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Keeping Warm All Winter...(Brrr)
Winter Workshop Series: Follow our Seven 3-hour Workshops to Make A Lined Winter Coat with Thermal Interlining 1 - 2 - 3 & 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

How to make and sew a winter coat using thermal interlining.

Shown here is the instructor's winter coat. Each step was photographed to help others learn how to construct a winter coat with thermal interlining. The outer coat fabric is made from a cream colored ultra suede and it is lined in black fabric.

After making a winter coat as my final grade project in 10th grade some 30 years ago, I was eager to share what I had learned and offer this workshop to my students. Back then I made my coat in slate blue corduroy fabric with navy lining, and embellished with navy piping. Upon wearing it for only the second time, a lady complimented me. When I told her I had made it, she was ecstatic and offered me $150.00 on the spot for my handmade coat. Follow our 9 students in these seven workshops from start to finish to make a lined winter coat with thermal interlining!

WORKSHOPS 3 & 4 - How to Make a Lined Winter Coat with Thermal Interlining

For our third & fourth workshops, our goals were to finish putting together the top of the winter coat. Previously, we had sewn darts, shoulder, and side seams, attached a hood and attached the bodice lining to the bodice outer fabric. This means day three and four entailed creating and attaching the sleeves: the most difficult step in making this coat! Despite the challenges of sewing the perfect-fitting set-in-sleeve, the girls pressed on and did an excellent job with their construction.

"Girls in their Hoods!"

Making a coat requires lots of pressing to make sure your seams lie flat.


Nicki pinning her hood together.


Avery finishes a sleeve.

Brooke gets on one sleeve!

Here is Ali showing us her first sleeve sewn in.


The first step of the sleeve was to ease-stitch the curve at the top. An ease stitch is a straight stitch sewn with a long stitch length and left with uncut threads. When pulled, the threads gather the fabric ever-so slightly, making it easier to adjust the sleeve into the armhole. After the top of the sleeve was ease-stitched, the underarm seam of the sleeve was sewn, as shown in the photograph. 
The underarm seam of the sleeve was then trimmed and pressed open. We have a "sleeve press" to put in the sleeve to make ironing easier.
The sleeve lining was then sewn in the same manner. Then, the bottom curve of the top of the sleeve lining was pressed down and basted to the wrong side of the fabric. This lining will later be hand-stitched to the outer sleeve around the top, and this step makes the hand-stitching easier. 
After ensuring the sleeve was a good fit, we trimmed off only the interlining from the bottom inch of the outer sleeve fabric. This makes certain that there is not a double layer of thick interlining when the sleeve is folded up twice and hemmed. We then fit our lining to our outer sleeve wrong sides together and sewed only around the bottom, as pictured here. 
Finally the sleeve was double folded up, pressed, and then hand-stitched using the blind stitch. The hem was finished!
Last, we had to attach the sleeves to the coat. This is the most difficult step in making the coat. The sleeve must line up properly, the ease at the top of the sleeve must fit perfect and lie flat with no bumps in the seam. The sleeve is basted on first, then we check for bumps, and do another fitting. Once everything is okay the sleeve is stitched on TWICE. When attaching sleeves in sewing and garment making they should always be basted on first, then stitched twice for reinforcement, no matter type of garment you are making. This part was very time consuming, but the girls did a great job. Here is a picture of Brooke's coat with one sleeve attached and the other ready to be pinned in place.

See our 5th workshop: Making the skirt part of the coat.



Winter Workshop Series: Follow our Seven 3-hour Workshops to Make A Lined Winter Coat with Thermal Interlining 1 - 2 - 3 & 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

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