Reversible Spring Coat Tutorial

I’m re-posting this Reversible Spring Coat tutorial that was originally up on iCandy Handmade for their Basic Bodice Series.  The premise of the series was that if you have a great bodice pattern and some ideas for mixing it up, you can pretty much make anything!

ReversibleCoatSo I decided to take a basic dress bodice and turn into a reversible coat!

It’s going to take a bit of pattern altering, of course, but I’ll walk you through it and it’ll be pretty simple!

ReversibleCoat2

And the finished product will be a sweet and practical coat for your little one!  I used 2 lightweight fabrics (nani iro double gauze and linen) to make a spring coat since I know the weather will be warming up soon.

You’ll need:

  • 2 fabrics (yardage will depend on what size coat you’re making)
  • 4 buttons (or as many as you desire, just be sure they are the same size and you have enough for both sides of the coat)
  • interfacing (optional)
  • bodice pattern
  • sleeve pattern (or draft your own)
  • tracing paper
  • ruler

I started out with Made by Rae’s Geranium Dress pattern for my bodice because it’s the pattern I’ve been using for dresses recently, but you can use pretty much any basic bodice pattern.  I went up one size because this is outerwear and I want it to fit over clothes, so instead of 2T which my daughter usually wears, I cut out the 3T size bodice pattern.

Basic Bodice Coat1The original pattern has the front bodice piece cut on the fold and a button placket in the back, but we want our button placket in the front and will cut our back piece on the fold.  So, the first step is to cut the extra off the back bodice.  Place the front bodice pattern on top of the back bodice pattern lining up the bottom of the armhole and bodice.  Mark the fold line onto the back pattern and cut on the line.

Basic Bodice Coat2Depending on your bodice pattern, you may want to lower the bottom of the armhole.  I trimmed off a bit starting from half an inch down.

Basic Bodice Coat3On your tracing paper, line up the straight edge of your back pattern piece with the edge of your paper and trace the shoulder seam and armhole.  I raised the neckline so it hit about an inch higher at the fold line.

Basic Bodice Coat4From the bottom of the armhole, use a ruler to make an A-line shape for your coat.  You can make it whatever length you want.  The bottom hemline is slightly curved.

Basic Bodice Coat5For the front pattern piece, you’ll want to take another piece of tracing paper and tape it so it hangs over the straight edge of the back coat pattern by 1.5 inches (1/2 an inch for seam allowance and another 1 inch for the button placket).  Place the front bodice pattern to top so that the bottom of the armhole and the straight edge lines up with the back piece.  Trace the shoulder seam and armhole of the bodice pattern.  I brought the neckline up by about 1/2 an inch.

Basic Bodice Coat6Remove the bodice pattern and trace the side seam and bottom hemline from the back pattern piece.  Make sense?

Basic Bodice Coat7_1Here’s what my pattern pieces looked like.

Basic Bodice Coat8

You’ll also need to draft a sleeve, collar and pocket pattern.  For the sleeve, I actually used one that I already had.  To make sure it’d fit, I cut a muslin of the sleeve piece and after I sewed the front and back pieces together of the coat, I checked to see if it would fit in the armhole, then adjusted the pattern as necessary.  If you don’t have a pattern piece for a sleeve, you can find many tutorials for drafting your own with a simple web search.

For the collar, I used this tutorial by Vanessa of LBG Studio.  And for the pocket, I took a piece of paper, folded it in half and drew the basic shape that I wanted.  Be sure to add seam allowance!

Basic Bodice Coat9Basic Bodice Coat10

From Fabric A, you’ll need:
– 2 front pieces
– 1 back piece (cut on the fold)
– 1 collar piece
– 2 sleeves
– 4 pockets

And from Fabric B, you’ll need the exact same thing.

Now we get to the sewing part!

Basic Bodice Coat11

*If you are using super thin or flimsy fabric, you may want to fuse interfacing to one or both of the collar pieces to add more structure.  I did not.*

Place your collar pieces down (1 from Fabric A and 1 from Fabric B) with right sides together.  Pin and sew the outer edge.  Clip rounded edges to reduce bulk when you flip the collar right side out.

Basic Bodice Coat12Flip right side out and press flat.  Top stitch around the outer edge, if desired.

Basic Bodice Coat13Place two pocket pieces together (right sides together) and pin.  Sew around the edge, leaving a 1 inch opening.  I like to sew along the opening as well because it helps flip the seam allowance in when you turn the pocket right side out.

Basic Bodice Coat14

Flip the pocket right side out, press flat and sew onto one of the front coat pieces.  Stitch close to the curved edge of the pocket, back stitching several times at the tops of the pocket to reinforce the corners (don’t sew the pocket closed!)  Repeat with the other 2 pocket pieces for Fabric A.

*Again, if your fabrics are really thin, you can add a strip of interfacing to the front coat pieces where your buttonholes and buttons will be.  Cut two strips of fusible interfacing 1 inch wide.  The length will depend on how many buttons and where you will place them.  Fuse them to the wrong side of your front bodice pieces 1/2 an inch from the edge.  I skipped this step too.*

Basic Bodice Coat15Pin and sew shoulder seams.  Press them open.

Basic Bodice Coat16Open up the coat at the shoulder seam, right side up.  Find the center of the sleeve and pin that to the shoulder seam, right sides together.  Continue pinning the sleeve to the armhole carefully.  Sew and press seam.  Repeat with other sleeve.

Basic Bodice Coat17Line up the side seams and the bottom of the sleeve, pin and sew (right sides together).  Repeat with the other sleeve and side seam.  Turn coat right side out and press.

Basic Bodice Coat18Take your prepared collar and line up the center with the center of the back of the coat.  You want the right sides of Fabric A to be facing up for both the collar and the coat when you lay them on top of each other like this.  Pin the inner edge of the collar to the neckline of the coat.  Baste the collar to the coat.

Basic Bodice Coat19Repeat all of the steps with Fabric B (except for basting the collar).

Basic Bodice Coat20To attach the two coats, lay Fabric A coat down, right side up.

Basic Bodice Coat21_1Lay the Fabric B coat on top, right sides together.  Sleeves should be on the inside.  Pin the entire outer edge and sew together leaving about a 6-8″ opening along the bottom.

Basic Bodice Coat22Pull the sleeves out.

Basic Bodice Coat23Take one of the sleeves and fold it out (towards the wrong side) by about 1.5 inches.  Slide it inside the other sleeve, line up the bottom seams of the sleeves and pin the ends of the sleeves together.

Basic Bodice Coat24

Sew the sleeves together along the pinned edge.  Go slowly and untwist the coat to your left as you go along.  Repeat with other sleeves.

Flip the coat right side out through the opening in the bottom.  You’re almost done!!  Press all the edges of the coat out.  Hand sew the opening shut using a slip stitch.  If you want, you can top stitch along the entire outer edge of the coat.

Basic Bodice Coat25

Sew your buttonholes where desired and attach your buttons.  You’ll want to either use the same buttons on both sides or at least use the same size buttons.  I sewed buttons to both sides of the coat at the same time using one thread.

You’re done!

ReversibleCoat1Now your kiddo has two stylish coats in one!

ReversibleCoat3ReversibleCoat4

I hope you guys have fun with your bodice patterns and are realizing all the endless possibilities a great pattern has.  If you sew up a reversible coat using this tutorial (or any from this site), I’d love it if you shared it with us in the you & mie flickr pool!

Thanks for stopping by :)

27 thoughts on “Reversible Spring Coat Tutorial

  1. SO beautiful. Absolutely adorable. I love how detailed your photographs are of the process – it makes me want to fearlessly throw myself into sowing.

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  5. Cheri I just discovered your blog – and not a moment too late – my little girl is 16 months. I am SO inspired by the things you do! (And Yuki is bloody adorable!) I just ordered some Nani Iro double gauze and when spring comes I am going to try a little coat like this for her! Great blog and congrats on the new baby.

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  11. This is simply adorable! I have two little granddaughters who will each be getting one of these. I love the tip about sewing from the seam line to the edge of the fabric when sewing something that will be turned. I’ve been a professional dressmaker for 30+ years, and never came across that one before. Love it! If I may add two tips (sticking my nose in, in hopes that it will help someone else turn out a professional – looking garment): first, always press a freshly sewn seam flat before either opening it up & pressing or turning it to the outside & pressing. It sets the stitches, & makes for a better – looking garment (I know it seems like an unnecessary step, but it only takes a few seconds). Secondly, I think it’s pretty much always a good idea to interface the backside of an area that will have buttonholes placed in it, even if it’s just a strip a little wider /longer than the buttonhole itself. This keeps your buttonholes from stretching out of shape over time, & ruining the look of your garment. Just my opinion. Thanks for the great ideas!

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