Sewaholic Robson Trench Coat – In Progress….

Back in spring I was thinking about jackets and settled on the idea of a trench coat then thought I’d have a go at making one. I googled patterns and my favourite was the Sewaholic Robson Trench Coat.

materials (1824 x 1368)

The main fabric is a stone coloured gabardine from Calico Laine. The pattern is unlined but I decided to underline with a patterned cotton which I picked up from John Lewis. It is a Tanya Wheelan print, it was on sale at half price which helped with the decision. The seam allowances are bound so I bought a matching red ready made bias binding. The style needs 16 or 17 buttons and I finally found some reasonably priced ones on Simply Sewing. I bought two sizes, one size for the front opening and slightly smaller ones for the epaulettes, back yoke and cuff tabs.

Just to make it more of a challenge I decided to try bound button holes for the first time. I started off by following the patch method described in Gertie’s new book for better sewing. They weren’t very successful so I tried the method where you make two tiny welts but this looked even worse. I had a look in Claire Schaffer’s Couture Sewing Techniques and this had the patch method so I tried again. I re-drew the pattern piece straight onto the interfaced fabric and marked all the seam allowances and the position of the button hole. The point on the first epaulette I made wasn’t quite even so by drawing the stitching lines I could get it spot on.

tab markings (600 x 450)

 I stitched a large square patch to the front of the button hole carefully stitching along my drawn lines, counting the stitches on the short side and making sure I did the same amount on the opposite end. One tip I read was to start in the centre of one of the long sides, not at a corner. After some careful snipping I turned the patch to the wrong side and folded to create the welts making sure they were of equal width. I secured them by ‘stitching in the ditch’ by hand and then stitching by machine the little triangle fold back at each end of the welts inside.

button hole (600 x 450)

So after a bit (a lot) of practice I was happy with the results. To make the corresponding opening in the underside I used a patch of lighter weight fabric, which once folded through I topstitched around. By following the drawn on stitching lines the shape of the epaulettes worked out well.

epaulette (600 x 450)

I’ve made up the shoulder yoke with the button hole and have started on the cuff tabs. Once those are out of the way I need to crack on with the button holes for the front opening.  4 on the front piece and 3 on the under piece. I think I’m putting off starting them and doing other bits first, collar has been made up and everything underlined.

The weather is turning and autumn is nearly here so I need to get this finished……


6 thoughts on “Sewaholic Robson Trench Coat – In Progress….

  1. Oh it is turning isn’t it? I have so many things I still want to make for summer, but perhaps its better that I get back and finish the coat I meant to make for winter 2012…
    Your buttonholes look fabulous!

    • Thanks, I’m half way through the 7 buttonholes I need to do for the front opening. Doing the under flap first and getting better as I go. Hopefully the ones you will see on the front flap will be the best. Yep, autumm is here.

    • Thank you very much. I wrote this post over a year ago and there hasn’t been any progress 😦
      I’m happy with how the buttonholes looked on the back flap and epaulets but stuffed them up on the main coat opening, I think the underlining didn’t help here. Then my mojo for the coat flew away. I hope it won’t be an unfinished project for ever…..

      • Oh my :(; me neither – I too hope it’s not a lost cause. I guess ’cause I’ve gone loopy over this pattern I expect everyone else to. Frankly I have not the money this second to buy all that I need to complete it, but I am claiming this coat as a November “Make A Garment A Month” challenge project. I don’t even have the pattern yet; it has been ordered. But I’ve got my eye open for suitable fabric deals to make this baby. I do hope I can find 60″ width fabric so I need only 4.5 yards versus the over 6 yards for 45″ fabric, you know.

        Thanks for the follow. I’m looking forward to reading your blog too.



      • Good luck with your November make. I think I over complicated things by underlining. Hopefully you will find a 60″ wide fabric. I’m in the UK and found that most twills were 60″ wide and not too expensive.

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