I know it’s summer and coats are probably the last thing on your mind. But hear me out: sewing a wool coat is a pretty big undertaking. It’s not some quick t-shirt you cut out in an hour and sew in two hours. If you need a warmer coat (and I DID) why not get a head start on sewing it now?
So that’s exactly what I did. I started sewing Butterick 6385 at the end of May, and it’s almost finished!
Let’s talk about my first wool coat (unblogged). I made it 14 years ago in a college sewing class. It was beautiful! A full length pea coat, it hit mid-calf, was double breasted, had two outside pockets (and one inner pocket). I lined it with brocade. I wore it in Utah, Tennessee and South Carolina (you know, that entire week of winter we had down there actually required a coat!) and finally, New York. But there was a problem: my first upstate New York winter here was BRUTAL. That coat was not doing its job keeping the wind out and the heat in. I knew if I made another coat, it was going to have to be warmer.
So, I read a lot of blogs and books. I decided to INTERLINE the coat with Thinsulate. An interlining is an extra layer between the lining and the main fabric (outside fabric) of the coat. When you interline a coat, you need to keep in mind that you may need to size up the pattern.
There are a variety of options for insulators. I needed something warm but relatively thin so I chose the Thinsulate. Thinsulate is a thin, highly insulating fabric made from polypropylene fibers. It’s used to make outerwear and sleeping bags. Some of the best outdoor companies use Thinsulate in their products, so I knew it would be a good choice for my coat. It looks a lot like quilt batting but provides more warmth than goose down feathers.
This product comes in a variety of thicknesses that provide different amounts of warmth. Closet Case Files has a blog on interlining a coat that I found very helpful. She recommends a 70-100 grams for a Thinsulate coat interlining and said that more than that would be really bulky.
The 80 gram Thinsulate I used for this coat was generously provided to me by Fields’ Fabrics. I had a difficult time finding this product so I was really grateful they had it in stock a few states over. This should give me enough warmth to withstand temperatures in the single digits (Fahrenheit).
You will need the same amount of yardage of interlining as your lining pieces. Some people choose to interline the bodice pieces and the sleeves. Others advise against interlining the sleeves, as this could change the fit and make your coat too bulky. Based on my fit check, I chose not to interline my sleeves. (I sized up one size.) Next time I will size up a half size in order for there to be enough room for that extra bulk.
I cut out my interlining pieces first (using the lining pattern pieces) and then sprayed temporary fabric adhesive on one side. I laid the interlining pieces on the back side of my lining fabric. Then, I cut the lining, using the interlining pieces as a template.
To reduce the amount of bulk the interlining causes, I wanted it to have no seam allowance, I zig-zagged around the pieces, making sure that I had 5/8″ space between the stitch and the edge of the fabric. (Check out this resource for more info here.) Then, I trimmed of the excess interlining. Some people have duck-bill scissors. I did not, so I made sure to cut slowly and carefully!
I constructed the lining pieces as normal. You can see here that the interlining butts up to the seam, but doesn’t go over. The zig-zag stitch is visible on the lining, but I don’t mind. Shown here, is my completed lining ‘shell’. With the Thinsulate side out, you can see how the coat will be worn, with the magenta silk charmeuse lining towards my skin.
The purple fabric on the upper sleeve is a flannel interlining that I added at the last minute. I figured, if I couldn’t have Thinsulate, flannel would help keep the wind out a little!
Here are a few pictures of the shell facing lining right side out. The silk looks a little wrinkled, due to the adhesive, but I don’t mind. I just want to be WARM in January!
My next step is to attach the lining to the coat. I’m so excited to almost be finished with this project and I can’t wait to show you the completed product! The finished coat will be featured on the Minerva Crafts blog sometime this fall…I’ll add the link here when the post goes live!
This post was sponsored by Fields Fabrics.