Sunday, 18 January 2009


My 'marching band coat' from start to finish

I finally finished my first boy's coat today! This is the one that's been occupying my thoughts for the last couple of weeks. I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like but had big issues about how to actually construct it. For inspiration, I did countless hours trawling Google images and it's a bit of an amalgam of these:

Yep, that's right... I wanted it to look like a cross between a pirate, a marching band, a mariner, a rap star, a rock star, a Lego man and Freddy Mercury. Specifically, I wanted black and red, with pointy plackets across the chest, naval buttons and cording. And here's the result:

It is a black twill shell with red goretex / microfleece lining. It's technically reversible but I didn't bother doing buttons or anything to the fleece side as it'd be pretty strange to wear twill on the inside and fleece to the outside! Plus, I wanted the red edging on the hood to 'pop' so I lined the hood in the black twill. So if it was worn on the reverse it'd be a red coat with black hood... not a good look methinks.

The hood is a bit too pointy for my liking... I like the pointy / pixie look on the girls coat but I wanted a more classic curve for the boys. Bad pattern making on my part, but I can change it easy enough for the next one!

The hood has red cording sandwiched in between the layers, the sleeve and body edges look like they have cording but it's actually just the lining that I pulled through so it 'peeks' out.

The biggest quandary when I was planning the coat was how to close it... Should it be properly double breasted, mock double breasted, concealed zipper, toggles, velcro, chewing gum, staples?! It took me days to decide, but in the end I made it single breasted but with the look of double breasted.

There is a single button at the neck of the coat under the red placket. The red plackets are functional (i.e. they have actual buttonholes as opposed to buttons being sewn on) but they are completely detachable. I did it this way because a) my sewing machine would have completely died if I tried to buttonhole through four layers b) I can try out different styles, colours and sizes without ruining the coat. I'll probably make some plain black ones (and maybe royal blue as well) to see how they would look.

So... honest opinions. I've been thinking about it and making it for awhile, and I'm just too close to it to have perspective! It is what I was picturing for the most part, so shouldn't I love it more?! My gut feeling is those plackets are just too chunky.


  1. Really cool idea & the coat looks great! I do agree about making the hood less pointy & the plackets being a bit chunky though. Overall a fabulous first in my opinion!

  2. That is tres cool!
    It looks awesome, well done =D

  3. Honestly, I'd leave it be. I love it the way it is. I think if the coat were for an older boy then yes I agree with what your saying about a rounder hood and thinner placket. For a boy your sons age though I think it's fitting. Another great job!

  4. wow, this is great, i agree that the plackards are too chunky, slimmer but just as long could be cool!looks great well done