My First Coat! A Review of V9136

It’s here! My first coat! I am so happy with how this turned out and it has got me motivated to try more coats. I have had this pattern, Very Easy Vogue 9136, in my stash for awhile and it was a great first coat pattern to sew. It is very oversized, drop shoulders, patch pockets, and no lining. I love, LOVE, the collar on this coat and all the drama it brings.

I read a few reviews before getting stated and everyone said to size down, so even though my measurements put me right at a medium, I made the size small. I think it was the right call as it is still oversized but not too overwhelming. I did shorten the belt in the back by about an inch so that it would cinch in a bit more, but other than that I made this pattern exactly as called for in the instructions.

I bought this boiled wool blend coating in the color turmeric from Stylemaker Fabrics over Black Friday and was unsure if it was the right weight. In the end I think it works, but this coat could absolutely hold up a more substantial, thicker wool. I also think this coat would benefit from a lining and I don’t think it would be hard to do.

The construction of this coat is fairly straight forward and honestly it is a relatively simple make. I took the time to make fabric covered buttons and I love the look of them. There was much debate (online in reviews and in my house!) on the placement and number of buttons. This is an asymmetrical coat and the one button floating there bugs some. The solution has been to just add one more button above it. I didn’t do that, but it was a hot topic on the review boards.

The only part of this coat I don’t love is the back yoke facing. I didn’t have enough fabric (story of my life…) so I used a cotton in my stash. It is fine and no one will see it, but the self fabric would make the insides as pretty as the outsides. It’s also why there is a seam in the yoke, but that doesn’t bother me at all.

Other than that, I am very proud of this make. I didn’t know if I’d love the dropped shoulders but I will say this silhouette makes wearing a coat with sweaters and bulkier tops very practical. It is warm and cozy and I look forward to wearing it all winter long!

Like I said, this is a great beginning coat and it has got me revved up to keep going and try some new techniques. Next month I have a lined rain coat coming up and then a blazer after that. I think near the end of the year I may try another warm winter coat. I don’t know that I would ever make this particular pattern again any time soon, simply because it is just such a statement coat, but I do think it would work in a lot of different fabrics.

Coat Inspiration

I’m getting ready to dive into coat making as part of my Make Nine plans and in the process I fell down an internet hole of coat inspiration. I thought I would share some of the things I found, along with patterns to go with them. I have my inspiration, a ready to wear version of a coat this person would wear, as well as an indie pattern and a big 4 pattern that you could use to make it yourself. For all of these I was thinking warm, winter coats. My plan is to look into other kinds of coats throughout this process!

My first source of inspiration is Wonder Woman. We recently watched the new movie (please don’t bother, it’s really not good!) and the only thing I liked about it was Diana’s wardrobe. Everything she wears is chic, has movement and drape to it, and is so classic. Here is what I came up with.

I thought this Mackage Mai Wool Jacket looked like something she would wear, especially in the neutral. To make it yourself, check out the Willa Wrap Coat from Jennifer Lauren Handmade or this Burda 6394. I think both would give you that elegant look!

Next, I thought Emily in Paris would be a great place to look. I’ve never actually seen this show (I know! I’m sorry!) but I’ve heard all about the costumes. I was not disappointed when I went looking, Emily wears classic shapes with fun colors or textures that make them stand out. I think this is easy to recreate!

For ready to wear, I think this red coat from Anthropologie is such a classic coat in a great color. To recreate it on your own, check out the Hunter Coat by Fibre Mood or Simplicity 8797. Both have the great shapes and would look amazing in a bold fabric.

Google Audrey Hepburn Coats and just have fun looking at all the amazing fashion that will show up. I love the clothes, and specifically the coats, she wears in Charade. That wide funnel neck, those buttons, the length of the sleeves; just some great vintage goodness.

I thought this coat from Madewell gave you a lot of those vintage elements, look at it buttoned all the way up, with a modern twist. For almost all of these coats I really think I could have found something at Waffle Patterns, they have some amazing coat patterns! But for this inspiration I think the Yuzu Raglan Coat is pretty great. I think there are some collar options in this Butterick 6385 that would make it a good match as well.

I think so many of us were inspired by the fashion in The Queen’s Gambit. The retro style in those saturated colors made it hard to beat, and Beth had some fantastic coats!

Here is a baby pink coat by Stine Goya that I found that pays a pretty nice tribute to the show. This gorgeous Lemon Pie coat from Waffle Patterns gave me all the Beth vibes (that collar!) as does Butterick 6497.

If I had to name a major fashion influence from my childhood, Claudia from the Babysitter’s Club would be at the top of the list! I was so happy with how she was portrayed in the new series and I liked thinking about what kind of coat she would like. She would definitely be wearing something trendy with texture and cool shapes.

I think this plaid coat from Anthropologie is very cool and Claudia would rock it. The Diana Dress and Coat from Lenaline Patterns has almost the exact same shape and I think Simplicity 9187 could work too (look past the dreary envelope styling!)

I never watched all of Scandal but the little I did watch left a big impression on me. Olivia Pope always looked fantastic and she had some great coats! I love how expensive and sexy everything she wore was. I couldn’t leave her off my inspiration list!

This coat from Ba&sh is amazing and I have the Willa Wrap Coat as an option again. I think this Vogue 1650 could absolutely give you that expensive, sexy vibe!

And for my last inspiration, the (future) queen of coats, Kate the Duchess of Cambridge. Something I really miss with lockdown, albeit on the lower end of importance, is Kate out and about wearing coats. She always has amazing coats, feminine and tailored with amazing details.

Kate loves to wear Catherine Walker and her coat dresses are pretty spectacular. I had trouble finding an indie pattern that had the tailoring I was looking for, but this Pepernoot coat from Waffle Patterns could come close with the right details. This coat from vogue though, 1752, when I saw it in the newest release I immediately thought of Kate! Absolutely perfect for this feminie vibe, complete with princess seams!

Are you inspired to wear, buy, or make all the coats now?!?! I had so much fun researching for this post, I hope you enjoyed it!

Make Nine 2021

There is a fun challenge on Instagram that has been going on for awhile called Make Nine. At the beginning of each year you pick 9 patterns you want to sew and show them on your grid. Sometimes people pick 9 fabrics, 9 techniques, whatever it is that works from them and go from there.

I have done this before and it is a great way to think about your year and what you would like to spend time on. Even if they don’t all get made or you change them up, it’s a fun way to plan for the year to come and think of your creativity in a big picture way.

This year I am doing something a little different. I want to use the new year to dive deeper into my sewing and really level up. I would love to focus on a few projects that teach me new skills and take up a little more of my time.

For my make nine I am picking three different types of garments and then making 3 versions of those things. I would like to focus on coats, shirt making, and pants and sew these things throughout the year. I am planning on going in that order, but if I get inspired to switch back and forth I think that will be fine too!

I’ve chosen nine patterns for the grid, but nothing is completely set in stone. I will be sharing my process here, any great resources I find, as well as plenty of inspiration to keep us all inspired.

Stay tuned, I’m starting the year with an abundance of creative energy and I hope you’ll come along with me as I try and become a better sewist!