crafts · patterns · Sewing

Planning a cold weather pt 2: coats, jackets, and pants

Or: everything else that isn’t dresses.  I love wearing dresses more than anything, but I really want to avoid getting stuck in a rut, so I’ve worked hard to find some other styles that work for me!


My bedroom has 2 closets, the large walking closet I’ve shown before, and a smaller normal closet.  I don’t know why, nor can I explain a walk-in closet in a 110 year old house (it was likely not a closet, but I’m not sure what it was… I only know that it’s original to the house.)  I use the second closet for my coats (my husband uses the guest room closet for his clothes.)  It could be said that I have a coat problem, especially now that I work from home, and don’t even need a coat every day!  I’ve never made a real coat, as I just have so many.  I am, however, giving some consideration to the idea of making my own coat this year.   I even have a pattern!

McCall’s 6442:  I just adore this coat!  I love the wide skirt and fitted waist.  The best part is that it has a hood, making it totally unlike my other coats!  I have started looking for fabric, but thus far I have been stumped.  My issue is that I don’t want to spend as much for fabric as I would for an actual coat, and everything I like seems to be $30 a yard, which is simply not on.  I like the plaid in the photo, so I’m considering either a plaid or a bright solid – there is one made up in red on patternreview which I love.  Very little red riding hood.  If I find the right fabric I plan to snatch it up.  The style reminds me of Colette patterns’ Lady Gray coat, with the addition of a hood and slightly less dramatic lapels.  I love Colette patterns, but they require a lot of fitting for me, particularly around the upper body and shoulders,  so I don’t think I would choose that for my first coat.


I do not wear many jackets.  I have somewhat broad shoulders, which are not getting any smaller with the amount of pushups I’ve been doing lately, so it’s hard to get a good fit.  Most jackets, if they fit in the waist, feel like a straightjacket through the shoulders and back.  I have made a few jackets with success, but I find lining them tedious, so I tend to stick to more casual styles.  One of the trends I’ve noticed recently is the ponte jacket – taking a traditionally tailored jacket and making it in either a ponte or even a sweatshirt knit.  I love the look, which juxtaposes formal and casual (much like my own style!)  I also love that this allows more room for my shoulders to actually move.  I’m planning to take at least one jacket pattern (unlined) and make it from a heavy knit.  Here is my choice:

I bought a pretty rigid gray ponte awhile back.  It won’t work for a dress, but it’s perfect for this jacket!  I’m leaning towards the brown version.  I actually like the ruffle neck on the other, but it doesn’t have the tailored look that I would like.  If this works out, I can think of a few other patterns that could get this treatment.


I have a lot of cardigans, and wear one nearly every day.  In particular, I get a lot of use out of the current long, oversized cardigans I bought and made last year (including the Jalie Pleated Cardigan.)  I wore them so often, in fact, that I’m now down to just one, and it has seen better days!  In addition to my knitting, I plan to make these two cardigans as replacements:

McCall’s 6247 and McCall’s 6408

These patterns are both by Nancy Zieman for McCall’s.  I’ve never seen her show, but these cardigans appeal to me greatly!  Both are long enough to wear with leggings, and have full skirts (I hate a cardigan that doesn’t actually meet in the front!)  I have actually changed my mind a bit, and am using black rayon jersey for 6408, and a charcoal wool jersey for 6247 (which is the replacement for a gray cardigan that took an ill advised trip through the drier this month.)


I have made pants before, but it’s not something I have pursued with any degree of seriousness.  But this year I’m ready to try!

Simplicity 0499 – this is the Joann’s version of Simplicity 2315, which suffers from excessive airbrushing – the pants on the envelope don’t look real!  They do, however, look really cute here.  I like that they have a back zip.  My other black skinny pants have a front zip, and I am not fond of how you can see it through tunics sometimes.

McCall’s 6173 –  I resisted leggings when they came back, but I’ve given up.  They’re comfortable, and pretty warm in the winter.  I can always use more, and this pattern looks decent.

McCall’s 6404 –  This is the most risky pattern for me, but I love the unusual seaming on the legs.  I would certainly not wear them with a shirt tucked into them though – they are only one step removed from leggings, which aren’t really pants to me.  I would make them in black or dark gray.

I’m headed to Joann’s for the sale tonight (there is a 25% off your total order printable coupon this week) and I hope to pick up some ponte for the pants, and possibly something else fun.  I like the April Johnston for Project Runway line of fabrics they have right now – I loved her on the show, and some of the prints are cute.  I’m also needing some steam a seam.  I sewed up one of my knit tunics last night, and while I love it very much I could use some stabilizer for the hemline!

3 thoughts on “Planning a cold weather pt 2: coats, jackets, and pants

  1. I made Simplicty 6408 from a charcoal herringbone pattern jersey (very subtle pattern) – love it! It really is cute with leggings or a knee length skirt. It’s as comfy as wearing a bathrobe.

    I love the coat pattern – can’t wait to see you make it up.

  2. I immediately had to look up that McCall’s 6442 coat on PatternReview. That pattern is definitely on my list now! I also like the McCall’s 6404 leggings. I thought the version with the faux leather was interesting, although I can’t ever picture myself wearing them!

  3. I am also planning to make Simplicity 2256 hopefully using the ridiculously expensive fabric I got as a souvenir in Italy recently. Sufficed to say, I will be making a muslin, and possibly another practice jacket before I cut the good stuff. I also have fitting issues in the upper back. I’ve found that a broad back adjustment via the slapdash sewist’s method works for me. I’m looking forward to seeing your version.

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