my Frankenstein coat: preparing to make it

For almost fifteen years, I made all my outerwear. Most of the quality ready-to-wear coats cost more than I’m willing to pay. Those coats are made for mass market appeal which is unappealing to me; they use safe colors and silhouettes. My current winter coat is many years old and holding up incredibly well. (I call it my ugly coat but it’s not ugly, just a little strange.) The problem is that I’ve been losing the battle of the pudge and feeling like overstuffed sausage in my beloved old coat. I like loose and comfortable clothing so all indicators force me to buckle down and make yet another coat until I get the weight issue back under control.


The sketch above is a flattened out version of the coat I’m making. I drew it flattened to help me remember the overall pattern piece shapes and construction. It’s based on a picture of a coat I saw somewhere on the internet. That coat used a solid black fabric, another thing I’ve been avoiding – wearing black. I want a colorful coat. Playful, if possible. Once made, gravity should create some interested draping at the hem.

I went to a fabric store but I wasn’t thrilled with the selection so I changed course. I headed to a local resale shop and purchased four coats I could alter and stitch back together: a Frankenstein coat. The coats weren’t in the vivid colors I wanted but they weren’t black either. I chose wool coats for warmth and for the potential to add color through felting. Another bonus about reworking used coats is that I will probably save a lot of time going this route and it should be less expensive.


The pictures don’t reflect the colors as well as I hoped. There’s a long, tawny, women’s coat; a men’s green, blue, and grey plaid coat; and a women’s green trench coat.  (I already started cutting the plaid coat apart before I remembered to take some pictures.) They’re all wool and they will, hopefully, offer up enough fabric to create the coat I’m shooting for. Being mostly neutral colors, I hope to felt some added pops of color. I also purchased a dark blue women’s coat but I don’t think I’ll use it.