McCalls 7848 is a pattern for a fitted lined coat with front zipper closure, side seam pockets and neckline, sleeve and length variations. I basically made view D (which is a collarless, maxi-length coat) but using the skirt length from view C (which is just fractionally below knee-length on me).
A collarless coat winter coat might seem like an odd choice in some ways, but I'm currently in the middle of a bit of an obsession with knitting shawls, and I thought that a collarless coat would be a good way to show them off. I'm wearing it in most of these photos with my Land of Sweets cowl, which I've just realised I've never blogged - I should probably do something about that!
As coats go, the construction of this one is fairly simple and the pattern doesn't call for any kind of tailoring. In terms of the sewing itself, if you're happy making a lined dress then there's nothing that should be particularly challenging as long as you're comfortable working with whatever fabrics you've chosen to use.
As with most commercial patterns, the instructions are fairly succinct but they are clear and there wasn't anything that I found confusing.
My outer fabric is a micro dot reversible wool and acrylic blend from Textile Express. It's a gorgeous colour and a lovely fabric, especially for the price, but I wonder whether this particular pattern might have benefitted from a fabric with slightly less body and more drape than this has. In particular, setting in the sleeves (something which I'm usually fine with) definitely wasn't easy and, despite my best efforts, the sleeve cap still isn't as smooth as I'd like it to be.
My lining is a navy teal viscose lining from Fabworks. You definitely couldn't accuse this fabric of not having enough drape! I don't think I could have picked two more different fabrics really - the wool blend stays where it's put and when I was sewing two layers together they stuck to each other almost like felt (which made it very easy to get all of the seams to match up nicely!), whereas the lining wanted to slip and slide all over the place. I managed to tame it enough to do a decent job of sewing it though!
In terms of sizing, I had the problem that my bust measurement is a 16 for this pattern, while my waist and hips are an 18 which is in the larger sized pattern. I went with my bust measurement and got the smaller size range, knowing that commercial patterns are often more generous in their sizing. I made a toile of the 16 and it fitted fairly well, but I thought it was a bit snug around the waist for a coat that I'd want to wear over cosy winter clothes. I simply reduced the seam allowance around the waist a touch and that gave me enough extra room for winter layers. I also made my standard adjustment of lengthening the bodice, although I had to lengthen it more than usual (4cm instead of 2.5cm). In case it helps to know for reference, my measurements are B 38", W 32" H 42", and I'm about 5'9".
I wasn't completely convinced about the coat when I'd first finished it. I think a large part of that was because the lining had dropped a fair bit when I left it to hang, and evening it up and hemming it was a little stressful so that had tarnished my feelings about it a bit!
Having worn it a few times though, my McCalls 7848 is definitely growing on me! That "bulky" feeling that I mentioned above is slowly fading and I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at the photos for this blog post - the coat looks better on camera than it does in my head! I love the colour, it's nice and cosy and is doing a good job of keeping out the gale force winds that we've been battered with recently. So overall, I think we can call it a success, don't you?