How to Make a Coat

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Coats can be fashionable as well as functional, since they keep you warm and provide the outer layer that everybody sees. By making your own coat, you can choose just the fabric and style you want. You can make a coat that will go with anything, or make a special coat to match a favorite outfit. Coats like pea coats or trench coats will be simpler to sew than complex winter coats, such as parkas or fur coats. Coats are generally a more challenging sewing project than many other types of clothing, since they often have lots of pieces (such as collars, cuffs and linings) and the thicker layers can be difficult to work with. If you’re new to sewing, you may want to practice on an easier project first.

Things You'll Need

  • Coat pattern
  • Fabric
  • Lining fabric (optional)
  • Matching thread
  • Buttons or zipper
  • Interfacing (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine

Choose a coat pattern that you like and that has any features you need, such as a hood or pockets. You can also find coat patterns with or without collars, cuffs and belts.

Buy fabric for the coat, following the guidelines on the pattern envelope for how much fabric you need and what type to use. Polar fleece and wool can work well for pea coats, while trench coats can be made from everything from poly-blends to satin for fancy evening coats.

Buy fabric for the lining of the coat, if needed. Lining fabrics are usually lightweight, such as polyester, or even silk or satin for fancy coats.

Pick out thread that matches the fabric, as well as any other needed materials listed on the pattern envelope, such as buttons, a zipper or interfacing. Coats tend to use fewer, larger buttons than shirts, and some use two columns of buttons for practical or decorative purposes.

Cut out the pattern pieces for the coat, using the cutting line for the size you need. You may want to make the coat a size bigger than your other clothing, so that it will easily fit over other layers of cold weather clothing.

Smooth out the patterns. You may want to iron them with a cool (low-temperature) iron to get out the all the wrinkles and make the patterns more accurate.

Follow the cutting guide in the pattern directions to pin the patterns to the fabric and cut out the pieces. If the coat has several different options (such as an optional hood or several collar choices), make to sure to cut only the pieces you need.

Follow the directions that came with the pattern to sew the pieces of the coat together.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may have to look online or in specialty fabric stores to find the patterns and materials for complex winter coats, such as insulated parkas.
  • Use caution when working with scissors, pins, irons and sewing machines.

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