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.