful conversation with me and, the worst part of all, I don’t regret a single moment! This coat has truly been stitched with love and I’m thrilled to share all the details with you like-minded creative sewists.
I had two main inspirations for this coat. The first was the 1940s – 1960s children’s book series Pookie by Ivy Wallace. The story focuses on Pookie, a little white rabbit with wings and his adventures in the world. They were read to me as a child and the whimsical illustrations have always stayed with me. I can imagine Margot playing with Pookie in the forest while wearing this coat.
The second starting point for this project was function! Margot needed a versatile, stylish and warm coat for the winter (her coat from last year is one of the many things that mysteriously disappeared during our house move in the summer). So this project had to work out and it had to be something that could be worn for longer than a single photo shoot!
Margot and I sat down over a mug of marshmallow-laden hot chocolate and chatted about her coat needs. We decided that the Ultimate Winter Coat needed:
- a good fit but with still enough room for layering underneath.
- a generous hood so a snug hat could be worn with the hood still up.
- a hood that is NOT detachable – that’s just asking for it to be taken off and discarded somewhere never to be seen again.
- to be able to get on and off easily and independently.
- at least one secret pocket.
- generously sized side pockets.
- wrist cuffs with thumb holes (the thumb holes were the biggest selling point for Margot!) to stop the wind blowing straight up the sleeves.
- a cosy lining for extra warmth.
Whew – that’s a lot of elements! The Dear My Kids pea coat is a fantastic starting point for all of these things. It’s a solid pattern that leaves lots of room for personalisation. As is evident from the photos, I kept this coat a coat with the following changes in order to fill the above brief for the Ultimate Winter Coat.
- I extended and accentuated the a-line of the shape of the coat. This made it more like a swing coat and meant it would be warmer.
- I cut the back section as one piece (instead of 2 as stated in the pattern) and added 4cm to the width so I could add a 2cm inverted pleat.
- I added a hood (with handmade piping! Can’t believe that I haven’t made my own piping until now. It’s really quick and easy and I used this brief tutorial if you’re interested). Sadly, this meant I had to get rid of the collar. I wanted to have both but in my muslin I couldn’t get them both to work together.
- I modified the neckline slightly so it was a bit lower.
- I added side welt pockets. I love these pockets! I think they really give a professional look to a garment. The best tutorial for doing these is Kristin’s (Skirt as Top) tutorial on the Oliver+s blog. Seriously, it is fail-proof!
- To fulfil Margot’s desire for a secret pocket I added another welt pocket to the inside.
- I shortened the sleeve length slightly and added wrist cuffs with thumb holes. I love this feature most of all! They make the coat unique while serving a really important function.
- I omitted with wrist bands from the pattern.
- I added a facing to the lining which, again, gives it a more polished, professional finish.
- This facing was the perfect place to add the hand-embroidered name tag (no doubts about who this coat belongs to!) and hanging hook.
The fabric choices for this coat came together beautifully. I originally wanted the outer coat to be made from Harris Tweed wool but when I saw this aqua wool blend from The Sewing Shop in Canterbury I was in love. Stumbling upon this Liberty jersey remnant for the hood and cuffs quickly brought the whole look together. The yellow fabric for the piping was leftover from this dress and matches the buttons perfectly.
I always knew I’d use the faux sheepskin for the lining and I had plenty in my stash from Minerva Crafts. Although I didn’t get a decent picture of it, the arms are lined with a quilted jersey which gives added warmth but without being as bulky as they would have been with the sheepskin.
I won’t lie. The entire process of making this coat took forever! Each changed element required additional thought and consideration (how wide should the thumb hole in the cuff be?, where exactly should the welt pockets be placed?, will a stretchy jersey work for the hood lining?, etc) but I have loved every step…and it fits!…and Margot loves it! And, most miraculously, there were no catastrophic disasters along the way…almost as if the entire project were sprinkled with pixie dust!