Battle of the Stitches: A stitch in time

vintage girls wool coat

vintage toddler coat pattern Butterick 2196

Another round of Battle of the Stitches: competitive sewing that isn’t really competitive just a nice mutual motivation/inspiration sort of a thing. This time we chose a vintage sewing theme which was perfect as I’d just picked up this gem of a late 50’s/early 60’s coat pattern from a fabric consignment store in Pike Street Market, Seattle. For this round I’ll be joined by:

Olu from Needle and Ted who will be sewing a denim jumpsuit straight out of the 70’s.

Nina from Fliegfederei who is also making a 1960’s style coat, but her’s will be self-drafted.

Sara from Made by Sara will also be joining us and sewing a dress from a 70’s pattern.


battle of the stitches_final


I made view A of the coat exactly as the pattern suggested. When I say suggested I pretty much mean it as I soon learnt from the instructions provided that every home sewer in the 60’s must have had the experience level of a master tailor. None of the gentle step by step photos/illustrations to coax you through the process that I’ve become accustomed to using modern patterns. The instructions for all the versions of the 3 garments fit onto one page and needed a fair bit of guessing and googling to decipher. It called for a lot more hand sewing than I’m used to and some stitches I’ve not used before but was pleased to learn, such as a french tack. (I learnt how using this tutorial)DSC_3271The pattern called for denim or gabardine, but as I wanted this to be a warm winter coat I used a loose weave wool combined with scraps of wool for interlining. This caused me quite a lot of problems, some with the give in the loose weave wool (thankfully all those hand sewn steps helped with this) and some with bulkiness, especially with the piping that continued round the front of the coat and onto the facing. If I was making it again I would definitely cut separate facings for the front of the coat to help it sit flatter.wool interlining

I lined the coat with yellow cotton with polyester lining for the sleeves. It pained me not to use mustard which would have picked up the flecks in the main fabric but it probably would have pained me more to buy mustard lining fabric when there was perfectly good yellow fabric in the cupboard.DSC_3268vintage toddler coat Butterick 2196The bonnet pattern pieces were actually missing from the pattern envelope so I had to draft them using the layout diagrams as reference. I really liked the unusual shape of the double peak at the back of the bonnet. I ignored what seemed like unnecessarily complicated construction method suggested by the pattern, so it was a quick make, which is just as well as S was not too keen and I imagine it will be mainly destined for the dressing up box.vintage bonnet from butterick 2196

All in all the coat is far from perfect but it is cosy and pretty cute so it will definitely get plenty of use.
vintage toddler coat and bonnet Butterick 2196
vintage toddler coat and bonnet Butterick 2196


16 thoughts on “Battle of the Stitches: A stitch in time

  1. What an amazing coat! The yellow lining is awesome, and I can’t get over that bonnet! My kids wouldn’t wear the bonnet either — but I’m glad you made it. I bet it’ll get some mileage as dress up.

    1. She actually loves her other winter bonnets – but I think the brim on this one puts her off. Everyday is dressup day in our house though so Im sure it will get plenty of use.

  2. Brilliant, you did an amazing job of that coat, it’s beautiful and the matching bonnet is the icing on the cake. I love how the fabric nearly matches the one on the pattern envelope. Did you consider making the trousers too? 😉

  3. I did – but I ran out of fabric (and it had been in my cupboard for years so there was no getting more). I love the trousers but S seems to have a fair few pairs at the moment so I didn’t want to make something that wouldn’t be used.

  4. Love the coat and bonnet — so glad you made the bonnet despite it being relegated to the dressing up box. And I like the pop of color that the yellow brings, though I might have been tempted by mustard as well. It’s like sunshine for a pretty winter coat!

  5. Such beautiful makes. The bonnet is adorable. Hand sewing is such a kill joy for me but it totally payed of because the coat is amazing ❤ and now I'll be checking what is a French tack because I have no clue 🙂 thanks for the link.

    1. I pinned one like it about a year ago too – it felt like fate when i found it in the shop. Have a look on ebay/etsy as their seems to be a few of these ones around.

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