style file: the summer coat

It’s been a while since our last style file entry. I made this jacket shortly after we released the Weekend Getaway pattern, but I’ve never really talked about it or told you how I made it. So today’s the day!

A summer coat can replace a cardigan during the warmer months, which is a great way to combat overenthusiastic air conditioning and cooler nights. It’s a lightweight covering for bright sun, too, so if you’re conscientious about protecting your skin from the sun (we all are these days, right?) this is an easy way to stay cool without overexposing yourself to those sharp rays. It also serves to pull together an outfit, especially for evening. I love how it can lengthen your silhouette and make everything look a little more sophisticated. Here are some examples I pulled from our Liesl + Co Weekend Getaway Blouse + Dress Pinterest board. I particularly like it worn in sharp contrast to the color worn underneath, like the natural linen coat worn over black and the black coat worn over all white.

If you’re interested in trying this for colder months, it can absolutely be sewn from heavier/thicker fabrics and worn in winter as well. Here are some more examples.

You can see all these photos on our Liesl + Co Weekend Getaway Dress + Blouse Pinterest board, plus lots more photo inspiration for the pattern as a top and dress.

So how did I alter the basic Weekend Getaway pattern to make my jacket? Easy! I widened the front facing by a little bit so the dress could be worn open. And then, when it came time to sew the center front seam, I skipped that step. I also added side vents to the side seams, which you can do by following our side vent tutorial. (I’ll show you someplace else I used the side vents very soon, too!)

Those are the only changes I made. You can see that Maria, in the pink wool coat above, added a lining and a button to her textured wool coat version, which I got to see in person when we visited her in Seville between Christmas and New Year. That’s only a tiny bit fancier than the unlined version. So however you sew this, it’s an easy and quick project that makes a great wardrobe addition. It’s part of my summer core wardrobe, believe it or not!

You can pick up your own copy of the Weekend Getaway Blouse + Dress pattern right here.


 

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21 Comments

  1. Sondra

    What a great idea. Which fabric did you use for your coat? Do you think longer coats like this can be worn on petite figures- I am barely 5 ft 2 in- without looking like a robe?

    1. I used handkerchief linen from Gray Line Linen in New York. And petites can absolutely wear this style! I think it would be fantastic.

    2. Addie

      I understand your uncertainty Sondra. I am 5’4″ and often see styles that work well on taller ladies but would overwhelm me. I think the key is proportion: in Liesl’s version, and the top two inspiration photos, the jacket ends somewhere between just above and just below, the knee. This leaves enough leg showing so you don’t appear swallowed by fabric. If you would wear a skirt at this length then it would similarly work for a jacket. The longer versions (calf length or lower) MIGHT overwhelm a smaller frame, especially in a heavier fabric. I hope that makes sense and is helpful.

      1. I completely agree, Addie. It’s all about proportion! If in doubt, start too long and pin it up to determine the best length. Take photos to help you see from other perspectives, too!

  2. Lisa

    Since the jacket is worn open, do you think it still needs a FBA? I’m a D-cup and love this look, but wondering if I might save myself a step.

    thanks!

    1. I always think anything looks better when it fits properly across the bust, but you could always do a muslin to see what you think. (But honestly, an FBA is sooooo easy to do, especially with the instructions provided in the pattern. You can do it!)

      1. Lisa

        Thanks for the encouragement. I’m sold- literally, going to buy the pattern today right now. I’m going to make one for myself too, but just realized it would be a perfect Mother’s Day gift, in a washed silk for my mom.

        I’m now thinking that an open-front, long version of the Bento Tee would make a great salon-style robe.

      2. What a great idea! It would make a lovely gift. Cheers!

  3. Addie

    This looks really lovely. Did you use a heavier weight linen for yours? It seems this design needs something with a fair amount of drape and yet decent weight, which is tricky to find. I have the Weekend Getaway pattern but have never made it…this new inspiration might prompt me to do it. Like Lisa, I too wondered about whether a FBA is necessary since it’s a loose style to begin with (and with my narrow shoulders I fear it might just slip off with no closure).

    1. I used handkerchief linen from Gray Line and should have mentioned that in my post. It doesn’t have to be hugely drapey to work, as evidenced by Maria’s winter coat. Like I said to Lisa, I always recommend getting a good fit through the bust and shoulders, but do a muslin first if you want to check. The FBA is so easy–it won’t take you long, especially with the instructions and diagrams in the pattern itself.

      1. Addie

        I would not have imagined a jacket in handkerchief weight linen so that’s helpful to know. Yes, the extra fabric and deeper dart of a FBA would probably make it look best. I have done FBAs a number of times but sometimes I get excited and don’t want to take the extra time of tracing, altering, etc…. Still this seems like it would be a really useful summer piece so it would be worth it. Thank you Liesl!

  4. Emma

    I am in love with this idea. I love anything I can make with nice linen (I love fabric.com’s 100% European linen). I have a few weekend getaways I adore so this will be a great way to use the pattern in a new way!

    1. I hope you do it, Emma! Let me know how it turns out!

  5. Maria

    This is so wondeful dear Liesl. Would you recomend to do it one size bigger than the blouse?

    1. Not necessarily. I kept it the same size as my blouse size and it’s fine. But it’s a looser-fitting style, so you already have a little built-in ease there. I’m glad you like it!

  6. Maureen

    You are brilliant! I love this duster and never would have thought to modify a dress pattern to make a coat! I love it and will be making one (or two!) this spring! Thanks so much for continuing to share and inspire!

    1. Well thank you, Maureen! I hope you love them and I’d like to see how they turn out for you!

  7. Lidija

    Love this design, simple, practical, yet very stylish 🙂

  8. Susan Drescher Terrill

    oh. I think I might try this coat in some wonderful Ralph Lauren drapery linen in a tattersall cream and blue that I bought from Schindler’s fabrics a few years ago for $12/yard. It was something like $300/yard. I never made draperies. you mostly see solids, but this is a lovely linen, so what do I have to lose. I think it will soften up a bit.

    I discovered Schindler’s when I was beginning to sew again about 8 years ago and was looking for some chintz. The only place I could find it was at Schindlers. I found some polished cotton which looks a lot like leather. It could be fun to work with. They have some very interesting fabrics.

  9. Tiffany Smith-Fleischman

    I’m wondering whether this would work as a shirt dress by adding buttons bands.

    1. The pattern includes both a top and a dress.

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