Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Make Your Own Winter Coat This Season

Fur Collar Trench by Boy by Band of Outsiders. Trench style wool coat with removable fur collar and self tie belt. $2,240 at La Garconne.

A winter coat is one of the most satisfying and cost-effective things you can sew for yourself: You can build it exactly to your specifications, and not skimp on linings like even some of the better RTW companies do. And you can save lots of money when you make your own coat, because even on sale winter coats are still pricey.

This season I am really taken with the above Boy by Band of Outsiders winter coat and am hankering to make one like it. First, I can repurpose a fur collar from an old coat that's been languishing in my closet. Second, how great is it that it has a quilted lining. Our NYC winters have been cold lately and this winter I'll be prepared with a quilted lining.

Lucky for us wool coatings abound in the Garment District. Shop around, trying W. 39th Street first for bargains before heading to standbys like Mood, B&J's, Paron's, Rosen & Chadick, Elliott Berman Textiles, Lace Star and NY Elegant. You can find quilted lining fabric at Mood, B&J's, A.K. Fabrics and NY Elegant. Now get sewing and finish that coat before the first snowflake falls in the tri-state region. (Oops, too late.)

Quilted fabrics at NY Elegant...

...and at Mood Fabrics.


  1. thanks for the tip on the quilted linings at mood & NY Elegant! I've been pondering how to make this year's coat warmer & I might try that.

    Usually I line with a very tightly woven dupoini silk, which while a little $$$ really boosts the warmth & windproof factor.

  2. Interesting ideas. I'm thinking about re-lining an otherwise quite nice JNY coat that came with one of the cheeziest lining I've ever seen. Not very warm either. The quilted linings might be a good replacement-thanks!

  3. I hadn't thought of sewing a winter coat...because I've got a small closet with a couple of coats already taking up a lot of space...but I love the idea of re-using a fur collar. I could do the same with a jacket that's seen better days but the collar looks like new....

  4. I'm sewing a coat right now...quilted lining would have been a great choice. Now I know for next time. Thanks!

  5. Thanks for the info. I think I'll take a few more FIT evening classes before attempting a winter coat from scratch. (I have no old coats to practice on. Not anything I'd want to wear, anyway.)

    I also -- and this is not because I like to spend money, or right now have lots to throw around -- would probably get a pattern professionally made.

    New York Sewer

  6. Well, any patterns that you would recommend?

  7. It used to be that a well made coat had a chamois interlining in the upper back and chest to cut the wind. Burda style mentions it briefly in a blog entry about interlining but there are no details.
    As an aside - for those of you that have an ebook reader, there are lots of vintage sewing & tailoring books available free on various websites like project Gutenberg (I always need to type that twice as I first spell it "guterman" lol!). Here's one I found very entertaining especially this page when he talks about "poetic tailoring"
    You can also read them online but I really like reading them first on my ebook reader.

  8. Thank you so much for the tip on getting interfacing and lining at Mood! I got a couple weights and weaves of fusible interfacing for $2.50/yd and a stretch lining for $5/yd. Who'd'a thunk that Mood would be an affordable source for the basics? Also found a beautiful feather trim for my hat.

    Although, goodness, it's almost impossible for a "real" sewist to use Mood for all the tourists underfoot. I had to squeeze past a school group getting a lecture from one of the employees about how well he knows Tim Gunn. Of course, tourists are better than the woman who had lost her bag claim tag and was trying to get the guy to relinquish her bag without it because, "I'm a designer, I'm very busy."

  9. Quilted lining adds warmth and elegance - love your coat idea.

  10. Hi Slapdash - that was me, on the Mood interfacing tip! Glad it worked out for you. Yes, it's an unexpected bargain lurking in a dark back corner of that store, far beyond and behind all the $35/yard fabrics ...


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