After a long hiatus from sewing, I decided I needed to ease my way back in with a simple project. Naturally, I ended up sewing a winter coat made from a check wool which used a binding technique unfamiliar to me.
The pattern was the Muna and Broad Grainger Coat, and the fabric a fabulous check wool blanket whose orange-yellow tones called to me from the linen cupboard. It was originally made in Warrnambool, and I think I bought it at the op shop for $2? I’m usually opposed to chopping up perfectly good woollen blankets to make tacky coats, but my desire to basically wear a wool blanket all winter won out.
The Grainger is a fairly simple sew, for a coat: it’s unlined and calls for quilted fabric (either pre-quilted or DIY’ed). Obviously, I skipped this route, and a lining, as the wool was beautifully soft on its own. The edges are bound with your choice of binding, as are the from patch pockets. I chose to use a 25mm natural cotton twill tape, after spending far more time than I care to admit in the Lincraft trim section.
Deciding how to finish the seam allowances was probably the most challenging part of this project. I couldn’t press them to the side with the unique flat binding method shown in the instructions, as the blanket was far too bulky. After some experimentation, I chose to press the seam allowances to the side and bind each of them with self-made bias tape from an old peach sheet. I may have slightly overestimated my need for bias tape when cutting the sheet up, so I guess my next project will have to use up 10m of bias tape!
Although I’m closer in overall measurements to a size A, after pin fitting the paper pattern I sized up to a B (which I’m closer to in hip measurement). I’m glad I did – the size A with a graded out hip still looked odd and disproportionate on me, whilst the B fits perfectly. I’d recommend sizing up and/or going by your hip measurement if you are between sizes and using a lofty fabric.
I’m proud of this coat. I’m proud of getting back into sewing (though there is no shame in needing to rest), of my pattern matching (just don’t look at the sleeve side seams!) and of trying and nailing a couple of new techniques. Plus I get to wear a blanket all winter long!
Pattern: Muna and Broad Grainger Coat
Pattern details: “The Grainger Coat is an oversized, quilted coat in two lengths. View A hits at the hip and view B hits at the thigh. Both views can be self quilted or sewn us- ing pre-quilted fabric. The inside of the Grainger can be fully lined or the seams can be finished using a special flat binding finish. The edges are bound with bias or twill tape and the coat is closed using snaps. The deep pockets in both views will keep your hands (and phone) cozy.” Available as a PDF download from Muna and Broad, in sizes A-M (bust 40-64″ / 102-162cm).
Fabric: Woollen blanket, from linen cupboard (originally Salvos I think?).
Other materials: 25mm cotton webbing / twill tape to bind edges. 12mm cotton tape to stabilise shoulder seams. Vilene bias tape to stabilise neck. Self-made 4cm wide bias tape to finish seam allowances.
Mods: Size B
– 1/2″ (12mm) forward head adjustment, same to sleeve cap
– Took in underarm 1.5cm due to issues finishing seam allowances
– Omitted front closures