How much can you alter a pattern until it stops being that pattern? At what point does altering a tried-and-true pattern become more work than the work of finding and testing a brand new pattern? These were the things I pondered while planning my newest coat:
You would be forgiven for not immediately recognizing this as the Pepernoot Coat from Waffle Patterns. I’ve made this coat with fairly minor adjustments twice before (winter version and spring version) but this time I needed to change things up. Mainly because I wanted a different style coat this time around, but also because I was working with a very, very small piece of fabric – just 110 cm (for comparison, the original pattern calls for 3.3 meters).
But how gorgeous is this fabric? It’s an Italian wool (is Italy famous for its sheep?) and I bought the last bit of it from a local fabric store. I wasn’t sure about the color but it’s grown on me and I think it’ll be great for autumn and winter! The color is truest in the outdoor photos, of course, but this is also not a bad representation:
There was some intense pattern Tetris going on to be able to cut everything out, but in the end I only had to piece a bit of the collar.
In my other two versions I removed 4″ of ease from the sides and sleeves. In this version I removed another additional 2″ from the sleeves (so, 6″ total removed from the sleeves, and I can still wear it with a sweater underneath – this pattern has a LOT of ease).
The front and back bodices have lost the yoke pieces and are cut as one piece. The sleeve also ended up cut as one piece, although that wasn’t the original plan; I just ran out of fabric.
The waistband of the original Pepernoot is fairly high anyway, but I took it up another half inch. The “skirt” part of the coat is the most immediately obvious change – considerably shorter, and with pleats added.
Instead of the sleeve tabs, I cut the sleeve shorter and added a cuff at the wrist – this is a technique I use pretty often on knit things, when I’m trying to squeeze a cardigan with long sleeves out of a too-small piece of fabric.
I replaced the zipper with a front overlap and buttons. Ideally this would have been a double-breasted coat but there just wasn’t enough fabric.
Instead of the hood, I cut a simple folded rectangle for the collar. Again, with more fabric I would have made a bigger collar, but since I’ll always be wearing a scarf it’s fairly moot anyway.
And of course, pockets! Somehow this was the first time I’ve ever sewn a welt pocket? Not sure how that’s possible… Even with this great tutorial from Colette, it was ever-so-slightly nerve-wracking but I think they turned out fine.
The insides are a bit of a disaster; I lost my head while cutting out the lining and instead of cutting the lining *slightly* bigger than the main (like, 1/2 a centimeter would have been good) I cut it *hugely* bigger (almost 2″). So it flops around all over the place, and occasionally peeks down below the hem, despite my best efforts to tack it into submission. Never mind, the collar / hanging loop looks nice.
All-in-all, I’m really pleased with this project. I’ve been wearing it nearly every day since I finished, and if the weather stays as it is, I hope I can keep wearing it right through the winter!