A Cashmere Wool Halla Coat


When I saw the cover for the book launched by the Named Patterns designers ‘Breaking the pattern’ I fell in love with the coat.

I felt the fabric that I was asked to test for MinervaCrafts (link here to my fabric review) some months ago would be perfect for this coat. For the lining, I used some crazy multicolour cotton I had in my stash which was a leftover from a dress I made (link here).

Because of my height ( 157 cm or 5ft2), I knew that a coat over my knees will be too long and won’t be too flattering on me. Also, I wanted the sleeves to be longer and the hem above the knee. This means I shortened the coat by 20 cm and left the sleeves length as on the original pattern. I felt the waist was too low, so I raised it by 2 cm.
As the coat has only a collar but no lapel I wanted to pretend that it had one by top-stitching with contrast colour thread around the seams on the front. For this, I tested a few colours on a scrap. In the end, I picked the red thread for the top-stitching.

I only used red for the outside of the jacket as personal preference and a way to save time on changing the bobbin for when I needed to change threads.

I am not too fond of the way the belt loops are inserted into the side seam so I changed the construction and placed them on the side seam but on the surface. Also, as my fabric does not fray I only folded the fabric once, topstitched the sides with the same colour thread as the fabric and used a large zig-zag in the middle of the belt loop with red thread (this keeps the raw edges on the back together and flat). Using this process made my finished belt loops wider.

As you can imagine, I did not finish off the raw edges on the inside as they would be enclosed in the lining and because the fabric does not fray. However, for the pocket flap, I had to use a few catching stitches to keep it to lay flat one the coat and to hide the raw edges.

I found the instructions easy to follow and the diagrams helpful. The instructions are organised in a simple yet logical way to make the construction easier to accommodate stitchers who do not have much experience.

I love how my shell fabric goes with the lining fabric. On the outside, the coat looks like a safe garment but when you open it and the lining shows through the colour is bursting out.

With the wool fabric being so bouncy I felt it was necessary to topstitch the bodice hems down to give them a crisper finish. This was not necessary on the sleeves hem.

For this coat, I used magnetic sew in snap buttons. I think they are better than the usual snap buttons. The magnet keeps them closed when you want them closed. They also need less thread and sewing them in is more accurate and not as messy (for my liking) as with snap buttons.

I am very pleased with the finished coat. I got the fit I wanted and I am really glad that I shortened the length on it.

And just for fun, I can wear it with the collar up. It looks kinda funky! I might ask Sherlock Holmes to be my bestie …

And check out that lining. Isn’t it fun? I almost want to walk around holding it open like that.

Is spring here yet? I want to wear it already! If I did not have quite a few handmade coats, I think I’d make another one. But for now, I’ll live with just one Halla coat in my life. But if I am to make it again, I’ll play around with the collar shape and will consider adding side seams for my next make. Maybe make a version using a lighter fabric for summer! One coat, so many possibilities.

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