I don’t want this to come across as an overly negative review of this pattern. I’m sure if you’re a more experienced seamstress - or can read the original German instructions - this would be a much more enjoyable sew. For context, I consider myself slightly above “advanced beginner”, but not quite at “intermediate” level. I’ve sewn a variety of garments and fabrics but not attempted jeans or underwear. This was my first coat and fully-lined adult garment. I hope that helps!
I struggle to find coats that suit me. I’m slightly above average height at 5’7” but I feel drowned by long coats. I have narrow shoulders and look like a child wearing an adult's suit jacket in anything with shoulder pads or a large collar/lapel! I bought this boxy pale pink Jack Wills coat in the sale last January. I loved the length and style, but the fabric was AWFUL and bobbled straight away.
I kept my eyes peeled for a similar pattern so that I could recreate it, and spotted the Schnittchen Patterns Silvia Coatigan on @frenchnavynow_ last September.
I chose a bright pink herringbone wool tweed from Fabworks (now sold out), Rifle Paper Co. rayon from Sew Me Sunshine for the bodice lining (also sold out, but available here) and a viscose-blend lining fabric from Like Sew Amazing for the sleeve lining. I didn't think the rayon would be slippy enough for the sleeves, and it meant I could cut the bodice and pocket linings out of just one metre - bargain! I've only used lining fabric once before and it was revolting and plastic-y and melted when I ironed it. In stark contrast, this lining feels lovely and slinky, and didn't melt or pull apart at the seams.
I was between a UK 8 and 10 on the size chart but opted for the 8 as I usually size down in RTW coats.
Fabrics as above
Scissors by Ernest Wright
Project bags by Sarah Ashford Studio
I decided to interline as the wool wasn't particularly thick. In my infinite wisdom, I opted to use fusible fleece. I don't think this is what it's intended for and I wouldn't recommend it as a lining! I cut out the front and back pattern pieces, trimmed 2cm from each edge and attached them to my wool before I began construction. It gives the finished coat a rather starched and boxy look, and I had to trim it down around the arms. I didn't add it to the sleeves as I thought I'd look like the Michelin man. On the plus side, it IS wonderfully warm!
With the fleece attached, I started assembling my Silvia. Be warned: the instructions are REALLY sparse and there aren't any pictures. There's a link to a separate album of photos but I didn't find these particularly enlightening. I muddled through most of it but really struggled with the collar. If you've sewn a collar like this before, you'll probably be fine, but I just couldn't get my head around sewing a 90 degree and 270 degree angle together. Mine isn't particularly neat and thanks to the relatively loose weave of the wool, I knew it wouldn't survive unpicking.
I'm also pretty gutted I didn't realise that the collar had a seam in it, or I would've pattern matched it!
Nikki of Hello Yellow Club recommended this Grainline Studio tutorial on bagging out a lining as the pattern instructions don't go into any detail. Luckily, I figured out sleeve linings last year when I made the Poppy and Jazz Honeydew hoodie. I was still a bit baffled by the front hem corners as the main coat has a bigger seam allowance than the facing. I studied my RTW coat and made an educated guess, which thankfully, seemed to pay off.
Despite the pattern pieces and seam allowances being the correct size, the lining was really baggy. A couple of people reported the same problem with this pattern, so I wonder if the drop shoulder causes it to droop? I couldn't face turning the coat the wrong way out again or performing major surgery, so I pulled the lining down 1cm onto the inside hem, and slip stitched it in place. It's still a little "droopy" but it looks much better. Hopefully I can still move freely without ripping my lining!
This is the longest I've ever spent on a project: I started cutting it out at the end of December and didn't finish until the first week of February. I really didn't enjoy the process and kept putting it off, but I banned myself from starting a new project until I'd finished it! I saved my Knit and Destroy tape measure scarf to wear with it, which was a great incentive to finally knuckle down!
It's not perfect but I'm enormously proud of my Silvia. I couldn't resist finishing it off with some of my favourite pin designs:
Pockets, me made and pattern paper heart pins available in my shop.