I have sewn a wide variety of fabrics in my years of garment-making, from floaty chiffons to shifty silks and stiff canvas, but I have yet to make myself a proper winter coat.
In recent years, I’ve been very tempted by several of Liesl’s coat patterns, including the Lisette for Butterick B6423 and more recently the Chaval Coat. I have yardage of wool and matching lining in my stash to prove my sincere desire to make a long coat.
As soon as I saw the release of the Yanaka Jacket, I knew it would help conquer my fear of coat-making. Sure enough, in very quick succession, I made two of them! Here are summaries of my fabric choices, pattern notes and style recommendations.
First up, and as a wearable muslin, I made a version from stretch denim. In Liesl + Co., I measure a size 4 in the chest, but I usually need to alter the shoulders for size 6. For this pattern, I decided to make myself a straight size 6 in my usual pattern cup size, since these sleeves do not have the typical shoulder seams where I would normally make that shoulder adjustment. The only alteration I made to the pattern was to shorten the sleeve length by 3/4″.
The pattern is only three pieces plus facings, so it comes together in just a few seams. I added some additional topstitching along the side gussets as a reference to a traditional jean jacket, but I chose a matching color thread, to keep the coat a little more formal. I’m thrilled with the fit and versatility in my wardrobe. From providing a little polish over track pants to a stand-in for a blazer with Hollywood Trousers or an Extra-sharp Pencil Skirt, I’m sure I will wear this denim jacket often.
While tackling my fear of coat-making, I am also inching my way towards making my first quilt, and I think this pattern would be a fabulous base for a self-quilted coat. Can you picture it, cozy with wool batting? I can. So, I pulled out some pre-quilted fabric from my stash that I purchased from Miss Matatabi’s online shop several years ago. Camouflage is not a print I typically wear, but Liberty of London floral is, so I combined the two.
I made my own bias tape from Liberty lawn and eliminated the facings altogether to minimize bulk. I trimmed off the 1/2″ seam allowances along the collar and bodice fronts where the facings would normally attach. I decided to keep the extra 1/2″ of length along the bottom hem.
I enjoyed the slow process of hand-sewing the bias trim with blind stitches. This pre-quilted fabric is backed with a thin layer of fleece, and it feels warm to wear. Because this coat is semi-fitted, it also works well as a mid-layer underneath a heavy parka during my winters in Toronto, Canada. I made the same size in both versions, but I didn’t need to shorten the sleeves of the quilted one.
I highly recommend the Yanaka pattern, whether you are looking for a novice, unlined coat pattern or a versatile quick-make. Yanaka is my stepping stone to finally conquering a winter coat pattern.
I love the Liberty with the camouflage!
Thank you! I originally purchased that camouflage fabric as a lining for my son’s School Days coat, but I never ended up using it. I was happy to find a project to use it for myself.
Beautiful! You have inspired me. And how lovely to see a fellow Canadian sewist. Thanks for the fantastic and informative review.
It was my pleasure to sew these and share them! I am always happy to see another Canadian sewist, too.
I see you eliminated the facings. Did you line it with the liberty lawn? I’m assuming you would sew it right side to right side and turn it inside out? Or wrong side to wrong side to and trim?? Thanks so much
Deb, I eliminated the facing on the quilted version. That fabric came “pre-quilted,” so there is water-resistant outer layer, a fluffy batting layer, and a thin micro-fleece backing already attached to the fabric when I purchased it. I didn’t think it needed another lining. I serged the few seam edges in the inside with my serger/overlocker machine (although there are certainly more beautiful seam finish options I could have used with a straight-stitch machine or by hand). I machine stitched the bias binding edges onto the right side, flipped over the binding the the wrong side, pinned it down carefully, and then I hand-stitched the binding to the wrong side of the coat. I believe that is a common way that quilters finish their quilt edges, but I’m not an experienced quilter! Thanks for commenting!
Both jackets turned out really nice. The pre-quilted camouflage fabric paired with Liberty cotton is so unexpected and smart!
Thank you! I had that camouflage fabric in my stash for a while. It is a very unexpected print choice for me, but both sides of that quilted fabric feels much nicer than one would guess, so I was very happy to treat the print as a “neutral” and use it to make something cozy. I have a soft spot for LIberty, so anything trimmed with Liberty feels special to me.
I love this! I would not have thought to use a quilted fabric!
Thank you! Recently I’ve seen many images of coats made by quilters. I wanted to see if this pattern would work well for that idea, and since this pattern is only a few pieces, I think it would work well!
These are both fabulous. I am inspired to make it now – the denim is a great choice and as another comment said the camo with the Liberty binding is unexpected and smart! That little element of surprise makes it above and beyond.
Thank you for sharing
Mary, thank you for commenting! I really appreciate it. I hope you will enjoy this pattern as much as I am.
Hi Erica, I love both versions of your jacket. What method did you use to finish the seams of your first version? When I made mine I used a Hong Kong finish. I am just wondering if there might be a more preferred way.