introducing the secret agent trench coat pattern

I can’t recall how or why I decided we needed to make a trench coat pattern. It’s probably not the first clothing item you consider when you’re thinking about your child’s wardrobe. But once we started to develop this style, I started seeing kids in trench coats all over the place. And kids in trench coats are soooo cute! Don’t believe me? I’ll show you.


Oliver + S Secret Agent Trench Coat Sewing Pattern


Last week The New York Times Style Section declared, “We can say it confidently: a trench coat, reimagined with playful new tweaks, is the season’s must-have wardrobe essential.”  And who am I to argue with The New York Times?

What better opportunity to reimagine a classic pattern with playful new tweaks than to sew it yourself! You’ll have opportunity to include all sorts of fun things when you sew this pattern. In coming weeks, I’ll show you more examples and ideas in future posts and on Pinterest.

But back to the pattern. This trench coat isn’t just a raincoat. (Although it does make a great raincoat….)



It’s a great jacket for all sorts of weather and activities, including keeping an eye on things.



So what can I tell you about this style? First of all, do NOT be intimidated. You’ll be so surprised at how quickly and easily this style comes together. It’s unlined. It has raglan sleeves (easy to sew!). The collar is the easiest collar known to human-kind. We designed it that way. Really. You can trust me on this.

Even better? You can make the classic trench coat style, which is great for both boys and girls, or you can take the feminine route and make the dropped-waist version with a little skirt. Both equally darling. Both simple and fun.


Oliver + S Secret Agent Trench Coat Sewing Pattern


Of course we had to put in some great details for you. The shoulder flap is one of those details. (Here’s an interesting fact. The shoulder flap on a trench coat is traditionally referred to as a “gun flap” because of the trench coat’s military origins. The trench coat was designed to be worn in the trenches by soldiers during the First World War. But we’re not calling our flap a “gun flap,” OK?) Others  include the little sleeve tabs, the pockets, and the back vent on the unisex version. These are all fun details that make the trench coat look extra cool but aren’t challenging to sew at all.



Since the coat is un-lined, it’s fun to finish the seam allowances so the inside looks as nice as the outside. To that end, we’ve included detailed instructions for finishing the seam allowances with bias binding. You don’t HAVE to finish them this way (the bias binding is a separate section in the instructions that you can completely ignore if you prefer) but if you do finish them this way you’ll have a trench coat that looks pretty amazing on the inside.




We kept this pattern simple so it’s easy for everyone to sew, but if you want to get fancy with it you could easily add lots of topstitching, maybe put a buckle on the belt, and put buttons on the shoulder flap and the pockets to make it into something amazing. It’s a great pattern to customize.

In terms of fabrics, of course you can use traditional twill for your trench coat. You could also use canvas, denim, or laminates. Or corduroy. Anything that’s substantial enough to make a decent jacket will be great for this pattern.  And remember how I said that it’s not hard to sew? We’ve rated it two scissors. You can totally do this. I’ll practically be there holding your hand while you make it.

Unless you stay up until 2 AM. Then you’re on your own.


  1. March 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm Link

    Looooove this trench coat!! Sooo cute!!

  2. March 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm Link

    I’m laughing so hard about the 2 am comment I woke up the baby. Why, why, do we feel the need to “just finish this next step!” In other words, don’t tackle this between night feedings? 🙂

  3. March 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm Link

    This is EXACTLY what I’ve been imagining in my daughter’s wardrobe for 2 seasons now! I’m crazy excited about this!!

  4. March 27, 2012 at 3:27 pm Link

    Love this so much! Cannot wait to try out this pattern! Is it possible for you to share exactly which fabric you used (designer/collection, etc.) to make the tan version of the trench that your daughter is wearing? Thank you!!

    1. March 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm Link

      Emily, I will absolutely be sharing that information with you very shortly. I’m working with the store where I purchased it to see if we can’t make it available for you to purchase as well. Stay tuned for details!

  5. March 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm Link
    liz f

    I love it! Do you think it would be possible to add a hood? Maybe in place of the flap? That would make it perfect.

  6. March 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm Link

    The more I see it the more I WANT IT. I have Heather Ross rapunzel in mind…

  7. March 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm Link

    This is such a perfect London pattern. I can’t wait to have it in the shop!

  8. March 27, 2012 at 7:26 pm Link

    I will definitely make this first and I am happy to blog it on my baby blog.
    Its fabulous Liesl.

  9. March 27, 2012 at 7:37 pm Link

    Ooh, can we put the seams (some of them?) on the outside, like the one you saw on the stylish man in the street? Tan twill with neon bias tape!

  10. March 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm Link

    So I live in So Cal, and we just had probably our last rain of the season this past weekend, and I’m sure the weather will be warm in a couple of weeks…..yet, I’m absolutely going to make this as soon as I can get the pattern in my hands! Maybe I’ll buy the larger size to grow into….I’m so excited for this pattern!

  11. March 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm Link
    Katja Magus

    Having gotten a lucky chance to test it, this really was a smooth and classy pattern! It looked so professional when done and so well finished on the inside. Hands down the easiest coat I’ve ever sewn (no zipper, no lining, all straight seams) and looks even better than one from the store (of course!) Great work Liesl and team!

  12. March 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm Link

    S looks so chic- love the back view. And the girly version with the skirt looks super cute!
    I never would have thought my girls needed a trench coat, but i think you have me convinced

  13. March 28, 2012 at 4:36 am Link

    Aaah! This has got to be the next one I sew. Can’t wait can’t wait can’t wai!

  14. March 28, 2012 at 5:57 am Link
    Liz from Melbourne

    Oh wow! that is delicious! and great to know it’s so easy.

  15. March 28, 2012 at 11:57 am Link

    Thank you so much! Can’t wait!

  16. March 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm Link
    Leah Z

    My son was just saying that he wants a trench coat mostly because he wants to dress like Tintin. And I shuddered at the thought and the expense of finding one in size 8…Now I have a sewing challenge waiting for me.

    Looking forward to it and getting the link to that fabric you used

  17. March 28, 2012 at 7:23 pm Link

    I will have to buy this! My youngest son wants his own “spy” coat and when he seen this he told me to buy the pattern. How can I tell him no. 😉

  18. March 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm Link

    OOOOOhhh love this. WIll have to make a bright pink one one for my daughter and small blue one for our son – and then take a gazillion pictures. LOVE IT.

  19. March 31, 2012 at 11:38 am Link

    VERY Harriet the Spy!!! My favorite story! This looks like a great pattern.

  20. January 2, 2014 at 12:25 pm Link

    Can I ask where you got the pattern?? I’m looking for one for my son and they’re hard to find.

    1. January 2, 2014 at 12:46 pm Link

      Stephanie, the pattern is available here:

  21. September 7, 2015 at 6:55 pm Link

    i am trying to find a trench coat like this however I need it to go to the floor. I need it for a boys size 5/6. I’m really confused. Can you help me?

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