Friday, March 11, 2011

Petite Chouette Coat

Well at least I know how to say "little owl" in French already right? Ha! That phrase I am sure is totally useful :) In any event I wanted to make sure I posted a tutorial and pattern for the coat I made for the Project Run and Play Finale... which seems like 4-ever ago.
Now this is a rather unusual tutorial for me because I will just talk you through it.
But believe me it is sooooooo crazy easy you will have no problems! So if you want to make your cutie a light spring coat then click below and lets get started!
Now just a quick question. I have been thinking about how I can streamline my blogging process. I was thinking about when I return to the states in 3 months for vacation trying out doing tutorials via video instead of step by step pictures. I would essentially video tape myself sewing what ever garment I am making and talk you through making it yourself. This would save me the time I stopping every step and taking a picture, then editing the pictures, uploading the pictures and cutting and pasting all the HTML all the time. What do you think? I think it might be more clear? I think every now and then I forget a step and this way it will all be on video. Of course that means I will have to stop biting my nails :) Tell me what you think!

First you need to download and print the pattern pieces which can be found HERE. Once printed and cut, tape them together lining up all stars or letters. You will use exactly the same pattern pieces for the lining and the main coat. You will need to cut extra if you would like a ruffle on the sleeve and collar. These are optional and could easily be left off if you like a more simple look. If you do want the ruffle I cut 2 lengths of fabric about 5 inches by 14 inches for the ruffle on the sleeve, and another length 5 inches by 20 inches for the ruffle on the collar. You will also need a long length of fabric if you want a belt. How long and wide it is depends on you and how wide you want your bow and how long you want the ties to fall down. Mine ended up being a bit longer then I liked. Now to make this tutorial more concise, you will need to do everything I say twice, once with the main fabric and once with the lining. This way I don't have to say every time "repeat with lining" just know you have to at every step :)
Take your Top Back piece and your Back bottom piece. Lay them right sides together lining them up at the waist line. Sew across the waist line connecting the top to the bottom. Set these pieces aside.

Take all four of your front bottom pieces. All four pieces will need box pleats in them. I used two large box pleats but you can do more smaller ones if you think it looks better. All you need to make sure is that with the pleats the front bottom piece's waist length is the same as the front top pieces waist, essentially the top and bottom need to line up. Once you have pinned (or sewn if you prefer) your pleats take your top front piece, lay it right sides together with your front bottom piece. Sew across waist line to connect the two. Repeat for the other 3 sets of tops and bottoms. Now set these pieces aside and grab your sleeve pieces. Lay the pieces right sides together and sew up the long edge. Repeat for all other sleeve pieces.

At this point I ironed my sleeve seams so they laid nice and flat. Once done take one of your sleeves and your coat back. Lay the sleeve and your coat back so they are right sides together. Line up the "arches" of the sleeve with the "arch" of the coat back. Now sew along the arch, connecting the sleeve to the coat back. Repeat on the other side. Now grab one of your front panel pieces. (It is important to note the the front panel piece should have the straight edge to the CENTER of the coat front, the slanted edge will be attached to the back of the coat.) With the unattached part of the sleeve, again line up the arch of the sleeve with the arch of the front panel. Sew along the arch. Repeat on the other side.

Woo hoo! You are almost there! Now the easiest and most straight forward way I have found to finished the sleeves with out twisting and turning inside out and getting all confusing, is to at this point take both your coat main and coat lining over to the ironing board. Turn both coat pieces inside out. Now with an iron iron up a hem on the sleeve bottoms. I made sure my lining hem was a bit larger then my main hem so that it wouldn't poke out. Don't worry about sewing at this point just iron all four sleeves. Okay, with right sides still together you are going to line up the front panel pieces and the back panel pieces. Sew up from the bottom of the coat around the armpit and down the sleeve. Repeat on the other side. You now have a coat!....sort of :)

Now if you don't want a belt you can skip this part. If you do then we are going to make two little belt loops. If you want this to be SUPER easy simply cut yourself a four inch piece of bias tape. If you don't have bias tape, all you need to do is cut a scrap piece of fabric (I used some from my lining for contrast) about 4 inches long. Using your iron, iron over both long raw edges. Then fold the piece in half lengthwise and iron again. This will give you a nice long finished edge and two unfinished edges. Sew along the folded finished edge, making it so it stays closed :)  Now iron over both raw edges, keep in mind how large your belt is so that you make it wide enough to fit through. Once done grab your coat and turn it right side out. Attach your belt loop by top stitching on the top and the bottom, I placed mine where the front panel and back panel meet but you can move them if you like. Set the coats aside.

Now if you don't want a ruffle you can skip this part. If you do then take your two 5 inch by 14 inch pieces. Iron over both short raw edged. Now fold the piece them in half and sew a gathering stitch along the raw edge. Gather the ruffles until they are the same length as the circumference of the sleeve bottom. Repeat with second ruffle. For the neck You will repeat the process just make it long enough to go all the way around the neckline.

Now we are going to sew the lining and the main coat together. Turn both "coats" inside out. (do not worry about the sleeves right now) Line up all the edges and pin all the way around. Now take your neck ruffle and tuck it in between the lining and the main, lining up all raw edges. Pin in place. Start at the center of the bottom of the coat (making sure to back and forth at the beginning), sew all the way around all the edge of the coat, stopping about three inches before you reach your first stitch, again back and forthing for strength. You will leave this little pocket so you can flip everything right side out.

Once you have flipped everything right side out and made sure everything is as it should (all pins are removed, you have now cracked seams etc) sew closed the little gab with a topstitch.

Now grab one of your sleeve ruffles. Both edges should be ironed over and finished looking. Slide the raw edges of the ruffle in between the main coat and lining. Pin in place. Top stitch all the way around making sure to catch all layers. Repeat on other side.

You are so close to being done!!! All you need to do now is attach the buttons you would like to one side of the panel top and make corresponding button holes on the other top panel. I used my sewing machines button hole setting to make mine but you can easily do this by hand. Just make sure your buttons and button holes line up :)

Now all you have left is your belt! I made mine by cutting a LONG piece of fabric, folding it in half, sewing across one of the short edges and then all the way along the long edge. Then I flipped the entire "tube" inside out, and topstitched closed the open end. Easy peasy! Thread your belt through your belt loops and you are done!!!! See I told you it was easy! Again I am sorry about no pictures. I just didn't have the opportunity to photograph as I sewed. Sometimes the stars just don't align ha! Hope this was clear though!


  1. LOVE the idea of a video. It is easier to visualize and do.

  2. Hey, you never know when you might need to explain to the GSO maintenance guys that "There's a little owl living in our attic!"
    I like the video idea. Maybe you could do one project on both video and the way you're doing it now so people can compare. It seems video would be easier to follow, though.

  3. That is adorable!!! She is a little fashionista.

  4. I prefer following the tutorial in the step by step format with pictures...but I totally get that it would be easier for you to do videos...I will still follow your blog, so I guess it doesn't matter much! :)


  5. I couldn't get the pattern to work. When I click on the link it says page error.

  6. Brenbren, I re-linked the pattern so hopefully it works now. Sorry about that :)

  7. I think video tutorials sound wonderful. That hat is just fabulous too! Did you make it, and will there be a tutorial????? Oh please say yes!

  8. I am with Jaimee - I like the photo, step-by-step tutorials, but I won't stop following your blog, so it totally doesn't matter!

  9. I prefer the step by step tutorials, but at this point in my sewing I usually just need the pattern. So either way, it doesn't really matter to me as I could figure it out either way.
    Oh, did I mention that I.LOVE.THAT.OUTFIT! I can't believe you did not win! Those colors are so up my ally. That whole picture is just beautiful.
    Anyway, your stuff is amazing. Thanks for sharing with us.

  10. I'm up for videos!!!! I think it makes sewing less intimidating for beginners!! JMT

  11. This is such a beautiful coat! I was wondering how much fabric you used, and what kind of fabric you recommend? Thanks so much for your wonderful blog! :)

  12. I've never been much of a video person. Mainly because I would hate to have to find the step in the video when I get stuck. I like the idea for initially seeing how its done but then I like to go check the steps as I go. (I also like to sometimes just print them or have it pulled up on my ipod to double check as I go instead of using the computer.
    Though for you and your awesome creations I would give a video a try. I say try it and have people vote then to see what they think.

  13. The coat is lovely and I just can't get over the colors you chose. It's a great color scheme!

  14. I'm very visual so I love the idea of a video. The only down side I can tink of is videos can't be printed out. I like having instructions near me when sewing something new. Love your blog and will still pop in either way.

  15. LOVE LOVE LOVE this outfit! You are so talented! I think I might just have to try to make the jacket, but I was wondering what type of fabric did you use for the jacket? Oh and maybe it already says on the pattern, but what size is the pattern?

  16. This is such a gorgeous coat! I'm so in love with it. How would you enlarge the pattern to fit a size small jr? Also to make it fit a 14 month old? I couldn't get the patterns to download is there any other way to download them? I also agree I love the step by step tutorials with pictures showing you how to do everything. I'm new to sewing and it helps out a lot. I love your blog and all the wonderful and chic patterns and tutorials you have on it. I'm so glad that I found your blog!


  17. Also do you have patterns and tutorials for the white blouse and the yellow skirt?

  18. Hello,My daughter found your wonderful blog ! Could you tell me if this coat could be made in a larger size ? (size 14 ) Thanks so much for your time .Connie

  19. I am IN LOVE with the coat! And the HAT, OMGiddyAunt! I would LOVE to know how that was made as well! I can't wait to try this coat! =)

  20. Hei, I love this jacket, it's beautiful and quite easy to do.
    But, I did not understood those sleeves?
    Is there one missing pattern piece or how I am supposed to sew the back of that sleeve top together with upper back piece?


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