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.
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.
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.