I’m going to make a coat!

I’m struggling to remember how I handled cold weather last time I was pregnant (my kids will have nearly identical birthdays so my pregnancy timeline is exactly the same; I will be biggest when it’s coldest). I think I borrowed a bigger-sized coat from my stepmom, or maybe my huge brown ski coat sufficed, or maybe I just didn’t zip it over my belly and didn’t go out too often?

I debated making a coat for this pregnancy. Think of the skills I’d learn! Yeah, but think of the sunk cost of buying the materials for something that maybe I don’t have the skill-set to make well. But it’s only for a short amount of time. Still, I don’t have any coat at all, shouldn’t I plan on having something wearable? The time making a coat could go towards making several other outfits. Or one, because I’m still pretty slow at sewing.

I made a plan: either a Cascade or a Minoru, plus an attempt at self-drafting a jacket insert. My idea is that I could make the coat in a normal size, add the insert for the belly and babywearing, and still have a wearable coat when either is no longer needed.

Still, good coat materials cost about a billion euros. I included fabric requirements when I went to the Stoffen Spektakel a few weeks ago, saw some wools that were 20 euros per meter minimum, and decided NOPE. Threw the whole plan out the window.

Then, a fabric store in my neighborhood had a closing sale! Advertising 1-10 euros per meter for everything, I snooped and was mostly disappointed. They had some 5 euro per meter wools, but nothing screamed “coat” to me. Then, I found a wool/poly blend for 1 euro per meter buried in a back corner. Right next to something that I think (I hope) is an appropriate lining fabric for 1 euro per meter. Bingo! Who cares if it’s wearable in the long run? Five meters of self fabric and four meters of lining for nine euros; I’m making myself a coat!

making a coat, by small bobbins

I ordered two identical zippers and other notions, and I’m taking inspiration from this jacket insert shape and size to make my own. I have no idea how warm it will be or if I will get it done in time or if it’s within my skill-set. I decided on a Cascade after all, the simple shape seems like I might have better luck ending up with something I can wear post-pregnancy, and wear with the insert.

I’m a bit concerned about warmth since I bought polyester fabrics. I’m not going to splurge on any sort of fleece lining at this point, but spying on my stash (can’t believe I even have enough fabric for “a stash” now) I have leftover grey sweater knit, or a grey ribbed cotton jersey, that could add just a bit of extra warmth without a ton of bulk.

I’m really waffling about the size. The measurements are pushing me towards a straight 12, but I don’t want a coat that’s too huge, and there’s a decent amount of ease built in. Looking at the finished pattern measurements, I could fit with a straight size 10, even with the belly, but the panel would cover me for sure. I could go down to an 8 for the sake of my ego; a 10 would strike a good in-between. I could grade to a 12 at the hip for more movement, although I probably won’t be wearing so many layers underneath anyway.

I’m really excited to get started, although I do already feel a bit over my head. What is it that makes it so difficult that the pattern is rated “Advanced”? Reading Jen’s blog, it sounds mostly that it’s to ensure that sewers understand it’s not necessarily difficult with the required techniques, but just the required investment of time and materials. Checking blogs for other’s experiences with the pattern seemed to echo that. The steps themselves aren’t too difficult, but there are just so dang many of them.

Wish me luck! I better get back to sewing, it’s getting cold in Belgium!

2 thoughts on “I’m going to make a coat!”

  1. Pingback: Alder shirtdress | Allez, Kirstin!

  2. Pingback: Finished: Cascade coat – Allez, Kirstin!

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