Monday, October 11, 2021

The Ruby Peacoat- A Gem of A Pattern

Red winter coat, woman wearing it
As an ambassador with 5outof4patterns, (this post contains affiliate links) I publish something I  make each month from their patterns.  For October, I thought I’d give the Ruby Peacoat a whirl because it looked like a nice winter coat.  I knew right away I wanted the shawl collar and not the hood, and I knew I wanted the outer fabric to be something other than fleece.  I have my limits with fleece, looking at other people wearing it and wearing it myself, so I looked in the home dec section of the fabric store, thinking there might be something that would look nice for the outer fabric.

I found this red tweed, almost a brick red, and knew right away this would be a great color.   I knew that finding any kind of coating fabric locally would be impossible and I didn’t want to play games with fabric swatches from online companies, when I wasn’t really sure what something might be like.  I hadn’t given myself a lot of time to get this coat muslined, adjusted and then sewn up for October,

For the lining, I knew I wanted fleece and probably something fairly thick because the the tweed will give no protection from cold or wind.  With the ridiculously huge assortment of fleece options at Joann fabrics, I was shocked at how difficult it was to actually find what I was looking for.  Some were too thick, not smooth enough (I kept remembering I might want to wear a sweater under it and trying to imagine getting my sleeves in and out) and some textures didn’t have a color or print I liked,

I chose this red flowered fleece and spent the next few weeks questioning that decision.  For one, it’s fairly thick so I knew cutting it was going to be a challenge. I was pretty worried that it would not be flat enough to cut well and I’d have a poorly cut lining in what might be an already tricky project.  It actually cut really well, except for the fuzz.  Lesson learned- if I ever use this kind of fleece again, I will use a pinking blade on my rotary cutter.  I immediately serged all of the fleece pieces so I didn’t chase fuzz for the whole project and that really saved my sanity.

Another concern I had is the softness.  I’m one of those weird people who touches chenille and feels like it’s always wet.  This is a similar softness and I worried that I’d always feel like it’s wet.  So far, working with it, it doesn’t have that wet feeling.

The print  is a little loud and I knew I wanted to expose it on the shawl collar, and I thought maybe it would be juussssst enough. I think it is.  

The pattern is so much easier than I expected.  I am a pretty advanced sewstress, so I never let a pattern get the best of me, but because this is a coat, I kept thinking it would be outrageous.  It was a breeze and in many ways, it was far easier than some of the workout tanks I’ve made.  You basically make the same coat twice, sew it together and through some amazing magic, turn the whole thing out through the arm seam and everything is exactly where it should be.

The instructions are wonderful, and as always in a Digital 5outof4 pattern, there are links to each new thing you might want to add such as the hood or the collar, so you aren’t running through a pattern, trying to figure out what you do or don’t need to do.  There are videos that I did not use but I would imagine if the pictures and words don’t make things clear enough, you’d get what you’re missing from the video.

I chose the side seam pockets because I pretty much can’t stand any other kind of pocket for my coats.  They feel great (that fleece lining,) and they are spacious, but they give the coat a slightly bulkier look than I was hoping for.  I also completely forgot I had done them and when I first flipped the whole coat right side out, I felt these squishy thing near the hem and though I had left something inside the coat!

I’m very short through the torso, so most tops have to be shortened anywhere from 2-4 inches, depending on the pattern,  I took this one up 2 inches at the shorten/lengthen line and I’m glad I did.  The original length wasn’t bad but the pockets did feel slightly low and the whole thing looked a little loose.  Pulling it up these two inches out the pockets exactly where I wanted them.

Woman wearing red winter coat
I really struggled with the type of closure on this.  The coat, not this post 🤪 I knew I didn’t want big toggles and I thought I wanted big buttons like a typical peacoat.  Once I got it finished, I knew making those buttonholes was going to be quite a chore and I really worried about the fleece.  I decide to try magnetic snaps on the inside of the facings, with buttons on the outside just for decoration.  Other than forgetting the metal tabs on the inside were so close to the edge and breaking a needle on one as I topstitched the facing, I thought I loved them.  Wearing it in public was another story so out came all of those snaps and I sucked it up and did the buttonholes.  I’m much happier with it now.

It’s not cold enough in my neck of the woods to wear this regularly yet, so I haven’t had a chance to see how warm it is.  I think with that fleece lining, it should be really warm.  The one spot I’m worried about is that open neck.  I thought the shawl collar would pull in a little closer in the front when it’s buttoned, but it doesn’t.  A scarf should help with the cold air there.  UPDATE:  I read the pattern wrong and fixed it so the neck isn’t so gaping.  Pay attention to that part!

If you’ve been contemplating making your own coat for the winter, this pattern is a good one to try for your first attempt.  There are so many different options and things are so clearly spelled out, it seems like there’s something for everyone.  Here’s my affiliate link to go check out this pattern and many others!