My Puffy Winter Coat

I’ve wanted to make myself a winter coat ever since I saw it in Vogue Patterns Magazine. The article showed how to make a winter puffer out of a duvet blanket. In all honesty, I didn’t learn the techniques from the article and it wasn’t the first time I saw the coat. The article was written by my employer Kathryn Brenne, and I was at the studio for a few days while she was working on it. I couldn’t wait to make my own, it is such an ingenious idea to make a winter coat out of a duvet!

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I was thinking about this winter coat for a while. It started out just knowing I wanted to make it, no design or fabric in mind. Then, I saw someone made this Vogue pattern out of a Kantha quilt on Pattern Review and I fell in love with it. The idea then became to combine the two ideas, the duvet cover with a kantha quilt shell. So that was the plan for a while, until I started thinking that if I really wanted it to be serviceable for winter, it might be better in something plain, and waterproof. And that is how this coat came to be! I spend way too long thinking about projects before starting them, but in the end it actually, usually pays off.

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I used a light weight duvet from Ikea to do this project. I debated getting a heavier duvet, and between real feathers and synthetic, but finally decided on real down feathers and the lightweight duvet in a king size. I probably could have gotten away with a queen size but for a couple dollars more I got the king to be safe. I didn’t realize how puffy it would really make the coat until I was halfway through (glad I didn’t go with a heavier duvet!). I like it though, its exaggerated and makes a statement. The pattern I chose was an exaggerated style to begin with Vogue 8930.

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This project took a ton of work! Hence the very late post. But it was definitely worth it. Especially since winter here feels like 3/4 of the year. Now I have something pretty AND warm to wear! It’s actually actively snowing out in the photos but you can’t really tell.

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The fabric I used is actually the same fabric Linda Lundstrom used for her La Parka coats. It wears like steel and is great for the weather here. I love the colour for winter and the way the fabric has a bit of shine to it.

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I added in zippered pockets, and I placed them a few inches in from the side seams, closer to the front of the coat. I then lined the pockets in a Minky type fabric so it would be like a mitten inside.

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This coat pattern didn’t have a closure, but I thought for the winter I would be best to add some kind of closure. I used two sets of covered snaps.

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Instead of lining the whole front in self fabric, I only lined part of it in self and the rest in lining. I also lengthened the sleeves for a long full length sleeve. The real tricky part was putting everything together. It was essentially like making the pattern three times, first the duvet, then the shell and then the lining. Because the duvet had to be sandwiched in-between the shell and the lining, I had to leave openings in both. I left the opening in the side seam of the lining, but chose to leave the opening on the under collar on the shell so it would be less noticeable. I also had to do hand tacking stitches all over the place to keep everything in place (underarms, shoulder, neck, hems…). I did about eight tacks all along the under collar, because it kept rolling up. I also hand tacked the seam allowances down inside along the collar and the sleeve hems. My fingers were pretty painful when I was finished, the duvet was tough to get the needle through by hand.

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I didn’t do the cutting and sewing techniques quite right when I was cutting all the pieces from the duvet and I ended up with a hugeeeeeee mess of feathers, like I mean huge. And the way the duvet is sewn and cut into pieces, you basically have to put the entire cover through the sewing machine in one piece, multiple times. I was wishing I had a table with only my sewing machine on it, because I was knocking everything off my table struggling with this huge blanket!

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I tried to throw a snowball, but it didn’t capture as well as I had hoped! 😛

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Thanks for reading! 🙂

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