This is the story of my second coat, the purple one. Here are 2 photos of me in it. I made it in 2015.
The pattern I used was McCall’s 7025, which is now out of print.
As you can tell, I’m a plus size person. This pattern didn’t come in plus sizes, but I wanted to do it so badly that I thought I’d give alteration a whirl. I don’t think the final garment looks nearly as great as the pattern photo because of the proportions (also I know the sleeves are too long). It is fun to wear though because it swings around a lot, and I certainly never see any coat like it around.
Firstly, I (correctly) decided to make a mock-up to try on before I cut any real fabric. I used some muslin and some pattern paper, which is really like a thin fiber “paper” kind of like the material in those cloth shopping bags that you can get at stores.
I found this article on how to resize a pattern. Pretty much, you measure the distance between the lines on parts where they are gradated and you expand or contract up to 2 more lines (or else it could get distorted). If there is just one line, like on a fold, you still use that line. Then you kind of make any curves follow the same general shape. I had to increase the size of the pattern many more lines than 2, and it did get distorted, but at least it was in a way that fit me in the end. I actually ended up just making the front panels several inches wider in the center. I think most of the other pieces were pretty close to the pattern or maybe the 2 sizes larger that was acceptable. Not the best tactic, but I’m not advanced at this technique.
The mock-up (I hate that word) looks ok, but I think what made it go slightly weird was that there are several layers of heavy fabric instead of just one thin layer of muslin or pattern paper. So keep that in mind when you do patterns. I tried to make a hat and mittens out of some extra plaid fabric and some fleece, but they were just way too thick of fabrics.
I also did not do the sleeves on the mock-up, and the sleeves in the finished product fit really terribly. It actually keeps me from wearing it very often because I can hardly move my arms because the seams are too tight. It’s worth it to spend the extra time!
The buttons and exterior fabrics are all from Mood Fabrics and they are all discontinued, although there is a similar plaid in green. I got a navy blue lining, interfacing, snaps (the buttons are for show), and silk thread from Joann.
Sewing was hard because of the aforementioned thickness of everything. There were a couple of times, like by the collar in the front, where I had to hand sew because it wouldn’t fit under the presser foot.
I often have a problem where fabric pieces don’t match up when I get towards the end, mostly from sloppy/inexact sewing. On this coat, that problem was the worst I’ve had. Some area on the inside in the front came up like 4 inches short compared to the other panels and I had to add a piece of fabric, so there’s a patchwork element there but luckily it’s on the inside. The hem was extremely disjointed. Sewing this is not a good memory, for sure. It’s just hard for me in the first place to keep the seam allowance even, and then to make the fabrics difficult adds to the problem. I do find that a magnetic seam guide helps in some cases, but this coat just pushed it over.
Good luck if you make a coat! It’s fun but a lot of work!