I’ve had the paper pattern since my birthday last year but never felt the need to make a Kelly until I did. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, I needed to make one.
I only have one proper coat, which is my Cascade duffle coat, and I’ve worn it to death. It’s a bit bulky to wear in the car but my car takes an age to warm up and I’ve been pinching my boyfriend’s fleeces – enter car coat!
I bought the navy oilskin from Merchant & Mills and debated the lining for ages. I was originally going to go for a quilted lining like Lauren from Guthrie Ghani but I couldn’t find any thinsulate online. Then I was going to go for a fleece lining until I was browsing Closet Case Files Kelly anorak supplies and she suggests sheepskin lining. Bingo! I bought some (fake) sheepskin lining from eBay. The snaps also came from eBay, the zip and cord from Guthrie Ghani and the stops/toggles were also from Merchant and Mills.
I was pleasantly surprised when the oilskin arrived, I was expecting to feel slick or greasy in some way but it feels just like a stiff cotton. All this just for a car coat… I just hope it’s warm enough to wear as the sleeves are only lined with rayon from my stash.
I’d like to say that the coat came together easily but it was one of those projects where every seam seemed to need unpicking. The instructions were generally fine but having just made the Sasha trousers I’ve figured out that I really don’t get along with Closet Case instructions. I had to consult the sewalong which you shouldn’t have to do when paying for a paper pattern (plus extra for the lining expansion). The only part I really struggled with was around the hood as you sandwich the hood and facing between the coat front and I just did. Not. Get. It. Until I did. Weird huh?
The instructions have you construct the coat shell, the lining and hood separately so you don’t really feel like you’re making a lot of progress and then all of a sudden bam! You have a new coat.
When it comes to bagging the lining it’s not done in the traditional bagged sense. You sew part of the neckline/hood, the sleeves and lining together and then fold the hem up and sew down. The instructions tell you to partially sew the neckline and then hand stitch the rest but I couldn’t see any reason why not to sew the whole thing as the hem is left free to turn it back right sides together. My hand stitching is less than secure and the hood/top of the coat gets the most stress from being hung up so I didn’t want to risk it pulling free. Another suggestion if you’re lining would be to insert the snaps before lining. There’s no way I would’ve got them in through the lining and the instructions tell you to do it at the end. This means you would feel the inside of the snaps inside the jacket and also I had enough trouble trying to insert them through 3 layers of oilskin for the pockets.
This coat is currently sat in the naughty corner though as the instructions annoyed me a little but it seemed like every single seam I sewed needed unpicking and it was driving me mad! Not to mention the oilskin kept puckering and wouldn’t lay smooth. I was rushing to get it finished as it was just over sewing it.
I went for a size 4 at the shoulders and a 6 all over which would be fine for a thin lining but this lining it really thick. I cut all the pieces out before receiving my lining fabric so I just ploughed on ahead. You can see in this picture it’s a bit tight with a jumper underneath (that’s not why the snaps are undone though! They needed hammering in fully).
If you’re reading this having never made a coat before and feel that it’s an impossible task it really isn’t. It’s just A LOT of steps and a great deal of cutting out. Just take your time, find a pattern you will wear (not one that’s easy) and crack on!