Men's Dress Coat

12:56 AM

My husband really needed a nicer dress coat.
He has to wear dress clothes to work, and his puffy parka didn't seem that professional, and definitely not fashionable (not that he cares) after I got thinking about it.

 So I started looking online for ideas.  I pinned a butt-load of men's nicer wool coats and the end, casually asking what he thought, I realized he preferred simple and basic.   
My winning inspiration coat that I pretty much mimicked entirely was this University Coat from j.crew.

I was nervous to make an adult wool coat without a pattern.  Have you noticed there are virtually NO male patterns for men or boys?  So I couldn't bring myself to pay all that money for wool in case it turned out like bonch.  So I remembered I had this really thick sweatshirt fleece in my stash that was black.

So I thought it would be an affordable (it was only $2/yd) substitute that would look and feel close enough to real wool.  I also fully lined it in regular charcoal fleece, making it a really warm coat.  So this puppy is all he'll need in the dark early mornings when he's headed to work.

So to get this done for Christmas.
While he was asleep, I used my husband's regular thin jacket as a pattern.  I worked late into the night to conceal my surprise.  The back has a yoke and center back seam, which I top-stitched for flat felled seams.

There's a few elements I ended up being really proud of:
the thick welt pockets that are "external hand warmer" pockets

The flap welt pockets are lined with black satin.

The buttons are vintage from my husband's Grandma who passed away in 2006 at age 96.

My favorite part of the whole jacket is the inside "label" I made.  I just ironed interfacing on the back of white broadcloth and with my free motion presser foot sewed:
"for Rhett, my beloved husband
love, your Jess
2011"
It's the message on the pocket watch of Atticus Finch in the book To Kill A Mockingbird given to him from his wife.  I don't think my husband knows that's where I got it because it's pretty generic, but I liked the idea of having a little Atticus inspiration in this.

We had Christmas at my mother-in-laws and Rhett opened it and said, "wow this looks really nice".  I had left the back hem open in case I had to alter it.  He saw the back/bottom of the coat unsewn and said: "wait a minute, it's already falling apart."  I explained I didn't finish it in case it didn't fit right, and he held it up again and said, "Wow!  You made it?"
I thought that was pretty good he thought it was purchased.  I must be getting better from my sloppy sewing ways.  There are a few things I'd change if I did it again, but so far it's been a good project.

I've just begun sewing for my husband.  It's fun to sew for your kids and a lot easier, but I have to say it's my favorite to sew for Rhett.  Especially this coat which I'm considering a slam dunk because he wears it every day to work...and it was less than $13.00.  

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39 comments

  1. Awesome job! I love it!! You really did an incredible job! Any plans of posting a tutorial?

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  2. I don't know about a tutorial, I probably did it all wrong! What helped me get through it was using sewing patterns to make a coat with lining this fall, then I knew generally how it would work, and used a coat we had to make the pieces. I would say that may be better than me trying to explain myself...assuming I could replicate it again. :)

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  3. That is absolutely incredible! It does look amazingly professional-- what a wonderful gift! You must have worked so hard! :)

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  4. Great coat! The best part is the inscription. He can look at it every day and have a smile. That will warm his heart better than the coat.

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  5. Seriously girl. Seriously? I love that he was surprised that you made it too. And really, seriously? Amazing. Flat out amazing.

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  6. That looks AMAZING. It's perfect all over! I especially love the inner patch, it's so sweet. You're right, it's all but impossible to find good patterns for men and boys, so when I do find one I snap it up. Now I think I better start looking for one like this, because my husband would LOVE it.

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  7. Wow! I am so impressed! You did a great job.

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  8. Wow - looks great. You should be proud.

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  9. You are so stinking amazing!!! I wish I had your skills Jess!!!!!!!! Wow amazing!!!!!!!!

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  10. You are so stinking amazing!!! I wish I had your skills Jess!!!!!!!! Wow amazing!!!!!!!!

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  11. Holy cow I am utterly astounded. Thirteen bucks??? That is beautiful (in a manly sort of way!) Even better is that you pulled it off as a total surprise - WOW!!!

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  12. This is amazing. Great work. I love that your hubby had no idea you made it--that is the best kind of compliment, if you ask me.

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  13. Very nice! I think that menswear is harder to sew than womens clothes, therefore I've never tried making it, but you did such an amazing work! And what a beautiful detail that lovely message is!

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  14. Jessica this is AMAZING!! Well done! It looks so smart and I just love that label :)

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  15. Well, I have to say that I'm impressed. While reading this in my Google Reader, I thought I was reading your sister's blog. I kept thinking, I don't remember her husband looking like that! Great job!
    -Paulette

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  16. You are so talented!! I love the referral to To Kill a Mockingbird, my favorite book.

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  17. Really fantastic job! I really love to see all the great projects you come up with.

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  18. You did it!! Awesome and amazing! I am beyond impressed!

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  19. THAT. IS. AMAZING!!!!!

    nothing else needs to be said, you have some serious skills!

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  20. Money! I hope he was jumping up and down and screaming like he delivered his first baby!

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  21. You are the bomb. Amazing coat!

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  22. Beautiful job and beautiful jacket!

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  23. Wow! The coat is awesome! Great job!

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  24. What a lovely (manly) coat! What a great effort. The only thing I've sewn for my husband is a pair of flannel pyjamas, but he calls them his jammies made with love, and it gives me such a warm, fuzzy feeling. It definitely is rewarding sewing for hubbies!

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  25. Fantastic! Absolutely brilliant! You are right about not being able to find patterns for men. Despite that obstacle you've made an incredible coat. What a lucky husband!

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  26. You are amazing! And brave! I have only sewn underwear for my husband. A coat would be awesome.
    Fantastic job, as always.
    ~Michelle

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  27. A woman who looks like she has never had a child-flat stomach-and she makes her own patterns and sews for her man. You are amazing! I just want to know if you hot wired your sisters brain while she was asleep and put the cap on your head because you have picked up some awesome sewing skills quickly!

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  28. Wow, so impressive, Jessica! And look at your guy - he's a happy camper. :)

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  29. Wow Jess, it looks great! Love the label!

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  30. That looks awesome! I love it. You are so brave, I need to try a few new things this year too!

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  31. Wow, amazing. Wish I could make my hubby something like that, and that he would actually wear it.
    Way to go!

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  32. Looks fantastic! You did an amazing job. I never would've guessed it's sweatshirt fleece. The details totally make the jacket.

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  33. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I am quite certain I will learn plenty of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!
    Annee Matthew Ivana Dress - nursing/maternity - 2 colors, S-XL

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  34. You're a sweet and loving wife! Does your husband wear this coat until now? He's probably taking good care of it since it came from you. What made it even more special is that you didn't just buy it - you made it yourself! You can probably put up a good business with the help of your creative hands. :)

    Lee Dove

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  35. Amazing! This looks just absolutely fabulous!! The information in your blog is very informative. Keep up the good work.
    integrated receivables management

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  36. Love the pocket finishing. I am not so good at that. Four boys and a husband - I have done a lot of guys stuff. Now my oldest, 28, is a little guy. Size 16-18 boys (120 lbs and 5'5") and has trouble finding men looking clothes. I have everything to make a dress shirt. Haven't done that in a long time but more in my future!

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