A lined Sew Over It Lola coat

Jan 26 · 5 min read

How to transform a blanket into something wearable.

Last year, after a year of sewing, I decided I needed a new challenge and set myself to make a coat. I discovered Fabworks online and shortly after, met them at the GBSB live and really got inspired by all the wools.

For my first ever coat, I decided to pick a pattern not too fitted that wouldn’t require to make a toile first.

I picked the Lola coat from the Sew Over It City break ebook, a loose coat with a waterfall-style front. The pattern calls for drapey fabrics but I wanted to make a wintery version so I went with some light grey mohair fabric with an open weave from Fabworks. The package I receive was massive as the fabric was very bulky and let’s admit it, did look like a (very nice and warm) blanket. I ended up having doubts about the fabric suitability for the pattern but after wrapping myself in the wool uncountable times and analysing the drape, I decided to go for it.

I surely didn’t make my life easy with pattern modifications. First, given the fabric I had picked, it was absolutely crucial to line it. The coat comes unlined so I had to figure out how to line it myself but after seeing Emily’s version (@mlemaust on IG) I knew it was feasible. For the lining I bought some printed light pink viscose from Fabrics Galore.

I also wanted a version with pockets but not as long as the long version because the fabric requirements were a bit much for my budget so I had to modify the pattern pieces to get an intermediate length with pockets.

The lining of my Lola coat

How I modified the pattern: I shortened the front waterfall panel, front sleeve panel, back sleeve panel and lower side panel by 18 cm at the bottom of each piece. Because I shortened the coat so much, the pockets were too long and would have ended up showing under the coat. I therefore shortened the pockets by a few centimetres so that the bottom of the pocket would sit just above the bottom of the coat.

How I cut the lining: I cut the front sleeve panel and back sleeve panel in my lining fabric without any modification. Since I didn’t want to have a pocket in my lining, I attached the lower side panel and upper side panel pieces at the stitch line (taking the seam allowance into account) and treated it as one pattern piece. I cut this new side panel in the lining fabric. I didn’t cut the waterfall front in lining as it is already self lined.

How I figured out my pattern placement: The pattern pieces are massive because of the kimono sleeves. I only bought 2.5 metres of wool so to make the most of my fabric I decided to cut it as a single layer. I therefore had to trace each pattern piece’s symetrical. I usually open the A0 PDF patterns on powerpoint to figure out what my pattern placement will be but for this one it was too complex. Instead, I printed the A0 pattern at a 25% scale, cut all the miniature pattern pieces in my size and lay them on my cutting mat. In that way, I was able to see what the best option was, both for the main fabric and the lining.

25% size pattern pieces to figure out the best pattern placement

Cutting and sewing: This was my most challenging pattern cutting so far. I lay the wool as a single layer on the floor with the end rolled (because of lack of room), pinned all the pattern pieces and rolled them up as I was going to unroll the other end.

The fun task of cutting the Lola coat!

Because the fabric was quite unstable I had the cut everything with my rotary cutter on a mat smaller than any of the pieces. And then repeat with the lining! Overall it took me 8 hours (!!!) to cut both fabrics.

The sewing in comparison was a breeze! The instructions were easy to follow and a lot less confusing once you have the actual pattern pieces in your hands. I first sewed the coat in the main fabric without finishing the inside edges of the waterfall panels. Then I sewed up the lining and attached the front sleeve panels of the lining to the inside waterfall panels of the main coat, with right sides together. I machine stitched the bottom hem of the coat and lining together, leaving a gap to bag the coat out and hand stitched it close. Finally, I folded the sleeve hems of both the coat a lining and and hand stitched them together. I also made a tie belt and some thread chain belt loops that I inserted into the side seams at the time of sewing the coat up.

And tadaaa! Here is my first finished coat. I prefer to wear it open as it looks less bulky but it’s very nice and warm when it’s closed. Unfortunately I cannot wear it as an everyday coat because I wear a backpack most of the time and the mohair fabric is wearing off very quickly with the rubbing. After a few wears, I already had a “fluff-less” patch at the back. This is not due to the quality but just the nature of mohair.

Different styles, wearing it open or closed

Overall I think it’s a great pattern for a first coat with a very interesting construction. If fitting is not your strong point, then this is the coat to go for as it doesn’t require fitting. If I was to make it again I would probably go with a drapier fabric to make the most of the waterfall effect. If you decide to make it, good luck and get ready for some tedious cutting!

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Sew Naive

A fortnightly publication of sewing stories and tips. Sew through the world of patterns and fabric, find humour in our mistakes, chase the next make and embracing the challenges such as seam ripping and hoarding fabric.


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Sew Naive

Sew Naive

A fortnightly publication of sewing stories and tips. Sew through the world of patterns and fabric, find humour in our mistakes, chase the next make and embracing the challenges such as seam ripping and hoarding fabric.