Coats for little girls… (Part I)

The fabric for the girls' coats

A year or so ago I received a gift-hamper that contained, among other things, some old curtains, a sort of ugly, coarse-woven, earth-tone fabric. They reminded me of burlap, though I think the fibre is actually wool (they didn’t melt when ironed on “wool” setting, anyway, and they feel rather scratchy to be cotton). “Oh,” thought I, “Fabric!” and proceeded to pick out all the hems.

I then spent a couple of months trying to come up with what on earth to do with this potentially hideous fabric. It was badly sun-bleached on one side, but the former inside was pretty much good. What to do?

And then it dawned on me: coats for my daughters.  This heavy, ugly fabric would be great in cute little retro jackets.

Unfortunately this revelation occurred right before I had to start studying intensively for my candidacy exams. Finally, just after Christmas, I actually got out to a fabric store; I bought a ton of lining, thread, some buttons, and the pattern for Simplicity 2876. An hour or so later I scored McCall’s 3374 at Value Village—so now I had everything I needed to start.

My older daughter chose the Simplicity, and wanted a short version (fortunately as it turned out, or I would’ve run out of fabric for the younger one’s). I actually whipped it up in the space of a couple of weeks, which is record speed for me. It was (I may have mentioned this before) my very first lined jacket; I also underlined the old curtain fabric. I did wind up hand-finishing the lining at the cuff and hem, as it seemed simpler than trying to figure out the instructions for finishing the sleeve lining. It worked out quite nicely, I thought, anyway. Now the weather just has to improve enough for her to wear it.


  • lining
  • underlining
  • buttonholes
  • iron-on interfacing
  • collar


  • I suck at tight curves (like collars)
  • I also suck at buttonholes (and my automatic buttonholer foot wouldn’t work… the coat fabric was too thick.
  • pattern only mentioned six buttons (for the front); this particular sleeve variation should really have two more smaller ones for the tabs.

All in all, pretty happy 🙂



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6 responses to “Coats for little girls… (Part I)

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