December 05, 2019 12 Comments
Dressing for cold weather is not one of my strong suits. I tend to underdress and am cold. I am cold by nature and love warm weather. And, I don't love wearing lots of clothes - like you need to do to stay warm in winter.
And, when thinking about my winter clothes problem (staying warm) and looking at my winter wardobe, I also realized that I want to look (or at least feel) cute in the winter too. And, I don't feel cute when wearing long underwear under baggy jeans with two shirts under an oversized sweater with wool socks and chunky boots. But, that is what I have worn for years working in agriculture. I know there are lots of people who LOVE this look, and I don't mind it, but it's not my favorite. I much prefer skirts or dresses, but then, I'm cold. I hate tights (left over from being forced into ill-fitting tights as a kid), but I don't mind good leggings. I am starting to figure out there are sweater dresses, which I now have a few of and am actually warm on the days I wear them! And, I am finding leggings that I like. I made my favorite pair from this Seamwork pattern. Anyway, I'm starting to figure out my winter wardrobe.
However, my coat situation has not been great either. I have a great, and warm, black ski coat and a warm barn coat, but neither feel "pretty" to me.
This was my situation when I ordered the grey version of this Merchant & Mills jaquard cotton from Oak Fabrics the other week. I fell in love with the fabric from afar and ordered two yards thinking I'd think of something to do with it. It is not quilted, but woven with several layers of thread, and the top layer is a fine cotton. I loved it!
When the fabric arrived, I thought it would make a perfect jacket - light-weight but warm, washable, and beautiful. What pattern to use? I quickly settled on our 137 Australian Drover's Coat pattern. View A (the simple version) is quick and easy and uses only a couple of pattern pieces. I barely had enough fabric to make the XS size, and I had to shorten it to upper thigh length and take out a bit at the back and sleeves. I even had to piece scraps together to get the collar, and didn't have enough to do the neck and wrist tabs. But the sizing is very generous and there is plenty of ease! And, I really didn't need the tabs.
So, I cut out the fabric and sewed this coat up in just a few hours! It was such a quick project. A couple of recommendations if working with this fabric and pattern. First, get more fabric ;-). I now want this in a longer coat with the neck tab! Second, the fabric frays easily. I serged all edges before piecing, including edges that are completely enclosed. I would also recommend stay stitching any edges that you need to be stable first, like the neck, as this fabric can stretch a bit. Which is great in some cases, but not when you need to fit a collar!
I LOVE this new coat! It is pretty and surprisingly warm for being so lightweight. The huge pockets are awesome (and warm)! Frustratingly, I lost the buttons I picked out after I made the buttonholes, but wore it to Thanksgiving anyway. My mom liked it so much that she wants one now!
I added buttons this week and have been wearing it everyday. I love how the collar easily stands up and block breezes on my neck, and I love that my phone and hands easily fit into the generous pockets. And, it goes with everything!
So, I am working my way towards a better winter wardrobe and this coat was just so great that I had to share it with you!
May 15, 2022
Thanks for inspiration and pictures to use this beautiful fabric! I just discovered & ordered folkwear patterns, there is also an all organic fabric-store near my home (including a wide range of m&m’s), so exited to get started :)
October 15, 2021
You can find the same fabric at Gather Here: https://gatherhereonline.com/products/jacquard-quilted-cotton?variant=30774206660695
October 15, 2021
Your coat looks lovely and I love the fabric. I’m only finding this article now and am wondering if you might have suggestions for other fabric sites that might sell that fabric or something similar as the Oak Fabrics has closed. I have few Folkwear patterns but haven’t made any as I lost my sewing confidence for awhile. I have found it again and am looking forward to doing some great things in the future. Thanks in advance! And thanks for your work on this site.
December 15, 2019
Yes, $35 per yard is expensive, but a warm and good-looking coat for $70 (plus notions) is a good deal, I think. I live in Seattle, where ‘dressing down’ is an art form, but I like to be warm, too, and my shorter down jacket isn’t always what I want to wear nor is a longer down jacket, for that matter. I treasure my black Italian-made heavy wool coat (just above knee length) that I splurged on when I was working. I say ‘good for you, Molly’ for sewing a coat that works for you!
December 09, 2019
Fiona, Thanks so much! I’ve updated the link, but the grey looks to be sold out at Oak Fabrics. It is not quilted, but woven to look that way with several layers of fabric woven together.
December 08, 2019
You cost is beautiful! You did a really nice job! Dies the fabric come with the quilting design on it? (Couldn’t find it as the link doesn’t seem to work.)
And, obviously, 2 yards was enough for you!💜
I have a lot of Folkwear patterns from years ago, and have made almost all of them, but got out of the habit of sewing. Hoping to change that. You’ve given me inspiration. Thank you!
December 07, 2019
Hard to choose between cute and warm, but I switched to men’s/boys stuff for work because they’re better made and warmer. Cuddle Duds (womens) make smooth, slippery knit long underwear that is comfortable to wear and also fleece versions. Hard t keep feet warm in regular shoes bldg is on a slab. Maybe larger size booties with cashmere or high tech fabric socks from sporting goods store, REI, Patagonia, etc. I found cotton flannel shirts to be very warm. You can find some feminine prints and solid fabric, but mostly plaid ready made. At least for now, the current trends are for layering skirts/dresses over leggings.
December 06, 2019
I often buy 2 yards for tops or short skirts, and it works for me. But, I do recommend buying at least 3 yards for anything else (pants, long skirts, dresses, coats, etc). As the other commenter mentioned, this fabric is expensive and I didn’t plan to make anything very big from it. And, as mentioned in the blog post, I did make an XS – so more fabric was not really necessary.
December 05, 2019
Beautiful. I’ve been attracted to that pattern but find all the detailing intimidating. Nice to see it made up into a simple attractive coat.
December 07, 2022
I bought this pattern a few months ago, but shelved it because I found it intimidating. I recently made a jacket that was similar with very good results and I think I’m ready to tackle this one. However, I need to add about 4 inches to the largest men’s size. Does anyone have any suggestions? I am definitely an amateur. Before this I made robes and pajamas lol. Grateful to have learned my way around a sewing machine in home ec class when they still had it back in my day.