I’m astoundingly happy to finally share my silk trench coat with you! I started this coat a year ago and finally completed it. No, I did not work on it for a year — it was a WIP that became a UFO (acronyms!) and then I decided that I needed to finish it so that I could finally wear it!
Ever since the release of the Sewaholic Robson I have loved it. There are so many beautiful versions of this coat and I had the pattern several months before I decided on a fabric for it. This pattern takes A LOT of fabric (6+ yards) and has A LOT of buttons. I already have two traditional RTW trench coats in rain ready material, so I decided that I wanted to make a luxe version of the Robson. I figured that pink would be a great color for my coat as it would go with many dresses in my wardrobe and that silk faille would be a great fabric choice as it’s both sturdy and luxurious. I waited patiently for a good price for my dream fabric and found it at Fabric Mart for $10/yard. Such a steal! The next hurdle was to find enough buttons (16!). After not finding any buttons that I felt would work, I decided on self-covered buttons and purchased several kits from Grey’s Fabrics. The end result was exactly what I envisioned and I couldn’t be happier!
Making this coat was very tedious. There are so many pattern pieces to contend with and I also graded it up from a 16 to about a size 24, which makes this coat a more difficult process to undertake. I also had several things I had to undo, like sewing two wrong pieces together (and then serging them….) and having to unpick a multitude of seams. I would suggest marking your pieces with chalk to not make such an error. I also sewed a row of buttonholes and had to unpick them, which was a REALLY dreary job. Fortunately, I was able to fix my mistakes with no record of them on my coat.
As if grading this coat up four sizes wasn’t enough, I also fully lined it. The Robson pattern is unlined, so this a tricky detail if you aren’t accustomed to lining coats. I used a pink rayon polka dot fabric that I had in my stash. It’s not quite the same shade of pink as my coat, but I think it blends well. Plus, I had just barely enough to line it. I did a lot of hand sewing around the facings and initially sewed the lining into the hem, which didn’t work. When my coat was on my dressform, it hung beautifully, but when I put it on, the lining pulled on the hem of the coat. After discussing this issue with my sewing buds on Instagram, we decided that the sleeves were pulling the lining and distorting the shape, so I took out all of my hemming stitches and made the lining hang free, with French tacks to hold it in place.
I don’t know about you, but I just love the little details like the epaulets and sleeve tabs and I think they pair perfectly with my self-covered buttons. Everything is top-stitched, so it adds a professional element along with keeping everything in place. I also added one of my labels, which I sewed on to the facing piece before construction. It’s a twill tape label that my MIL embroidered on her embroidery machine a long time ago and I occasionally use. I cut them to size and burned the edges to stop fraying. Someday, I’d like to have some really nice professional ones made.
A little tip: I used water soluble stabilizer on the underside of my buttonholes when sewing them. It helped the fabric glide through and made pretty perfect buttonholes. It also made it easier to remove my buttonhole mistakes.
In addition to re-sizing this pattern, I also adjusted the sleeves to fit. The sleeves have two pieces, which I enlarged, but I also ended up adding a third piece to get them to fit like I wanted. I added some small pleats to the shoulders to not only accommodate my larger sleeves, but also to add a little bit of retro femininity.
As with other Sewaholic patterns I’ve made, the instructions lead through the sewing process and make what could be an intimidating project into a manageable one. I didn’t get confused until working with the button placement. The instructions and pattern pieces both show you where to place the buttons, but it didn’t truly click in my head until I studied the buttons on one of my RTW trench coats. I do still have one extra button to add to the front as it was missing and I just recently found it. (The joys of having unfinished projects laying around when you move your sewing room!)
This really is a satisfying make. I stopped work on it last year when the weather turned warm and I wasn’t into sewing it. It got put to the side until I forced myself to finish it after Christmas, along with some other incomplete projects.
If I were to make this again, I’d probably do a small swayback adjustment and perhaps a small FBA as well. Don’t get me wrong — I’m VERY HAPPY with the outcome of this coat and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE wearing it. It makes me feel so beautiful and chic and puts a smile on my face. But if I’m being critical to myself, that’s what I would do. Of course, if one made a muslin, they might know that to begin with…
Along with my lovely coat, I’m also happy to share my newest Cashmerette Appleton wrap dress. I wear this dress once a week and it’s a staple in my winter wardrobe. It’s made with the bird print rayon jersey from Jenny’s kits (now sold out), so you may have seen several other versions with this fabric already. I made this Appleton in much the same way as my first non-tester Appleton dress, in that I lengthened the skirt and went up a size in the waist/hips. I found that since I used the recommended fabric (my other Appleton is a cotton double knit) for this dress, that I don’t need to size up and to follow the size chart. I had to take in the adjustments I made, so in the future I will just cut the fabric to my size.
Another goal marked off my list! Even if it took me almost a year to finish it! 🙂
Note: I received both the pattern and the fabric for my Appleton dress in return for testing the pattern in it’s initial stages.
Happy New Year!
- Coat: Sewaholic Robson in fuschia silk faille lined with pink polka dot rayon, made by me
- Dress: Cashmerette Appleton in rayon jersey, made by me
- Shoes: Calvin Klein
- Earrings: Bauble Bar