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For a long time I was very proud of (ahem, stubborn about) not paying for patterns, only self-drafting and using free patterns. I finally took the plunge and shelled out a precious €12.30 for the Pepernoot Coat from Waffle Patterns. In my small Hungarian city, €12.30 can buy a lot of things – a couple of books, several bottles of nice wine, dinner out for two people – but no regrets here. I’m happy that the first pattern I ever paid for was this one.
From the website:
*Functional coat with a high neck hood.
*Front zipper open.
*Zipper pockets on the sides.
*Rounded yoke on the front and back.
*EUR 34-48 (US 2-16) (UK 6-20), I sewed size 42 based on my body measurements. The pattern has a lot of ease in the sides and sleeves, but the collar/neck/shoulders fit perfectly true to size.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
More or less. I made some alterations, described below.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
There’s not much hand-holding or details about techniques, but since the pattern is for advanced sewers, I think the instructions were adequate. The illustrations were very clear and helpful.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The main thing I didn’t like about the Pepernoot was the back curved yoke, so I redrafted it to be much straighter and match with the back arm seam.
Although printing and taping together the separate lining pattern was a pain, it was well worth it to have a nice-fitting lining. I really like how well the pattern came together, even the places where you need to ease pieces together (shoulders, armscye) were so easy that I didn’t even need to use basting stitches to gather. The waistline is a bit high and hits at a very flattering place for me.
Fabric and Notions Used:
The outer fabric is an 80/20 wool acrylic blend. I really like the texture of it. The lining is just cheapo lining fabric, I assume polyester, but it’s interlined with another layer of 95% wool for warmth. The two layers of wool make the coat super toasty, in fact it might be a little overkill for a Hungarian winter, but oh well.
The pattern says to buy 3.3 meters of main fabric. I bought 3.5 in case it shrunk (it didn’t shrink at all, naturally) and had a lot left over, more than half a meter. I think because I narrowed the sleeves I could get away with less.
At first I bought a 65 cm zipper (the pattern calls for a 70 cm but the store was out) which turned out to be comically short. I think 70 cm would also have been too short; I ended up using an 85 cm zip and it was perfect!
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Based on the incredibly helpful post by Mari of Seamster Patterns about sewing her boucle Pepernoot, I took a few centimeters out of the hood vertically, simply by folding the two hood pieces up a bit. I also added more match marks to the hood pieces.
My muslin was okay, very promising, although as basically every other reviewer of this pattern mentioned there is a LOT of ease in the sides and sleeves.
So I took 2 inches off both sides (1″ from the front, 1″ from the back) as well as 2″ from the sleeve. I did a fairly lazy adjustment by just folding out 2″ from the under sleeve. This way all the match marks still lined up.
In the Pepernoot sew-along, Rhonda suggests checking the position of the sleeve tabs before sewing them in place, and this was good advice – I moved them a few centimeters up to hit my wrist better.
She also made the suggestion that instead of the zippered pocket, the same pocket shape can be made into a simple patch pocket and I ended up doing that. I didn’t like the look of the zippers I had, and since I always have my hands in my pockets I didn’t want to scrape them on the zipper all the time.
The other big change I made was to fix the irritatingly-off-center front band. It was as easy as finishing the band on all four sides and then top-stitching the band into place, centered along the zipper.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes and yes! I’m already thinking about a spring raincoat version with a zip-out lining…