Mint Suede Dress Coat

Sunday’s Someday Project: Mint Suede Dress Coat

Because of my wide back and sloped shoulders, I have a very hard time finding coats and jackets that fit. Most of them are too narrow across the back, and so they bind in the upper arms. A couple of years ago, I found a pale mint green faux suede on clearance at Jo~Ann’s. I thought it would make a lovely dress coat—a luxury garment that I’ve never owned, because of the impossibility of finding one that didn’t feel like a straitjacket.

I set the fabric aside for a long time, while I searched for a suitable lining material. I didn’t want to settle for acetate or polyester “China silk”, and I couldn’t afford rayon Ambiance Bemberg. Besides, I wanted something special, something pretty and sophisticated, something unexpected. So I kept my eye on the printed charmeuse at, and one day I found one that I liked on sale. It’s an abstract print with shades of mint, brown, and cream. I ordered a swatch, and it matched my suede perfectly.


Printed Charmeuse (left) and Mint Green Faux Suede (right)

Now all I needed was the interlining—something to keep me warm and cozy in the winter. I considered flannel, until I found something better: a fleece interlining specifically made for lining coats. I ordered four yards and when it arrived, I found it wasn’t quite what I’d expected. It resembles extra thick felt, more than anything. But so long as it doesn’t make the coat too cumbersome, I suppose it doesn’t matter.


Fleece Interlining

I’m still considering whether I need fusible hair canvas, or if I can get away with a heavyweight sew-in interfacing. I don’t want the coat to be too stiff and unwieldy, after all, but I recognize that it will need some support in the shoulders and facings. I’ve never made anything tailored before, so this will be a new experience for me.

I’ve chosen Simplicity (Project Runway) 2812 for the pattern. It’s a cute coat, with an empire waist and a variety of fashionable collars. I’ll probably use the full-length view with the gathered collar.

Fashion Sketch

Fashion Sketch ~ Dress Coat

Winter will be here before we know it, so I’m debating whether to go ahead and make the coat. Either way, it’s going to require a lot of trial and error, probably at least two mockups to get the fit right. I’d hate to finally get it done, just in time for warmer weather!


What do you think—should I start the coat now or wait until next year? Should I use the expensive hair canvas or just use heavyweight interfacing?

About Lisha Vidler

I am a sewing instructor living near Memphis, Tennessee.
This entry was posted in Sunday's Someday Projects and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *