My absolute favourite topper of all time is the ever classic and iconic trench coat. I love all of its variations, like a slim cut or flared, drapey and soft or crisp and structured. I also like how you can dress them up or dress them down…add sporty sneakers or knee-high boots and pair with a dress, skirt or trousers. The trench coat is currently having a real fashion moment. It’s been extremely popular the last couple of seasons and it looks like there’s no stopping it in the upcoming Spring/Summer season as well.
Last year I made two trench coats. I thought I’d show you both in this post because I used the same pattern but with a little bit of style variation. The pattern in question is Vogue 8884 view C. The fabric I used for the cream coat came from Croft Mill and I think it’s a cotton-poly blend in a fine twill weave. For the bluey/grey coat, I used a lightweight fabric from Sherwoods Fabrics called Winston which is a viscose poly blend that feels like soft chambray.
Apart from fully lining them, to give both coats a bit more body and structure, I block fused every single fabric piece with a lightweight interfacing. This is also a really useful thing to do if you find a fabric that you really like but it’s perhaps too thin on its own for the project you want to make. I also added a layer of heavier weight interfacing to the upper chest and shoulder areas of each coat too.
You can see from the photos that my cream coat is shorter and more flared than the blue/grey one…it’s pretty much the same width and length as view C of the pattern, whereas my other coat is narrowed in a little and is about 10” longer, to end at a more midi length. I made up the pattern with just a few fit alterations. Firstly, I added shoulder darts for my forward rolling shoulders, then I raised the armholes a little for my shallow armscye, and finally I put in some hidden bust shaping just underneath where the top yoke joins the body…like a hidden dart if you like. You can see what I mean in the next photo (oh, and remember to add a little extra length at the hemline to the front pattern pieces if you do create this dart).
On the sleeves of both coats, I didn’t put a full band all the way around with the belt loop type fixings as per the pattern, instead, I inserted a long tab with button into the front sleeve seams. As you can see from the photos my belts don’t have pronged buckles or eyelet holes along the length. I just used a plain buckle and just tied the belts. One day I’ll treat myself to a proper eyelet maker, but for now, I rather like just tying my belts as I can adjust how tight or lose I fasten them really easily.
Finally, let’s talk inspiration because few patterns that have caught my eye lately. I really like the Londres coat by Orageuse Patterns, the Prue trench by Style Arc Patterns, the Isla trench by Named Patterns and how about a dress with a bit of a trench vibe like the Pilvi also by Named? Also, why not try thinking outside the box a little and consider more unusual fabric choices for a trench coat. Think about using a prints, or lace, or why not faux/real leather or suede if you’re feeling very adventurous?! Anyway, I’ll leave you with some eye candy photos from Burberry.com and hope that you feel inspired to make your own. Oh and don’t forget to take a look at my Pinterest board of trenches too. ‘Til next time…bye!
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Your coats look fantastic! I love a trench coat, but tend to only wear mine to work. I’ve never really thought about dressing them down – definitely going to get more bang for my buck this year though!
Oh, thank you, Lee! I love to dress my trench coats down. I don’t work in a corporate environment so finding casual ways to wear one is fun. I love to wear sneakers and jeans with them. Try browsing Pinterest for ideas.