A 1940’s Wool Melton Coat

Hello readers!

I’m so excited to share this project with you!  I’ve been dreaming of a green wool coat for some time now and last winter I decided that I wanted a 1940’s coat after watching the British show Home Fires.  I knew exactly what pattern I wanted to use (the Decades of Style 1940’s Claremont Coat) — I just needed a push to sew it and bring my dream to reality.  When I saw all of the beautiful wool melton coatings on the Cali Fabrics site, I knew this would be my fall project.

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I chose the green wool melton for my Claremont coat.  I talked to Decades of Style prior to sewing this coat and was informed that the fit was slim-fitting and designed for a lighter weight fabric.  I went up a size from my measurements to both accommodate my fabric and to ensure that my coat fit over sweaters and wool dresses. I also widened the sleeves and enlarged the armscyes.  I was advised to use a different fabric for the facings due to the weight of my wool, but I decided to try it with the wool instead.  I trimmed a lot of bulk wherever I could to help them lay better and did a lot of pressing to ensure that they layed down as good as I could get them to.

Speaking of pressing, I did a whole lot of it in the making of this coat.  My wooden clapper was definitely my best friend and I recommend purchasing one if you’re going to be sewing with wool.  A clapper helps so well with pressing the seams down and getting good creases in your wool fabric.

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I followed most of the directions for sewing for this coat.  I added grosgrain ribbons to hold the pockets in place and made shoulder pads that are sewn in before I added lining.  I bought lining from Cali for this coat, but the amount listed for the 60″ wide lining was a misprint, so I didn’t have enough of that lining for this coat.  Instead, I used some lining that I had in my stash which adds a bright pink party to the inside of my coat.

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Left and center: inside before lining.  Right:  finished lining.

I added bound buttonholes to my coat along with vintage buttons.  Instead of the machine made top-stitching that the pattern suggests, I went with a running stitch embroidered design that is a 1940’s design element.  I ripped out my embroidery several times before just going with the flow as the stitches weren’t perfect.  I looked at several vintage photos with the same technique and saw that none of them were perfect either, so I decided to stick with what I was doing.  My stitches are a little shorter than the long running stitches that were often used.  I considered adding the running stitch the hem and the sleeves, but decided that having it on the yoke and the back was enough.

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I think my coat fits rather well.  I’ve sewn many Decades of Style patterns and trust their drafting, so I didn’t make a muslin of this coat prior to sewing it.  I did my adjustments on my pattern as I usually do and checked the fit as I went along.  If I were to make this pattern again, I’d probably take a small wedge out of the back.

This coat was one of the most rewarding items that I’ve ever sewn.  It took me about 3x longer to sew it than I thought it would, but in the end I am so incredibly proud of the work that I’ve done on it.  This is the first wool coat that I’ve made and I cannot wait to wear it once the weather turns cold here in Northern California.  I now have a coat in my favorite color that will go with so many of my dresses, plus it fits in my vintage inspired capsule wardrobe planning.  What else could a girl ask for?

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* Note:  I received this pattern as a gift from Decades of Style.

Tanya H, from TanyaMaile.com

Tanya is a Northern California ranch girl in love with retro prints and vintage patterns with a bit of modern flair. When not battling with her cat over her sewing table, she likes to repurpose junk, throw frisbees for her dogs, immerse herself in history books and geek out over sci-fi and fantasy. You can find her at her other home on the web: Mrs. Hughes.

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11 thoughts on “A 1940’s Wool Melton Coat”

  1. Thats beautiful! Brooke made a coat from the same fabric, but I can’t find it online… maybe it was only ever on IG? Regardless, you’s fits beautifully and that colour is gorgeous on you! Congrats for conquering the coat!

  2. That coat is gorgeous!!! Have never had the courage to make a coat. I would never know it was not vintage.

  3. It’s beautiful Tanya! I love the hand running stitches–they are such a perfect accent to this lovely wool and definitely have that vintage look. Melton is probably the nicest wool to work with it makes such a pretty coat. I need to wear my 60s style teal melton Vogue coat more often! Your hat is fantastic too!

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