2 months ago I tested a pattern for Bella Sunshine Designs called Gabriella’s Winter Coat.  (Click here to see that post.) I shared a bubblegum pink jean jacket I sewed up during testing.  Unfortunately, my machine broke in the middle of sewing up a second version of the coat.  (Apparently, I use my machine more than it was intended to be used for.)
Now my machine is back and I finally got to finish this coat.  My material is a wool blend of some sort and has metallic threads woven through.  I’m really not very good at paying attention to what fabric I buy.  I bought this stuff because it was so pretty!  It is quite stiff, but is thick and warm.  At least I think it is warm.  Wish I could fit into it…
I took out about 10 inches of the flounce in the back of the coat.  With how stiff this fabric is I think I would have been happier with about 5-10 more inches taken out.  Despite my personal debate about the flounce I get so many compliments on the coat everywhere I go!  I admit to telling people who compliment the coat that I made it because it looks so good how else would they know!  (wink) Honestly, it’s really satisfying taking credit for this coat especially because it was so thick to sew and my machine was throwing all sorts of fits.  (It just does not seem to be back to it’s old self after having broken and been fixed.  It’s just more temperamental.  Boo.)  The button holes were especially troublesome because of the thickness of the fabric.  And I could not sew the buttons on with my machine.  It made all sorts of snarls.  So I had to sew them on by hand.  (I know…not all that terrible.  It just seems like an indicator of who temperamental the machine is now that it won’t even sew a simple button on when there are thick layers underneath.)  I also added half an inch or so to the sleeves (It’s getting hard to remember what I did!) in the hopes that just maybe she will be able to wear it again next.  I know that is a bit wishful with how kids grow…
Pigg#4 is not very happy in these pictures.  It was VERY cold and windy when we took them and she acted like she couldn’t move in the snow.  But I was very ready for this project to be finished and checked off my list after mulling over it for 2 months so we shot a few quick pictures anyways and are calling it good.

 

 

After making a second coat, I can say I definitely like the pattern.  The instructions are well written and the finishing is complete.  I can’t think of anything I would have done differently as far as techniques.  (Of course I did help with the testing, had never done a coat before, and I am definitely still learning–but everything seems like professional techniques and finishing to me)  The pattern has a glossary to explain all the technical terms it uses which also describes how to execute the techniques those terms refer to.  I couldn’t bear to make her open the jacket to show the lining, but it’s completely lined in a plum taffeta.  It also has invisible pockets sewn into the side seams.  She never uses them, but and older child would certainly put their cold hands in.

A few general notes about the pattern…the pattern has layers, so you can print out just the size you want, but is not trimless.  The instructions include illustrations, not full-color photos.  The instructions include a tutorial for blending sizes, as a finished garment size chart, and a yardage chart.  The pattern does not include a suggested layout for cutting out your fabric and has pattern pieces for rectangular pieces (which I thought was smart considering how many pieces there are to this coat!)

One thing I don’t love (and this seems to be just how Bella Sunshine Designs do their pieces) is that the pattern pieces don’t always meet up just right throughout the entire seam allowance.  Sometimes, especially at shoulder seams by the neck edge, the pieces meet up perfectly right where you sew, but not right at the edge of the fabric.  That bugs me because I feel like I’m not sewing accurately and it made the princess seams slightly more challenging.  But the pieces do fit together almost perfectly right where you sew.

My one last comment is just about fabric.  As I mentioned earlier, this second coat was much thicker and stiffer than the pink denim from my first coat.  I learned that many machines have the capability of changing the pressure on the pressure foot to accommodate for thicker fabrics.  Look at your own machine for that feature because it helps.  However, machines can only adjust so much so keep that in mind when selecting your fabric.   I actually couldn’t fishing the topstitching at the the neckline because the fabric was just so thick!  (I was also using a cheap little loaner machine from the place fixing my machine and didn’t want to risk messing up their machine)  You can’t tell that 5 or so inches didn’t get topstitched so I’m calling it good.

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. This helps fund fabric for testing and reviewing patterns. Regardless, I only recommend what I believe is quality.