Villanelle, tres belle!


Does it seem like a good idea to try out a new-to-you pattern brand with a coat pattern involving single welt pockets that you have never made before and quilting with Thinsulate for the first time? A sound advice would be “no!” but I did all that and ended up with my third coat and finally one that can actually be worn in our climate too. You know, these classy wool coats are nice but only as long as you live someplace warmer, not here in Estonia.

So yes, taking all of the abovementioned risks, I tried out Vikisews patterns and their Villanelle coat and it was absolutely worth it!

I had been wanting to make some serious outerwear for a long time but it always seemed too complicated and honestly there aren´t so many patterns out there that involve padding etc. But thanks to Instagram I stumbled upon Vikisews patterns and was encouraged by several sewists who mentioned that their instructions are really thorough. So, after finding the right fabric ( I got so lucky at our local store, the fabric is water repellent which is a must in Estonian winter, in my beloved color of khaki green and cost less that 5 euros/m!) and Thinsulate 150 for insulation, I just dove in right before Christmas. By the way, I hope I will not have a chance to test it, but Thinsulate 150 is claimed to keep you warm in up to minus 30C*!! The truth is that no wind gets through it and if I am dressed like you see in the photos- long shaft boots and the coat with a scarf and gloves, it is super toasty!

If you remember my last post, I mentioned that the dress there was just a side project of a bigger one. At some point I did feel overwhelmed, it is true. The instructions are about 30 pages long complete with photos but because of the quilting, there are so many extra steps that you just need to keep it cool and keep going. But the Insta-sewists were not lying, the instructions really do take you through every step very carefully, with only some minor inaccuracies regarding the photo content.

I made the coat in size 40 after a long debate and I got a bit worried at some point that it might be too big, but eventually I love the slightly oversized look of it. The sleeves were really wide though, so I narrowed them by 4 cm!

If you noticed, the quilting does not match on the side seams because the pieces are quilted separately and then sewn together. I had imagined that the quilting would run smoothly on the sides too and was a bit turned off when I realized this wasn´t the case. But then I eyeballed everyone in the supermarket wearing quilted coats and didn´t see a single one without that issue and calmed down. I do think that there shuld be a clever way of achieving a smooth look though!

Interestingly the fabric looks so dull when photographed indoors, but here are some close-ups:

It was my first time making single welt pockets (or any welt pockets) and I was extra careful and looked up extra information on the process as this was a step were the photo material of the instructions was a bit confusing. The pockets are not perfect, but considering these are my first and sewn with insulation, I am ok with them. The pocket flaps seem to be too narrow, at least I did not take the risk of sewing them on and just cut new and slightly wider ones.

If you decide to try this pattern, I really recommend not leaving the snaps off. Since I hurried to wear my coat last weekend already, I did so before I attached them. You can wear the coat without any problems, but the look is more fitted when the snaps are closed and it is much better.

With the completion of this coat I fulfilled a long time dream of being able to wear me-mades regardless of the weather. And although it was a big project and took many hours of work, it kind of opened up a new horizon and I have been eyeing some other padded coat/jacket options for the future. Honestly, you just have to try it to understand the satisfaction of a real self made warm winter coat!

Until soon!


3 responses to “Villanelle, tres belle!”

  1. The coat looks great – and cosy!

    In tailor-made jackets welt pockets with flaps are made so that you can use the flaps to cover the slit but you can also put them inside to look like normal welt pockets. So the flaps should be exactly the same width as the opening of the pocket – in theory. I learned it in the sewing class but it needs a lot of practice. Your solution is absolutely ok and looks good. – I just wanted to explain why the welts from the pattern seemed “too narrow”.

    If you want perfectly matching quilting you would have to tape the pattern pieces together and draw the lines exactly where you want them, then transfer the lines to the fabric and hope that it turns out as you wanted it. (That’s not certain, especially with several layers and thick padding.) Another solution would be to first sew the coat together and do the quilting when it is nearly completed. But that is not so easy, either. That’s why the quilting mostly doesn’t match at the side seams.

    1. Hi! Thank you so much for these tips! So interesting and I will keep it in mind about the pockets!

  2. Your coat looks so beautifully warm, and its a great colour. I am in awe of the work that must have gone into this project.

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