Butterick 6331: DIY Short Length Trench Coat
I firmly believe we all learn so much from our mistakes. Everything we make, whether good or bad, is a valuable learning experience. That’s why I like to document my “failures” as well as my hits. I am not saying this trench is a complete failure…I think it will get worn, and I think I will probably try and make the pattern up again as intended, but it’s definitely not a perfect make by any means. Read on to find out why…
Butterick 6331 is one of the Lisette patterns, designed by Liesl Gibson, and honestly, I think it’s a great little pattern (spoiler: I have already made the pants from the pattern – see here on Instagram, and love them). The problems I encountered arose from my decision to fully line this jacket. First some detail shots.
I added the sleeve tabs and shoulder epaulettes myself: these features are not included as part of the pattern. I substituted traditional buttons for snaps and omitted any fastenings from the front of the jacket as I wanted a clean look. I have worn the jacket a couple of times actually and it seems ok without fastenings.
So, as designed, the trench is intended to be unlined. Initially I was all set to do a bias bound finish on all the seams, but I started off sewing the pockets (which use 0.25 inch seam allowance I think?) and therein the problems arose. I mean, maybe I could have french seamed them or something but gosh, they looked awful. I think I am correct in saying that the Sewaholic Robson trench (which is also unlined) uses 5/8ths inch, so maybe that facilitates getting a neater finish using bias binding, and possibly the same applies to the new Deer and Doe Luzerne trench (?) but nope, wasn’t happening for this sewist. So I then made the decision to fully line the trench using a checked viscose lining I had in my stash (BTW, the outer fabric was also from my stash – a supposedly ex-Burberry shower resistant fabric I purchased some years back from eBay).
Two problems I encountered with lining this jacket:
- Initially I didn’t use the included facing pieces and cut a full lining using the outer jacket pattern pieces. This resulted in a show of the lining at the lapels when turned back. See here for a picture of that. So, then, I had to do a patch job with the remaining fabric I had and as a result, my lapels have a join in them, which you can just see when the jacket is being worn.
2. I just couldn’t get my head around what alterations to make to the sleeve lining to get them to join smoothly to the facing. Even now, I just don’t know what alterations to make to the pattern pieces. I mean, I did it, but it’s not perfect and, as a result, I think the sleeves are not hanging perfectly straight.
In short, a catalogue of disasters: none of which, I hasten to add, are the patterns fault. As I said above, I would like to make this jacket up again, maybe in a sturdy twill or even a linen but not add the lining!
Loose-fitting, unlined, double-breasted jacket has notched collar, side-front seams and pockets, belt loops, back button shield, elasticized back casing, tie ends, stitched hems, two-piece, rolled raglan sleeves (wrong side shows). A: Below elbow sleeves and button tabs. Semi-fitted, tapered pants (slightly below waist) have waistband, belt loops, side-front pockets, yoke back, and mock-fly zipper. C: Cropped.
I made view B.
6 – 22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, although I added a full lining.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The pattern itself is a good pattern (including the pants which I have also made up – review to come), and the issues I encountered were to do with my decision to add a full lining, also not helped by the fact that I had to patch my front facings which has resulted in a join which is slightly visible when the jacket is being worn. I like the overall shape and length. I would like to make this jacket up again as intended. I wanted to do a bias bound finish on the interior seams but the pockets are sewn with a 0.25 inch seam allowance (I think this is correct) and my binding just looked awful. I would love to know how the designer intended to finish the interior seams.
The outer fabric was purchased a few years ago from eBay and is supposedly an ex-Burberry shower resistant poplin (?)
The lining is a checked viscose.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
- I cut a size 18 through the shoulders, bust and arms and ended up grading out 2 sizes at the hips as well as adding a further 1 inch at the side seams.
- Removed 3 inches from the sleeve length.
- Lowered bust fullness by 1 inch.
- Added 1 inch at lengthen/ shorten lines to get waist in to the right position and a further 1.5 inches below the pockets (to ensure the pockets didn’t move down too low).
- Raised the position of the back elastic by 1.5 inches and lowered the carrier positions at the front by 6/8ths inch.
- Added sleeve tabs and shoulder epaulettes with snaps.
- Omitted front fastenings.
- Added additional topstitching to the belt and belt carriers.
- Added a full lining – I still cannot fathom what alterations I should have done to the sleeve lining to get a smooth join to the front facing. I just did it and as a result I suspect the sleeves are not hanging entirely straight.
- Sewed through the lining on the back piece to create a “casing” through which I fed the elastic and sewed the ends closed through all layers of the jacket plus elastic.
- Note: my front facings have a join which is just visible on one side when the lapels are turned back because I ended up having to patch my facings when I cut my lining pieces.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I do think this is a good shape for me and I would like to sew it again – but unlined! I have already made the pants from this pattern – review to follow – and they are good. Yes, I recommend.
A bit of a catalogue of errors on my part – not the fault of the pattern – but I have worn it a couple of times and I think I would like to make this one up again.
Until soon, have a great week (next week is my first week back at work, eek!). I have lots of unblogged things to come.
Outfit details: red Jalie Elenore pull on jeans and striped McCalls 6886 (modified) breton top.