Introduction to Gabriella's Sew Along
Welcome to the Gabriella's Winter Coat Sew-A-Long! The weather is starting to get quite chilly up North, so we thought it would be a great time to sew some winter coats for our little girls. Stay tuned for a hood hack tutorial too! Gabriella's is rated as an Intermediate Plus pattern in our shop and includes sizes from 6M to Girls 12. A sew-a-long is the perfect time to attempt a pattern like this that has a higher difficulty rating since there will be many people available to help if you run into any trouble.
During this sew-a-long, we will discuss things like appropriate materials and where you can source them as well as how to modify the coat for use in warmer weather. If you would like to join in the fun and sew-a-long with us, here is how to participate:
1. Get the pattern: You can purchase your copy of the Gabriella's Winter Coat pattern here.
2. Visit our blog each day from day 1 (today!) to day 7 (Sunday!) to follow along with the step by step tutorial.
3. Come and share your photos along the way on Facebook in the Bella Sunshine Designs PDF Pattern Group or on Instagram using #bellasunshinesewalong #BSDGabbysWinterCoat and ask for help and/or give advice throughout the entire sew along.
4. Upload your progress pictures & finished garment photos in the sew-a-long album in the Bella Sunshine Designs Facebook Group for a chance to win the prizes!
PrizesFan Favorite – Pattern of Choice from Bella Sunshine Designs
Admin Favorite – Pattern of Choice from Bella Sunshine Designs
Random Winner – Pattern of Choice from Bella Sunshine Designs
Gather supplies, print and cut out pattern.
Cut material, create hood pattern, interface, and prepare bodice.
Form bodice and attach sleeves.
Create pockets, form skirt, and attach skirt.
Add collar or hood and sew facings.*
Bag lining, hem sleeves, and turn the coat right side out.*
Final details, button holes, and buttons. Catch up day.*
*Note that there has been a change to the schedule from Day 5 on.
Let's get started! Day 1: Gather supplies, print, and cut out pattern.
This is going to be so much fun! Feel free to share your inspiration in our Facebook group. If you are in need of inspiration, you can search the hashtag on Instagram and Facebook, view the tester pictures in the listing, and check out the participants from our birthday blog tour.
The materials list
- Woven structured fabric for main fabric - Wool Melton coating is recommended for ultimate warmth and weather resistance; however, wool tweed, basket weave wool, or worsted wool are also acceptable.
- Woven light or heavy weight lining - Suggested fabrics include: silk charmeuse, crepe-backed satin, twill lining, microfiber, peachskin, flannel, or quilted lining.
- Medium weight fusible interfacing (Pellon 931TD)
- 6 - 7/8" or 1" Buttons (22mm or 25mm)
Also recommended to have:
- Buttonhole foot
- Fabric pen / Erasable marker
- Seam ripper
- Heavier duty needle for your machine
If you wish to follow the hood hack for your coat, you will also need:
- A ready-to-wear clothing item with a hood you like the fit of.
- 2-3 Pens
- Tape or 2 Rubber bands
- Optional: KAM snaps (for a detachable hood) with appropriate snap pliers. (Also available via Amazon Prime here.)
Let's talk fabric sources now.
- Some online sources for suitable winter fabrics are: fabric.com, B. Black and Sons, and Mood Fabrics. Please share any other online sources that you know of in the comments and we can add them here!
- Things to look for when shopping for your coating are:
- The weight of the fabric - the heavier the weight, the warmer your coat will be.
- The care instructions for the fabric. Wool is a sensitive fiber and the material is often dry clean only or hand wash, lay flat to dry. If the material is felt and not woven, then it may fall apart if you try to machine wash it. Make sure the material you buy has care instructions that you are comfortable with.
- Things to look for when shopping for your coating are:
- Brick and mortar fabric sources: your local fabric store - select Joann's or Fabriclands carry suitable coating or perhaps you have a small business you can support; your local thrift store - wool blankets or wool coats can be upcycled! If your blanket has a more open weave, you can felt it by shocking the fibers with a hot wash in the machine. This will make it denser, but be aware that this also shrinks material.
- Warm weather variation options: cotton sateen, laminated cotton (rain coat), or any other light and sturdy woven material you might like.
Printing and Assembling
Choose the size to print based on your child's measurements. There is a generous amount of ease built into the pattern in order to accommodate layers of clothing underneath. If you are planning to make a warm weather version and wish for the coat to have a slimmer fit (it's not necessary), consult the finished measurement chart on page 8 of the pattern and compare this with your child's measurements. Choose the size with a finished chest measurement that is the amount of ease you desire larger than your child's chest measurement (eg. 3") and use this as your width then follow the instructions on page 7 to lengthen the coat to the size that matches your child's height. Don't forget to use the handy Adobe layers feature to make things easier on yourself!
Make sure that you measure your test square! You may think to yourself, "1/8 of an inch isn't very far off. I'll just go ahead." I am here to tell you not to do that. That 1/8" comes off of every inch in your pattern. So if your sleeve is supposed to be 12" long, then you will be short 1 1/2". If your finished bodice is supposed to be 12" across, then you will lose 3" around! To sum it up, that 1/8" makes a big difference in the size and it is very important to have an accurately measured test square.
TIP: Measure your test square with a hard ruler. Soft tape measures can stretch out over time and distort your measurements. I also recommend checking your soft tape measure against a hard ruler regularly in order to maintain accuracy in your child's measurements.
Now that you have selected your size(s), please print, tape, and cut out your pattern following the instructions on pages 3 & 4 of the pattern.
That's it for today! Please post a picture like the one above on the Day 1 thread in the Facebook group in order to participate. Make sure that you do not have any fully visible pattern pieces by mostly obscuring them with some of your other materials. Check back in tomorrow for Day 2!