After making my own anorak using our beautiful British Millerain fabric last year, I'm been looking for any excuse to use it again! I made the desmond backpack using our peacock colourway and then next on my list was this cute little coat for Sophia!
The recently released Pauline Alice Mini Collection, which contains 3 patterns for age range 3-36 months, was just what I was looking for. All the patterns are intended to be unisex and are a trouser dungarees, loose top with pockets (who know toddlers love pockets so much!) and then 'the coat'!
My latest Youtube video shows the coat up in a bit more detail, but read on for links to the supplies I used and more pictures..
I also want to point out early on, that if you but the printed pattern, the instructions that come with it are french, so you need to download the english pdf instructions!
Sizing and supplies
For Sophia I made the 24 months size (which corresponds to her age) and I mainly went off the height measurement as a guide when choosing. It's a really loose style and I know she generally fits clothes that are her age range anyway, so height was going to be the most important thing.
Overall it has come up a bit longer than I had imagined it would, but I still really like it and it will be great for keeping her dry!
I made the I used our aubergine colourway and paired with with some beautiful Liberty Tana Lawn and finished it off with some of our Prym brass anorak fasteners.
For the main outer fabric I used 1.3m (the pattern recommends 1.5m) and for the lining I used 1.1m and then used some scraps I had of a viscose linen for the sleeves. I just seemed a bit too much to line it with Liberty fabric as well, especially when it will hardly be seen at all!
Construction tips and additions to pattern
Step 7 of the instructions is to interface the button packets on the coat front but I couldn't find any pattern pieces or markings to indicate where exactly should be interfaced. The facing at the font of the coat is an extension of the front bodice - you don't cut out a separate bit of fabric for it. There is a notch on the front neckline which marks where you fold the fabric back so I would interface that whole section.
Top-stitching - I added top stitching in a few extra places - I guess because I like top-stitching and I think it looks really slick. I added it to the the flap at the back (instead of under-stitching), the seams at the raglan sleeves (I stitched the seam allowances to the main bodice pieces), the seams at the hood (I stitched the seam allowances to the centre hood panel and also along the neckline once the coat was finished so it would hold the lining to the outer coat.
Coat-hook at the neckline - at the seam between the hood lining and coat lining I added a little loop of fabric so the coat could be hung up easily without using the hood.
Easing stitched at the pockets - To be honest I found the pockets a little bit fiddley. They look lovely but have a few layers to them and I think in this waxed fabric, as its not got any give or ability to ease, it was quite tricky to get them to look neat. So, I used a technique that it often used in Oliver + S patterns, where you use a long stitch length to stitch a pressing guide along curved edges. Then at corners (for example) you stitch a line of easing stitches, similar to how you set in a set in sleeve, and pull on those stitches to help the fabric come together and sit flat and even around the corner. It helped a lot! For the smaller sizes, I'm not sure if you would need the section of pocket that gives you the diagonal line. Also, especially for smaller sizes, it might be easier to put the press studs on the main pocket section before you stitch it to the coat, rather than squeeze into a small space to apply the studs once its attached to the coat.
One of the most tricky things about the pattern, for me, was bagging out the lining. The instructions are quite brief at the section, and I've not bagged out many linings in this way. In the end I managed to work something out where I stitched the lining to the front facing right to the bottom edge (minus the 1cm seam allowance) and then also along the bottom hemline (minus the 1cm seam allowance) so that they met at a point. Then I laid everything flat and the facing was at an angle so I sewed it following the bottom edge of the hem (not the facing). It's worked out, and gives this diagonal seam line which seams to work. I have emailed Pauline and asked her about it and she said they will write a tutorial about it soon so I think that will be a great help for the future!
I really love the snaps on this coat and the added benefit it that they are a bit easier for Sophia to do herself, as opposed to a zip.
I also decided to leave off adding the snap to the centre of the back flap as I was worried when she was sitting in her push chair or the car seat it might dig in a bit. I kinda like that it means the flap is looser and you are more likely to catch a glimpse of the lining underneath!
It took a few tries for Sophia to get used to wearing it, she's got such an opinion about what she does and doesn't wear these days, but thankfully she's fine with it now!
We're getting our garden done at the moment and I took these pictures while she was our running around - when we had snow (in March!) - a few weeks ago.