embroidered wool coat

I don’t know if this is a general habit for others, but often if I am working on a long/boring/difficult project I start to plan a nice/interesting project in my head and this project becomes the treat that I can look forward to.  So while I was plodding away with the Irish dance costume, wondering when it would all end….. I was planning to embroider this coat on the left below.

embroidered red coat

The coat is a nice quality wool, and in its day, it would have been a mid-range coat with a basic (ie not satin) lining, although the wool by contemporary standards is excellent.  It had the 80s shoulders (big), a generous cut in all (I think everyone wore big jumpers in the 80s too).  It didn’t sell for €20 didn’t sell for €10 and I bought it at €2.  I was never too sure on the colour as it was a dull rust red so I left it for a while until I figured what pattern to use for it.

I used simpliciy pattern 6733.   The cut is similar to the one I drafted last year, but the simplicity pattern has no darts, and a bit more generous in the cut, and I managed to squeeze it in.  The cut was quick enough – centre front and buttonholes and pockets carefully lined up and cut (and useful to have them all done) – back equally easy to line up.  The sleeves were a squeeze and I find this each time I recut a coat, so as long as I got 2cm past hem line, I could do a faced hem!  The collar was part cut from collar and I cut as short as I could so I would have sufficient fabric for a hood.

I dithered over the design.  Originally I was going to go with one colour only and do a grid of this motif, but it did look and feel a bit bland – a friend of mine suggested the scale of the design was insignificant got me thinking a bit more and I went searching for a another motif so with some other tiny scraps I did another test using this new motif, and loved it as the red and pink seemed to lift the colour and I could do some borders also.  I used motifs from embroideryonline.com.   Originally I was going to try and do a tiled design but once I did the finished the large motifs and placed the half motif I figured it looked a bit busy so left it.  The coat  has 2 borders – one in red, and the other in brown, and there are 8 large motifs around.  The sleeves just have the borders, and I used standard sewing thread for the embroidery.

embroidery  samples

final motifs for embroidered coat

Out of the left over fabric, I recut some back and side facings, and reused the lining, and also cut a hood.  I did not re-cut the lining as the cut was so similar to the coat itself, I just took it in a bit at sleeve head and sides.  I did use some gross-grain ribbon on the hem to give a make a bigger hem, and I like the way the ribbon looks on the inside – I also put my label on the lining with the original! (these are school labels – and I am finding them useful especially for knits so I know the back and front!).  The hang loop was reused.



The hood was a tighter cut, and I had tried to make it more dramatic originally, but when I tried it on I did not like the bigger hood at all, and as the idea of the hood for me is practical, the bigger hood has less weight and would probably blow off occasionally so I trimmed it and had to use some embroidered scraps in the edging.  I put poppers along so its not detachable.

embroidered coat with hood and without

Verdict- so delighted with the coat and wearing it loads.  This red, despite my original misgivings,  is a perfect shade, and the embroidery seems to ‘lift’ it.   It nicely replaced last years red coat which I did not wear that much as the red was a bit overwhelming for me.

I did a stall at a local market and sold some makes and last years red coat was sold.  It a great shade but too bright for me.   The stall was a bit of an experiment as sometimes donating back makes to the charity shop potentially increases their workload, and it could be interesting to find out what people think of the remakes directly.  I priced the makes at secondhand clothes prices – as charging labour time would have been unrealistic,and I wanted to clear the excess makes.  I see these makes as sample sews and considering doing a stall occasionally in the future as I like the making but sometimes I make more than I wear and and sometimes, I make for an experiment.


14 thoughts on “embroidered wool coat

  1. upsew says:

    Thanks Karen- I am glad I chatted over the options with my friend as sometimes working away on your own isnt the easiest when you need to ‘thrash’ out an idea! That caps sounds amazing – and I can imagine, very warm. I am so impressed with the quality of the wool in my coat and its working out well as our mornings are getting darker and the clocks will change this weekend…..nothing like a good coat to feel winter ready

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eliz~ says:

    I should re-do my Great Grandmother’s wool coat. It has hung in my closet since my Grandmother died unexpectedly in 1977. It was considered a “best wear” coat like for funerals and such. All black wool, fur trimmed collar, very plain. It seems a waste not to re-furbish it. Even if Gran rolls over in her grave! :o) We are having snow here today in Minnesota- I could use a bit of wool!

    Liked by 1 person

    • upsew says:

      oooo that sounds beautiful – and I am sure Gran would be delighted! I know my Grandmother loathed waste and we all inherited her mantra (dont buy cheap as it costs more in the long run) she relaid wool carpets from an old hotel they bought – and put them in the stairs and living room of the family house in 1960 and the stairs one was replaced in the 80s, but the living room were still in place in 1996 when we sold-that fur collar sounds like a gift in the snow!


      • Eliz~ says:

        My Grandmother was Scottish. Her mantra was she was a “thrifty Scot”! LOL! I don’t know why she married an Irish man. ;o) (my maiden name is McNary)


  3. wrong doll says:

    I do love reading your posts Eimear – your makes are so inspirational. One day I’ll have a go at a refashion but for now I just sit back and read with a cuppa in awe! I love this coat and colour on you and the embroidery motif takes it to another level. So very well done 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • upsew says:

      Thank you Aimee – equally inspired by your perfect finishes! – and you got such a perfect ‘hang’ on that last dress, truely.
      If I have the embroidery attachment out, I tend to ‘go mad’ and start embellishing everything, but I am also equally glad to put it away as I then can get down to real sewing……I have a mixed list of wanna makes at the moment and I have just gone back working full time so time will tell how realistic it is!


      • wrong doll says:

        Ohhh full time working must be an adjustment. I was very envious of your part time hours. I too have a long list but I’m easy on myself and when the energy and inclination comes throw myself into it. But when the couch is calling I throw myself onto that!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Linda Wilson says:

    I said already that I love the coat and the embroidery. Brilliant idea having a stall, I know what you mean about the garments that appear just because you want to experiment, and rather than be restricted by what you enjoy wearing yourself, this makes it limitless.

    Liked by 1 person

    • upsew says:

      Thanks Linda, ya-the stall was rather handy – and I hope to do one again – the stall I had the last day still had a lot of summer stuff, but the crochet trimmed sweaters sold well – and the next one I hope to share with a friend selling vintage, so I dont feel tied for the day!
      I only pop over to instagram occasionally as I still have a dumb phone (despite my teen nephews best efforts telling me I really should switch!) so use the tablet ap as I think of it.


  5. Cate says:

    You did a great job, it’s such a beautiful coat now! The embroidery is stunning and a perfect choice. It makes me think of Monsoon, it’s definitely the sort of thing they would sell! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • upsew says:

      Thanks Cate – the embroidery reminded me of monsoon too! I love the coat especially as I really didnt think much of it to begin with. I do think the embroidery has given it a bit of personality – and of course I am also delighted to have the detachable hood….. as we get the most rain here in the west!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s