Wrap Coat: Fabulous Even in Muslin!

Yay! The Seventies Wrap Coat is done in muslin, and it’s just as fabulous as I hoped it would be. Don’t let the strange facial expressions in today’s photos confuse you, I love this coat!

One of the easiest ways to tell if you’re going to like the finished garment is to see how you feel about the muslin. If the design looks good in muslin, it’s going to look amazing in real fabric! That’s how I feel about this one. The muslin is awesome all on its own. If it looks great in the blah muslin colour, imagine how pretty it will be in teal and chocolate wool!

Enough talking – let’s look at some photos! (Try to ignore the weird faces in the ones where I’m wearing the muslin. Why does it always happen that the photos with my eyes closed are the ones that show the coat best?)

Here’s what it looks like un-belted:

It’s pretty tent-like, isn’t it? The belt is absolutely necessary! What’s great about the fit of this coat is the roomy cut. Choosing a coat pattern that’s loosely fitted allows you to layer warm sweaters underneath. I get really cold easily and being able to layer makes this coat just perfect for me. I have a tendency (and maybe you do too!) to overfit everything. Sometimes all you want is a super cosy, roomy coat – and the belt gives it shape! Let’s put that belt on.

I sewed the muslin, minus the patch pockets, and took photos. Then I attached the pockets and took another set of photos to compare. The absolute best way to see the difference is to compare side-by-side photos. If you’re stuck on a decision for your sewing project, take two photos – one ‘before’ and one ‘after’ – and then look at them next to each other to see which you like better. This also works for choosing buttons, too!

Here’s the muslin on me, while I stand in the one clean corner of the office. It’s a pretty cool-looking coat, isn’t it?

Back view: the collar does an excellent job of broadening the shoulders, making the hips look narrower in comparison. That’s my kind of optical illusion! I like the pleat at the back too – it starts underneath the belt, so you don’t even see the stitching that holds the pleat in place. Very tidy!

When I added the pockets, I thought about sewing them on with beige thread, so they’d be harder to see, but decided hot-pink topstitching was fine. You can’t even see it in the photos! For the real pockets, not only will they be textured and multi-coloured, but the instructions call for each pocket to be topstitched first, and then slipstitched by hand to the coat. So if I leave off the topstitching, they’ll be sewn invisibly to the coat front and blend in even more.

The patch pockets are at the exact right height for stuffing your hands in! I thought they looked rather low-hanging in the pattern illustration and when I pinned them on the dress form but when you wear the coat, they’re in the perfect spot. Something about adding the pockets makes it seem more finished, too.

The hemline is just where I’d want it – at the narrowest part of the knee. (It’ll look even better in heels but it was easier to run back and forth from the camera in flat feet!) Chocolate brown knee-high boots would be just perfect. Or brown oxford-style pumps.

Wrap coats are easy to fit and sew! Especially a wrap coat like this, that relies on the belt to give it shape and is tent-like otherwise.

After looking at these photos, I’m planning to keep the pockets. They’re comfy, they’re functional and they don’t add too much bulk to the hipline. Casey made a great point about potential pocket sag, especially once they’re filled. The instructions say to interface the pocket and line it, so that should add enough structure to support the pocket contents. I feel like they balance out the wide collar and create an hourglass effect. And they’re perfectly placed to keep my hands warm! I’m sold on them. What do you think?

Next up: cutting the real fabric! Scary but fun, and now I know the coat fits!

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41 Responses to Wrap Coat: Fabulous Even in Muslin!

  1. Annabelle October 3, 2011 at 6:07 am #

    Tasia – this is looking amazing! The patch pockets are perfect and I would definitely keep them. I remember some of your earlier posts on this coat made you think of a bathrobe – that is not a problem here. Even in the muslin, this looks like a fabulous, chic coat. I cannot wait to see the finished garment.

  2. Lisette October 3, 2011 at 6:08 am #

    It looks so good! I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for this pattern.

  3. Jennifer October 3, 2011 at 6:26 am #

    Ooo! I love it! It looks so cozy yet, still polished. If I happen to come across this pattern, I’m buying it! You look so happy with your pockets so, I agree, you should definitely keep them! I can’t wait to see this in the wool!

  4. Casey October 3, 2011 at 6:28 am #

    I really like the pockets too now that it’s a fully made muslin and you’re modeling it. It’s amazing the difference between a dressform and an actual person sometimes! On the dressform I wasn’t so sure about the proportion, but it works great on you. You’re right too: the collar really adds a lot to the silhouette illusion. It’s going to be marvelous made up in the fashion fabric!

  5. Anna | Mormor hade stil October 3, 2011 at 6:51 am #

    Wow! This will look totally amazing when done with the real fabric. I quite envy you for finding such a perfectly fabulous wrap coat pattern. ;-)

  6. Claire (aka Seemane) October 3, 2011 at 6:59 am #

    You’re so right – it looks great in the muslin, so it’s gonna be so fab in the fashion-fabric :)!

  7. Marie October 3, 2011 at 7:10 am #

    This is looking so fab Tasia!!!

  8. karen October 3, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    That looks amazing. I can’t WAIT to see how this works up. It looks so much more flattering on you than on the dummy. You make some great points about the versatility of a wrap coat. Oh, I want to make one now!

  9. Rhonda October 3, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    It looks good enough to wear as is. The finished coat will be amazing, I’m sure.

  10. Carla October 3, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    I like it!!! The pockets are definitely keepers! (Adding this pattern to the “watch for” list.)
    Looks great on you :)

  11. Clare October 3, 2011 at 7:45 am #

    This is looking great already – looking forward to seeing the final version!

  12. Claire October 3, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    It looks awesome! I can’t wait to see it all finished. I’m glad you decided to keep the pockets. As a fellow pear, I just want to say that your shape is lovely, and pockets aren’t going to change that! I’m sure there are a few styles that our type should stay away from (drop waists, maybe), but for the most part it’s about owning your look.

  13. Frances October 3, 2011 at 7:47 am #

    Fabulous! That collar! It’s going to look so great in the fabric you’ve chosen for it. Nice to see a successful coat sew – it gives me hope that I can do it, too!

  14. Beth (SunnyGal Studio) October 3, 2011 at 7:50 am #

    Looking good! I made a coat last year and I thought the collar seemed crazy big in the pattern pieces, but in real life it was just right. Yes to pockets, of course! where else would you put your keys and gloves? Pockets are a necessity!

  15. Corinne October 3, 2011 at 7:54 am #

    This is a winner. The lines on this pattern suits many figure types, that is why this style and its followers are classic and reincarnated every season with minor tweaks. As Casey suggested with the pockets, the top line does need support. Depending on the weight of your fabric, you need to test different weight interfacing not just for the pocket body but also for the top edge. A one inch strip of interfacing added to the top edge, before you apply the interfacing to the pocket body, will protect the edge from drooping. Just be careful that it is a softer, sew in or fusible interfacing so that is not stiff and would stand away from the body. Your Muslin looks great, can’t wait to see it in your beautiful fabric.

  16. Layla October 3, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    Defo yes to the pockets- they look wicked! Wasnt sure about this pattern when you first started talking about it but now im well up for it. its gonna be lovely.

  17. Seraphinalina October 3, 2011 at 8:13 am #

    Love it – including the pockets. It’s going to look fantastic in your fabric.

  18. Catholic Bibliophagist October 3, 2011 at 8:16 am #

    I definitely like the pockets!

    You are inspiring me to dig out the ’70s wrap coat pattern I’ve had in my stash since, well, the ’70s.


  19. RobinDenning October 3, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    love it, love it, love it!!

  20. The F Girl October 3, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    Tasia, what a gorgeous coat that is going to be. You look stunning in it. Beautiful!

  21. Marilyn October 3, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    Fabulous coat on you! The pocket size and their placement visually balance the oversized collar.

    You may want to try sewing some twill (or stay-tape) to the top edge of the pockets under the lining for added stability.

    Have you thought of a small security pocket in the inside lining? I place them where my ribcage is to hold a key, a 10 dollar bill and some I.D. when I don’t want to have a handbag with me (at the movies, theater, luncheon, etc.). Use a lightweight zipper, Velcro, or a button closure.

    Love sewing along with you!

  22. Sunni October 3, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Oh definitely keep the pockets! You could actually even come up with your own pocket shape or add a pleat or something to the pocket if you wanted to add a little spice. It’s what I did to my boyfriend’s jacket last fall and I couldn’t have been happier with the result. I love the coat style on you too! I’ve got a very similar 70’s wrap style coat that I’ve been meaning to make up – trying to find a decent fabric. I love this style! Love it! And it looks so chic on you, yet still comfortable and like you say, roomy and warm. The comfort factor has been a big deal to me lately. Big deal! Oh I’m so excited to see the finished version! Yay!

  23. Lindsay October 3, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    So excited to watch this come together!

    Also, really difficult not to replace ‘so’ with ‘sew’ in that last sentence.

  24. Zilredloh October 3, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    The muslin does look great, as is. :) Can’t wait to see it in the real fabric!

  25. Sewingdina October 3, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    You’re right, this is lovely! Definite yes for the pockets. Your muslin looks way better than the pattern illustration.

  26. MushyWear October 3, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    Looking Good! Can’t wait to see it in the fashion fabric!

  27. Kerry October 3, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    Ooh it looks so nice! I bet it will look amazing in the final fabric. It’s very stylish and feminine.

  28. Katy October 3, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    How cool, it somehow reminds me of Charlie’s Angels

  29. Reana October 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    Totally fabulous! I really like the pockets and hope you keep them. It’s way too pretty to appear ‘bath-robish’! RL x

  30. kaitui_kiwi October 3, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    Looking fabulous Tasia! xx Your muslin even has me excited for the final version and I agree you should keep the pockets, they do finish it off and they are the perfect placement to stick your hands in them to keep warm :)

  31. patsijean October 3, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    Love the look of the coat on you already. Thinking back to the “old days” , you might also consider a nice wool skirt, sweater, tights and loafers.

  32. Ashlee October 3, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    You’ve done it again! Even the muslin looks fabulous; can’t WAIT to see the real deal. AND. You’ve inspired me to cut into my vintage coat pattern THIS year.

  33. Rachel October 3, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    It looks great! Definitely keep the pockets! Can’t wait to see the real thing.

  34. Meagan October 4, 2011 at 2:29 am #

    Wow Tasia. You are inspiring, this coa is amazing, even in muslin. The style suits you even with the pockets. I would tack pockets on first just to check bulk on your hips as this is an issue I have as a pear :-) Can’t wait for next post.

  35. Jo @ a life in lists October 4, 2011 at 6:34 am #

    Ooh, it looks great! I’ve never even thought of sewing a wrap coat – buttonholes fill me with horror (especially on something made with expensive fabric and lots of hours work, like a coat!), so a wrap would be a great way to venture into coats without meeting my nemesis. Love the patch pockets, they really balance out the whole design.

  36. Carley October 4, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    The coat looks fabulous, even in muslin! Is this one of your patterns Tasia?

  37. Brumby October 4, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    I love the idea of pockets in everything I make these days, it saves me carrying a handbag most of the time, which is always a bonus in my mind. The coat is fab, and you’re right , even before I read you comment about it I thought to myself, that length hits perfectly where it should!

  38. Gail October 5, 2011 at 2:46 am #

    Yes you are right, fabulous. Make the heavy winter one, and a canvas floral for spring and autumn!

  39. Wag Doll October 5, 2011 at 6:16 am #

    The muslin looks fabulous, the cut & style is great so can’t wait to see it in the actual fabric. x

  40. jsullie October 10, 2011 at 3:22 am #

    omg! i love this!


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