On Sewing Upgrades: DP Studio’s le 809 coat

With less time to sew than ever, I’ve developed a new outlook for selecting a project. No longer do I sew furiously and repetitively as when I learned the basics of the craft. Instead, in becoming more aware of the process of creating a quality garment (and more able!), I’m learning to concentrate on styles and designs that will bring longevity to my handmade pieces. Having a few years of sewing under your belt can open a range of projects that once seemed insurmountable, and sewing a coat, for example, is one of my new personal creative horizons.


Coat making might seem an obvious choice for a Montrealer, with our regular winter furies and chilly temperatures, but given this harsh weather, it’s not always easy to choose the right clothes for the conditions. In the past, this has made it difficult to settle on a coat pattern. The preparation and time of coat making (not to mention some of the techniques!) seems to add extra pressure to choosing the “right” pattern to invest in!


At least, that was how I felt prior to seeing the new coat patterns from DP Studios, a French indie pattern company that offers unique, high end designs. The 809 boyfriend coat jumped right to the top of my list.  This pattern has a layered design, with an oversized tailored-style for the main coat body, and a visible integrated gilet that zips closed. The look, both trendy and classic, was, for me, worth dedicating my efforts to. Over time, planning and focusing on one specific project, rather than multiple, has become important to me, so I decided to focus my new year sewing at creating it.


In hindsight, I’m glad I still think so because interpreting the 809 was long and challenging—a total of 6 weeks of some seriously slow, yet ultimately satisfying, sewing. One weekend, I gathered the materials—a poly-spandex-rayon charcoal melton blend, a fluffy contrast fabric for the inner gilet, and a deep olive kasha lining for added warmth. The pattern also requires a decent haul of notions; buttons, zip (mine was a little too short), interfacing, and lots and lots of bias tape (more than 5m which is not clearly marked in the pattern)!


Cutting and prepping the pieces was the next weekend goal. Then I got to the fun part: putting it all together! Unfortunately, this step felt like more of a bother then I would have preferred. In addition to the normal anxiety of stepping out of our creative comfort zones, the instructions were a real pain. Much of the information is communicated with images, a detail I personally appreciate, but the pattern could have benefited from more balance with written and drawn instructions. I know Shauni had similar troubles with the instructions, and we often checked in with each other while sewing our coats.


Nevertheless, like Shauni, I found the pattern was certainly worth the fuss. As I got further and further into making the coat (or at least, after I got over the hurdle of bias biding more than half the coat!) I was amazed as it took shape. The finished product exceeded my expectations, and I could feel the coat making bug growing.


I made a size 42, and very few adjustments. The most obvious change is that I slimmed down the sleeves and wrists to gain better personal proportions. Otherwise, I made one design change. The coat includes a partial lining, however it is a little too short. With the lining the intended length, the pocket bags remain somewhat visible. Considering the many finishing touches (specifically the combination of lining and bias bound seams) aim to give the coat a real high-end look, the short lining is an eye soar. So, I added an inner ruffle!


After everything I decided to have the buttonholes professionally sewn and the coat pressed. These last steps were well worth the time seeking out the right tailor shop. It was the final detail to pull the look together.


Seeing DP studio’s offerings grow is exciting as they bring designs that are hard to compete with. I’m looking forward to tackling another one of their patterns. In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying every bit of the 809. As it takes me one step closer to designing and making my ideal handmade wardrobe, wearing this coat brings a new feeling to many of my previously homesewn separates. I’d recommend the pattern, just be ready to take some baby steps and big breaths when necessary!



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