Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pattern Review: BWOF 01-2001-120/121

I am super excited because at last I can show off my green wool coat!  I have been working on this for the past few weeks and hours before the big event at the Coldest Arena in the World, the hemming was finished.  I am pleased to report that it is both comfortable to wear and very warm.  Although there are a few things I would have liked to tweak, overall I am quite pleased with the results.  It could have used a final pressing before taking the photos, as the hem looks a bit wrinkly, but that is mostly a result of poor packing on my part, and a problem that will be fixable once I again have access to my iron.  I used a mash up of some old BWOF magazine patterns, 01-2001-120 and 01-2001-121:

BWOF 01-2001-120

BWOF 01-2001-121
I used the collar from style 120, and the sleeves from style 121.  I used my green wool from my visit to Yoder's earlier this year.  Here are some pictures of my finished project:

Front of my coat.

Back of my coat.

Sleeve tab and button detail.


I thought my right sleeve looked pretty good!

Lining fabric.

Another lining shot.  You can also see the inside stabilization buttons on the right.
Other than the hem not looking super great in the photos, and a slightly wonky left sleeve cap (after setting it in six times I was over it), and a slight puckering on the left collar I am very pleased with the outcome.  I did my fair share of ripping out stitches (I changed my mind about what color thread I wanted to use for topstitching) but all in all I really like my coat.  I really love the wool color, lining fabric, and buttons together.  And, despite my lack of alterations, overall the fit is quite wonderful and I have great mobility in my arm and shoulder area, which is often an issue in RTW.  Here is my official review:

Pattern Description:  Classic style caban coat/pea coat.  I used a combination of two different style numbers.  Style 120 has a traditional notched collar with cuffed sleeves.  Style 121 has a hood and sleeves with sleeve tabs.  I used the collar from style 120 and the sleeves from style 121.

Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 36-44.  I made a size 40, which is my usual sizing for tops in Burda.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Actually they were for the most part.  The bit for the collar was a little confusing, but not too hard to figure out.  The part about finishing the vents was also a little confusing, and even after I did figure it out, using the instructions in Burda kept causing the vents to hang funny.  I decided to finish the vent hems by hand instead.

Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it?  Yes, for the most part.  I did use elements from two different style numbers, but overall I thought the coat looked very similar to the photos in the magazine.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I really liked that the pattern has a very classic traditional look to it.  I love the in seam pockets, and I like the sleeve tab detail.  As always, I love the two piece Burda sleeve.  The fit is amazing, right out of the magazine.  I considered making the hood instead of the notched collar (looks much easier construction-wise), but I am glad I went with the traditional collar.  I like the topstitching detail, although my machine had a bit of trouble topstitching over the thick sections on the collar.  I was trying to use a thicker style to emphasize the topstitching, but my machine can only hand long straight stitches with regular thread.  I don't know that this is a dislike of the pattern, but I tend to prefer more fitted styles, and I found the back of this coat to be a bit boxy.  This style has minimal back seaming, which combined with my swayback makes me wish I had done a bit more agressive swayback adjustment, and a bit more fitting in the back to avoid the boxy look.  Overall though I have no major dislikes.  Truly this is a great pattern.

Fabric used:  Very thick felt-like green wool/nylon blend from Yoder's in Shipshewana, IN.  I used a poly print charmeuse from Joann's for the lining, and I interlined with cotton flannel for added warmth.  I also used muslin for back stay and sleeve cap interfacing, and fusible interfacing for the front, collar, sleeve tabs, and hem.

Pattern alterations or changes you made:  I did make a minor (1/2") swayback adjustment, but I should have made a slightly larger adjustment.  Other than that I used the pattern as drafted for the shell.  I used the information in "High Fashion Sewing Secrets" by Claire Shaeffer to draft interfacing patterns for the back, sleeves, and front shoulder areas, and to draft my own lining patterns.  I also added sleeve heads as suggested in the book.  Other than that I mostly followed the directions in the BWOF magazine.

Would you sew it again?  Would you recommend it to others?  I was considering sewing the version with the hood, but I think I would rather sew more fitted styles in the future.  I have lots of other coat patterns I want to make, so I don't know how soon I would make this style again.  While I don't think this is necessarily the best style coat for my body type, overall I am quite pleased with my coat - the fit is great and very comfortable, and because of the interlining it is quite warm and cozy.  This is without a doubt the best quality coat I have ever owned, and I am sure I will enjoy it greatly this winter.  I would definitely recommend this pattern to others - as with most of Burda's patterns, the drafting is top notch.  It is a great classic style and could be a great addition to any wardrobe.

Conclusion:  Great pattern!  I am so happy I was able to order this back issue of BWOF, and I am excited by the results of my coat.  While the thick wool pushed the limits of my sewing machine, in the end the results were worth the effort and I am super pleased to have this coat in my wardrobe.


  1. Wow! I love everything you did with this coat!

  2. This is fabulous. I love everything about your coat too: colour, fabric, lining, style..

  3. Thanks for all the nice comments! It has been a bit warm, but I am looking forward to wearing is in the coming months.

  4. It looks great! I love how it turned out! And the buttons go very well :)