I made this Papercut Patterns Sapporo Coat from this luscious teal wool melton ($49.99/yard) from Britex Fabrics. It’s the first coat I’ve made from a melton fabric. I’m happy to say that it was easy to sew.
My lining fabric is also from Britex – it’s a lining specifically made for coats. This black warm-back coat lining is satin on one side and flannel on the other, which makes it easy to sew (more on this later). It’s 60″ wide and $15.99/yard.
I love the Sapporo Coat pattern and I especially love this beautiful fabric. The pattern instructions are clear and sewing the coat wasn’t difficult. Paper cut Patterns, which is based in New Zealand, rates its patterns with three skill levels – Rookie, Skilled and Expert. The Sapporo Coat is rated “Skilled,” which seems about right. You need to have some sewing experience to make this coat.
I’ve never made anything in this color and I’ve never sewn wool melton before. The color is a deep teal. I was having trouble getting the right exposure and the sun was so bright it was hard to see the images. The color is more accurate in the photos that are darker.
I’m thrilled that it turn out so beautifully. The design of this coat works very well with this fabric. You can really see the cocoon shape. It’s not a dramatic cocoon but more of a gradual tapering towards the bottom.
Sapporo Coat pattern details
This coat comes in three sizes – XXS/XS, S/M and L/XL. You can get the paper pattern for $30 NZD or the PDF version for $20 NZD. This is a coat has a lot of ease. I made the largest size because I have very broad shoulders and very long arms so this size was perfect.
I’m not joking about the broad shoulders. You know how people complain that Vogue patterns are huge in the shoulders? Well, those shoulders are fine for me. So far, I haven’t needed to make any adjustments in the shoulders for the Vogue patterns I’ve made. The teal is like the color in this photo and the one below it.
I’m about 5′ 7 1/2″ tall – though I like saying 5′ 8″ (172 cm). The coat hem is above my knees but a little below mid-thigh. So anyone shorter than 5′ 7″ should definitely measure the pattern and see where the hem will land on your body. You may need to shorted the pattern.
Sapporo Coat size
For some people, the size they initially made was huge on them so I highly recommend making a mockup before sewing your fashion fabric. Also, if you are not very tall, you will likely need to shorten the sleeves. You can shorten the sleeves by removing length from the shoulder of the top front pattern piece and the back. Then you can leave the cuffs as is.
I didn’t make any changes to the coat pattern except for lengthening the pockets. I added an inch of depth because the pockets seemed a little shallow for me. I have long fingers and I really want to get my hand in there.
Sapporo Coat pockets
The coat front is made up of two pattern pieces. The seam where the pieces come together include the pocket. So when I added depth to the top pattern piece here…
I also needed to add the same amount to the bottom pattern piece. To make sure they matched, I lined up the pattern pieces. The top pattern piece is folded down…
… and forms the top of the pocket, which you can see here. The pockets are formed by the fashion fabric, which may seem a little odd because pockets usually use lining fabric. I suppose if your fabric was really thick, you could use fashion fabric for 1/3 of the pocket and then lining for the rest.
Here’s what it looks like on the wrong side. I clipped the seam where it curves.
The front pattern pieces have opposing curves, which means careful sewing. I used a lot of pins, sewed slowly and it looks great. This fabric was easy to sew.
I LOVE the pockets!
Cutting and sewing wool melton
This was my first time sewing wool melton, which is a twill weave that has been felted and has a nap. When you pet it, you can feel the direction of the nap. It’s smooth when you stroke in one direction, and slightly rough in the opposite direction. Remember seeing the words “with nap” and “without nap” on the back of a pattern? Well, when you have a fabric with nap, you need to pay attention to the direction of the nap.
I noted the direction of the nap in my Chaco liner.
If you cut your pattern pieces and the nap is is not all facing in the same direction, the fabric pieces will look different when you sew them together. One piece may seem slightly darker than the other because of the nap.
Luckily, the layout Papercut Patterns provides for the Sapporo coat is laid out in the direction of the nap. I laid out my pattern pieces so that when you stroke the fabric up, that’s the smooth side. I laid it out that way because when you sit down, you will be stroking the fabric up. It’s better for the fabric to be stoked in the same direction.
I also consulted Sandra Betzina’s More Fabric Savvy book for advice on sewing wool melton. Her indispensable fabric guide has been updated this year. The latest edition is called All New Fabric Savvy. It’s worth every penny. I bought the new version, too. She tells you facts about fabrics, how to treat it before you sew it, what size needle to use and the type of thread that’s best for the fabric and much more.
Sandra recommends using a 90/14 needle, which I did and she also says to use silk thread because it “makes seams almost invisible.” Well, I didn’t want my seams to disappear so I just used Guttmacher polyester thread. She also advises using a Teflon presser foot. I didn’t have one so I got a snap-on version at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics, which is also where I bought my paper pattern. The Teflon foot looks like this.
Yep, it’s plastic. I’ve associated Teflon with metal because it’s used to make nonstick pans for cooking and baking so I didn’t expect it to look like this. But Teflon can be used to coat plastic as well. (Read about the six basic types of Teflon coatings on Chemours website.)
Sandra also recommended preshrinking the fabric by holding a steam iron above the fabric. I steamed it. You could also take it to a dry cleaner and have them steam it, which is what Douglas, the dapper sales associate at Britex, suggests.
I traced my pattern pieces using a Chaco liner. The pattern piece provided for the center back is half a pattern piece – like it’s supposed to be cut on the fold, except you don’t. I think to squeeze all the pattern pieces on two sheets, they had to slice it in half. So when I laid that piece out, I marked the “fold line” on the fabric with a few white lines. The I could line up the pattern piece with those marks and trace the other side. I used my Kai scissors to cut the fabric.
Sapporo Coat and interfacing
The pattern calls for interfacing along the front facing and bottom hem, which makes sense for lighter fabric or fabric that has a lot of drape to it. But melton is thick and Sandra Betzina says you don’t need interfacing for wool melton because it has a lot of body already. But she does say to stabilize the neck and shoulder with stay tape. So I fused some stay tape along the shoulder seam.
Sewing the cuffs
Each cuff is made of two pieces of fashion fabric. First you sew the side seam to form one side of the cuff and then you put one inside the other right sides together and sew the bottom edge.
This is a rather thick seam as you can see so I trimmed down the seam allowances to try to reduce the bulk.
Then I understitched the cuffs.
Because the fabric is so thick understitching made one side of the cuff slightly longer than the other side. I tried to press the fabric so the seam was exactly in the middle but it didn’t quite work. I basted the cuffs together at the top as instructed before I attached them to the shoulders.
Attaching the cuffs was the only part of this coat that gave me a little trouble because the cuff pieces didn’t want to line up. I used quilting pins on this fabric. I had to hold it in place as I slowly removed the pins as I sewed the cuffs.
Here’s another look at the completed cuff.
Here’s that the coat looks like from the wrong side – before the lining is attached.
Sewing the lining
Lining the Sapporo Coat was fairly easy. There are just a few pattern pieces, the front and the back, which uses the three pieces you use for the fashion fabric.
Here’s the lining cut and sewn. As I mentioned earlier, this black warm-back coat lining is flannel-backed on one side and a smooth and shiny satin on the other. The smooth side makes it easy for your coat to slide on and the flannel side makes it super easy to cut and sew. Britex carries it in six colors, including brown, silver and royal blue ($15.99/yard).
The lining is machine sewn along the front and the hem and hand sewn to the sleeves. You leave an opening in the side seam so you can turn it inside out. If you haven’t lined a coat before, it is pretty basic. You place the right side of the lining so it’s facing the right side of your fashion fabric and then you sew them together and turn it inside out. It’s similar to making a pillow, just a different shape.
I pinned the the lining to the facing, right sides together. I used a lot of quilting pins because longer pins are easier to work with the thick coat fabric.
Here’s a closer look.
Here’s the opening I left in the side seam. This is where I’ll turn the coat inside out.
When you sew the facing, you stop 3/8 inch (1 cm) short of the hem because the corners of the coat will be sewn together last, which you’ll see below.
Next I pinned the coat hem to the lining and sewed this seam, beginning and ending 3/8 inch (1 cm) from each end.
Here’s a close-up of the bottom hem pinned to the end. When you sew this seam, remember to stop 3/8 inch (1 cm) from the end.
Here’s a look at the lining corner after I sewed the bottom hem.
Then I sewed the diagonal seam and trimmed it so it would come to a point when I turned it inside out.
The lining is now attached to the facing and hem and looks like this.
Now the coat is ready to be turned inside out. So I pushed the right side of the coat through the opening.
Now all that’s left is attaching the lining to the sleeves. This was the tedious part because you hand sew the sleeve lining to the sleeve. They are wide sleeves so it took a while. I pinned the lining to the sleeves before I hand sewed it.
The back of the coat
The back of this coat is made of three pieces – one large center piece flanked by two triangular pieces. I love the seams on this coat!
And here’s another view of the back, which gives you an idea of how roomy the coat is.
The one drawback
I really love this coat but the one drawback is that it looks best with skinny pants or leggings. I had to wear these leggings because I don’t have any skinny jeans or narrow pants. I guess I need to make some now! Otherwise I need to come up with other outfits to wear with leggings.
In these photos I’m wearing the Draped Mini Dress, which I made from the Japanese sewing book She Wears the Pants. I usually wear it as a tunic with pants but I decided to pair it with leggings because I didn’t have anything else to wear with the coat.
We have to say that Chuleenan's coat is one of our favorite pieces sewn from our fabric--we now have coat envy. You'll find this Melton wool, along with other wools that would make this coat beautifully, on our website and in our brick-and-mortar store (don't forget we've moved! To 117 Post Street, just a block-and-a-half away from our former home). You'll also find the flannel-backed satin lining and Sandra Betzina's helpful books in-store: lining on the Main Floor, and books on the Second Floor.