Winter Coat for My Man: Progress

I thought I would give you all a sneaky peak of what’s happening with the coat these days. It’s pretty crazy that I’ve made it thus far, well I think its pretty crazy. Do you ever find yourself making something that you never really thought you would make? I don’t know why, but that’s kind of how I feel about this coat. Not in a bad way or anything, just thinking out loud a bit. Anyway, after several rounds of Bridget Jones’s Diary, Groundhog Day, Lord of the Rings Trilogy and North & South I have a shell constructed (and yes, I totally watch movies when I’m sewing).

This coat has not been without its trials either. The bad first. Even after two muslins, this coat was a little tight in the hip area after putting the shell together without the sleeves. I was horrified. Yes. Horrified! Then I slept on it and I thought that the true test of my diligence in sewing is how I go about fixing problems like this. So, I inserted two inch wide panels in the princess seams in the back. Inserted them godet style at that. Oddly enough, I like it even better than the original and so does the mister. We both agreed that the panels add visual interest and you would never really realize that this was a mistake per se but more of a design element.

That shoulder overlay piece nearly put me in my grave. Of course I didn’t add this piece when I was supposed to – when it would have been easier to apply. Instead, it was added after I had attached the sleeves and sewn in the side back seams. So I stitched the thing on by hand. Oh my gosh! It took me the entire extended edition of The Fellowship of the Ring to get through. Then of course, the front parts weren’t level so I went about unpicking and doing part of it again.

There are several points on which I differed from the original pattern too. Firstly, I ditched the patch pockets for welt ones instead. There are other coats in the book that have welt pockets so I just stole a pocket from one of them and set to work deciphering the craziness that was the welt pocket. Sheesh. I ended up just picking the parts that I felt were necessary for normal welt pockets and then applying them to the coat. They worked out pretty well I think.

I also added in a zipper to the center front. I actually have an old Gap toggle coat that has this very thing and I’ve loved that coat! Not only do I love the toggle part, but there’s a zipper to keep out the extra cold Utah weather. So I thought it would be a great option for the mister’s coat too. The zipper does not extend all the way down the center front, but instead just to a point where it would be easy to zip it up – about 23 inches. The bottom part is left free hanging so that the wearer has room to walk – ha ha!

I’m also lining the entire coat too and so I lined the hood and added a string just in case Mr. S needed extra protection from the cold and/or snowy weather. I have yet to put on the toggles, the next step actually, but I was getting a little giddy that I was a little more than halfway through this project and really wanted to snap some photos and show you all.

On the crafty monogamy front, I did actually put this project aside one night and whipped up a muslin for these pants. I couldn’t help it. I was feeling just a little burned out on the coat, so I thought to rejuvenate my vigor I would stitch something else for a night. I’m going to make one more muslin for the pants before I whip them out in a wool stripe number, but I have to say that these pants are incredibly well drafted. I’ve read around the interwebs that Burda pant patterns are drafted well, but I had my doubts (especially as those BurdaStyle envelope patterns seem to now be owned by Simplicity?). I mean, how does one really improve on a pant pattern draft? The thing I noticed right away was that there wasn’t excess pooling of fabric going on in the front crotch area – I always have that problem with Simplicity and McCalls/Vogue/Butterick and have yet to really understand how to get rid of it. I also noticed that the large inner thigh adjustment that I always have to make is not a problem on this pair. Seriously incredible! I’m very very excited to try a few more of the Burda pants patterns now!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! We did! Even got a new camera on Black Friday – and it has video capability! Hip Hip Hooray! Oh I’ve got some fun stuff up the sleeve for you guys! Yay!


  • Milena - That coat is stunning! I am thinking of making a pair of pants for my boyfriend by copying his favorite pair from J. Crew (since discontinued) and you’ve really inspired me to give it a shot in the next few weeks!ReplyCancel

  • Dana - Wow, What a feat this coat will be! Is it going to be a Christmas present for him?ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Kind of turning out that way, but really I wanted it for him before the first snowfall here. Didn’t happen! Sigh. Oh well. You know what they say about best laid plans and all that.ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany - Holy wow! Sunni! It looks amazing! Your hubby will be so proud to wear that coat. It’s just awesome.ReplyCancel

  • Peter - It is looking fantastic. Love all the many details. Can’t wait for the big reveal!ReplyCancel

  • PerlenDiva - The coat is going to be awesome! And I really like your creative design element 😉
    What kind of lining/batting or whatever its called are you using?

    Burda and Simplicity: I think they’ve just paired up? At least, there are Simplicity-Patterns now available at the German burda-site as well – even some of them in German.

    Happy Sewing!

    • Sunni - For the lining, I’m using a black rayon crepe back satin – pretty heavy duty – and then a grey silk charmeuse in the sleeve. I’m also interlining the whole thing, even though at first it was just going to be the sleeves, but now I’m doing the whole thing in part lambs wool and part flannel. Should be extra extra warm. Well, at least I hope so!ReplyCancel

  • Angela - Incredibly well made jacket, very impressive, you are right, the 2″ panels look
    like a design element. Your man will get a lot of use from this jacket!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Thank you! I was pretty worried about them. They are actually in a section too where you can barely see them unless his arms are raised up.ReplyCancel

  • Keriann - wow! it looks amazing so far!
    Did you use your machine for the button holes? or are they done by hand?ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Totally used my machine and some silk thread. They looked so wonderful I didn’t want to bother with a hand worked one. Plus there is so much handstitching on this thing – not that I don’t love hand stitching, but I have my limits.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - Wow! That coat is looking so awesome! I too watch movies when sewing! Before my husband started working from home, I was home alone a lot (sewing mostly) and I like to have the tv on for background noise.ReplyCancel

  • lisa g - it’s looking great, can’t wait to see the finished product! i’ve used a few of those burda patterns and i have to say, i’ve been very impressed. but i’ve only tried the kids patterns, will have to try one for me sometime. they seem to have a lot of the details lacking in some of the big 4.ReplyCancel

  • Rochelle New - Hahahah the LOTR extended trilogy is seriously my go to sewing movie(s)!!! Ask my boyfriend how many times he’s some home from work and said “…Lord of the Rings? Again? Seriously?” lol. That and 50’s B-movies. North and South is awesome too. The coat looks absolutely amazing! Well worth your struggles. Did you find yourself asking “What would Frodo do??” when you got snagged up on a step? It was when I got to that point that I decided I should probably find a new movie to sew to haha! Nerd.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Oh my goodness – Awesome! What would Frodo do? I love that! So glad to hear I’m not the only die hard LOTR fan out there!ReplyCancel

  • oonaballoona - it’s okay that i kind of hate you right now, right?ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - I suppose, if only for a little bit. Ha! Would it help if I said that my fingers feel like they could fall off because of all the handstitching?ReplyCancel

  • Mainelydad - OMG I just love how you roll with the punches. You dare to do things that I’d never attempt. The Zipper is great, but I wouldn’t even know where to start in figuring out how to do it. I had to laugh when you got to the Japanese welt pockets of insanity. Have you ever seen anything more complicated for nothing? Love the contrasting buttonholes. Soldier on, Sunni!ReplyCancel

  • caroline - That coat is inspiring! Can I ask which pattern it is (apologies if it’s mentioned and I didn’t register it). I’m also curious about how you did the zipper. Did the pattern already have a center-front overlap that worked for a zipper, or did you need to make an alteration to the pattern? I love the zip and toggle style on menswear.

    Great work!ReplyCancel

    • caroline - Ahhh… figured out the pattern! Japanese pattern books look so intimidating, but that is the best parka pattern I’ve ever seen. love to hear any guidance about the zip construction.ReplyCancel

  • Donna - It looks fantastic so far – I can’t wait to see it totally finished!ReplyCancel

  • Kate McIvor - Oooh…Thanks for the tip on Burda patterns, Sunni! Style Arc patterns are also awesome for pants that actually fit. The rise is nice, and the upper inner thigh “fluff” is accounted for.ReplyCancel

  • Corinne - what a great coat, beautiful job, he must be thrilled!ReplyCancel

  • Meg@Mood - Wow, this is so impressive! Love your attention to details.ReplyCancel

  • Shannon C. - Lovin’ the panel inserts. Great save!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - I like the part about how you measure the length of time it takes you to get through something by movies watched. I just told someone it took me the length of Troop Beverly Hills and halfway through Overboard to press hair canvas (from your shop!) in prep for my winter coat. 🙂 Your coat looks so professional – your mister is one lucky fella!ReplyCancel

  • maddie - wow! Even though you’ve had your trials and tribulations, the coat is turning out superb! The shell looks fantastic!ReplyCancel

  • Alison - This jacket is absolutely beautiful! I’m so impressed. I’m loving the fabric and button choices.ReplyCancel

  • Emily - That is the best looking coat! Seriously! I’m also impressed that you can sew and watch movies at the same time. Are you going to The Hobbit premiere?ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Oh yes! My mister and I will definitely be going to The Hobbit – wouldn’t miss it for the world. Plus he’ll have a shiny new coat to wear too. Yay!ReplyCancel

  • Gail - You are making great progress. Love the detailing. You’re error correcting godets could come in handy later. I spent weeks making a more conventional jacket for my dear one only to have him lose weight. Perfect coat swingly wildly loose around the hips, and sits unworn in the closet.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Totally take out that coat and take in a godet instead of adding one! Not hard really. The idea actually came to me as I was thinking about a lady that I work with who is a real seasoned seamstress. She does things like this all the time and I find it intuitive and creative at the same time.ReplyCancel

  • Katherine - Man. Now I really really need to pick up that pattern book. I really love all the details of that coat. The godet-type insert you added for expediency is INGENIOUS! And it’s good idea to keep in the back of the mind for options to invisibly alter accidents that come along in the future. Cause I totally have that list hanging about in my head. . . And, as a cold-weather-Canada person, the zipper mod is great, so I’ll have to file that thought away as well, if I get around to making this for the boyfriend. Also, welt pockets are always a good idea. I need to learn how to welt pocket. I might try on my Minoru, which will eventually get made. . .

    The coat’s coming along fantastically, and I can’t wait to see it all done up!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - You totally need this pattern book or you at least need to buy a japanese pattern book. They are such fun! So sweet and such simple styles. I think I might just have to do a post on my small collection of them.ReplyCancel

      • Katherine - Oooo! Yes! That would be great! Since I only ever really see them online, I’m never sure which ones to get, so it would be fantastic to get a bit of an inside scoop, as it were, on what you’re likely to find/what to look for/etc. That would be ever so helpful!ReplyCancel

  • Becky - That’s looking gorgeous!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Thank you Becky! I’ll see you Thursday night for some pencil skirt madness!ReplyCancel

  • Kessem - It’s so cool you’re making your man a coat! such a huge project and for someone else!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - I KNOW! I would say that I’m pretty generous, wouldn’t you? he he.ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - This really looks great! I love that you found a creative solution for the hip width issue– it really looks intentional and cool! I’m so glad you’ve been able to power through this project, and that the pants muslin went well! Looks like you’re well on your way to getting your mojo back!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Why thanks Ginger – I’m feeling the mojo coming back pretty good now. I can look into my sewing room and actually want to sew – Yay! Hip Hip Hooray!ReplyCancel

  • Carlee McTavish - Wow that jacket looks incredible!!! I can’t wait to see it finished. Makes me think I should maybe start sewing for my man, like actual clothing stuffs!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - What an awesome coat! I love all of the little details. Bravo, Sunni!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea - Wow, can’t wait to see it finished!!ReplyCancel

  • Annie Sharkey - Yes, Excellent job. I now of course have no excuses!ReplyCancel

  • Mr. S - ooooowwh! I am cold… This coat sure does *LOOK* warm… However, I cannot attest to its ability to warm the body OR the soul, Yet…ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - OMG, that coat looks fantastic! I love the problem solving you did with the godet inserts. They look very stylish. I’ll have to remember that strategy.ReplyCancel

  • Barnicles - its amazing! im so impressed 🙂

    love to make something like this myself one day but it is a massive challenge!

    respect to you!