The Maker’s Atelier Utility Coat

One very wet, cold, blustery day


I have become an erratic/ non-existent blogger due to lack of time. There seems so little of it and sewing takes priority over writing, however, just recently I have made a few items I am excited enough to want to share so you may see some posts over the next few weeks.

Do you ever find the perfect pattern and then match it to the perfect fabric and then for some reason not make it up? When The Maker’s Atelier launched the Utility Coat I knew immediately it had to be mine. I also knew I had to make it up in a navy and silver rip stop from Cloth House, and then……nothing.

Well, not quite nothing, I actually spent hours of my life thinking about it; worrying (would I be able to sew the fabric?), surfing (perfect haberdashery to go with perfect fabric), planning (should I try to be clever and make a reversible coat?) and dreaming.

Finally, I got sick of the roll of fabric cluttering up our flat and decided I had to bite the bullet. It turns out that rip stop fabric is surprisingly easy to cut, sew and iron (although the silver side got extremely hot, even on the coolest setting)

The pattern is very simple, the only problem I had was matching the notches on the hood, which I think may be misaligned (but could be me). To ensure a neat, rain resistant finish I used felled seams, hood seams and hems were finished with white tape, which also added some much needed weight to the fabric and the waist and hem have 3mm elastic drawstrings

My favourite bit was using my new Prym popper and eyelet tool. I added small eyelets under the arms to give some ventilation (thank you Frances for the suggestion), large eyelets on the ends of the drawstring channels and the pockets and fronts close with poppers. There is something very satisfying with snapping hardware onto a garment.

So I love this coat. Frances, as ever, has managed to produce a fabulous and stylish shape. It is very practical, being almost water-proof, large enough to accommodate extra jumpers underneath and having pockets big enough to hold my kindle (actually that was my modification). I also love the fabric which is unusual and beautiful but matches virtually everything else in my wardrobe.

There are a few things I would do differently if I made it again, but I will leave those until another post.


The Maker’s Atelier – Summer Coat

imageHave you come across The Makers Atelier? I first came across them at the Selvedge Winter fair last year and was attracted by the simple, stylish shapes made up in neutral colours and fabulous fabrics.  The proprietor is Frances Tobin who runs sewing workshops as well as making up all the patterns.

After seeing them at the fair I must admit I copied Frances’s idea for a silver PU pencil skirt.  As I have also bought some of her patterns I don’t feel too guilty!

The pattern I bought at the winter fair was the Unlined Raw-Edged Coat which can be made up in neoprene or boiled wool (i.e. something with a bit of body which can be left with raw edges).

I had some embossed scuba bought on one of those late night internet shopping expeditions and sitting in the back of my cupboard without a purpose.  Not that I didn’t think the fabric was fabulous just that I didn’t know what to do with it.  Fabric Godmother still has the same fabric for sale but no longer in the Navy.  I’ve also seen it in the fabric shop in Brixton if you are in the area.

If I am being completely honest the fabric is a little too light for the coat, but as it’s a summer coat I’m not sure it really matters that much.

Cutting out the coat took several hours, as usual I was a bit short on fabric (2m rather than 2.3m) plus the pattern pieces are so huge it was difficult to lay it all out on our table.  Eventually I managed it though I think my coat is about 2-3cm shorter than it should be (no problem, I’m a few cm shorter than I should be too!)image

In contrast sewing it up took me about an hour – yes it really is that quick even for a slow coach like me. You will notice that my coat doesn’t have any buttons. This is partly laziness and partly intentional.  I haven’t actually found any buttons or press studs that I like, I’m also worried that the fabric is quite light and might pull, so for now it’s buttonless.

I’d like to make this again but want to use a heavy-weight boiled wool to give the coat more structure.  So far I haven’t found what I am looking for (and boiled wool is quite expensive so I need to be sure it is exactly right).

So my verdict.  I love the shape of the coat and am looking forward to making it up again. Makers Atelier have a good range of stylish patterns now and they are all very simple to make up.  Great for instant gratification but probably a bit too simple for anyone wanting to stretch their sewing skills.