“Keeping Warm” in Seamwork Magazine November 2015

keeping warm seamwork article

Fall is here in the Pacific Northwest in full force (and the changing colors of the leaves look oh so pretty through the rain) and cool weather has come with it. It’s the time to start sewing for the even colder weather to come – to start planning winter jackets and coats. In this month’s Seamwork Magazine, I have an article on choosing fabric for sewing winter coats and jackets. There’s a lot to know about wool (wonderous material that it is), and a surprising number of other fabrics to consider.

Have you sewn a winter coat or are you planning on sewing a winter coat? What fabric will/did you use?

Comments 7

  1. I haven’t done much sewing in years, other than making curtains and hemming jeans for my daughters. I’m getting ready to start again and would love to make a winter coat. I’m in the Pacific Northwest also–on Whidbey Island. I really needed a good raincoat yesterday!

    I have made a couple of winter coats in the past–70s and 80s. One was a down-filled ski parka from a kit. The company sent the fabric and down, and I made the coat. I made another coat, but ended up not wearing it more than a couple of times. It was too heavy. I loved corduroy, so made a below-knee coat out of a reddish-brown corduroy. It had a pretty peach flowered cotton calico lining. It was just too heavy to carry around and put on, so I gave it away after a while.

    I’m thinking of making a coat for winter, out of a waterproof fabric. I’d like a lightweight lining, and some sort of insulation. My arms get cold, so I want really good insulation in the arms. I’m not sure what to use, so I will read your article to get some ideas.

    1. Post

      I’ve never heard of ordering a kit to make a parka. That sounds quite interesting! I hope your new winter coat sewing goes well! There are some great technical fabrics available these days that work well to make things both warm and light – worth searching for even though they can be hard to source.

  2. Two years ago I made myself a green cotton twill anorak for fall, and it’s still going strong. I am making my husband a dark green wool twill Albion coat by Colette with a flannel lining, and I’m feeling good about how it’s turning out. Yay! But the real reason I’m commenting is because I am in LOVE with your coat pictured above. What pattern did you use to make it? TIA!

    1. Post

      Your coats sounds lovely. So glad you like mine! It’s my own pattern. It’s on a list of possible future SeamstressErin Designs releases, so I will definitely note how much you like that and consider it for the future!

  3. You haven’t posted in awhile. Hope everything is ok, and if not, I hope ease comes to you soon. In the meantime, I will read your article, it sounds interesting!

  4. Great article! I have plans to sew a coat, but have the hardest time choosing a style/pattern. I already got the fabric, a nice middle weight wool. I have a question; do you pre treat wool fabric at all? I guess a me made coat will be dry clean only, but would it be an idea to give it a gentle cycle in the washer? I am so afraid to ruin the fabric!

    1. Post

      I generally pre-wash my fabric for the first time a tiny bit rougher than I intend on caring for it in the future. So for a wool fabric I might run it through the wash on a gentle cycle and let it hang to dry. Different weaves will respond differently, so it’s your call whether your particular fabric can handle it. If it doesn’t need to be cleaned but you’re worried about shrinkage, steam your yardage (with a steam iron hovering above the fabric) before working with it.

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