A quick sew gone slow

It was late spring this year when I saw Juebejue’s fantastic linen coat – made in a pattern I’d already sewn and loved, no less. I warned her immediately that I was going to copy her, and pulled out my copy of Vogue 8926 and some super thick linen a few weeks later.

I was ready for a quick and satisfying sew, especially since I’d already adjusted the fit. The only changes I made were adding length to the body and sleeves, and skipping the ties.


It was completely finished and I was mostly in love with it when I saw some things I could not un-see:

  1. The beautiful collar had a tendency to stretch where it folded over (my first version has developed the same problem over time, probably because the recommended fabrics have a lot more body than linen), and it rolled in a different spot every time I tried it on
  2. The back collar was collapsing
  3. The increase in length meant the facings had more freedom to flap open

So, I went back in under the collar and made some ad-hoc hand-stitched fixes.

I hand-stitched a roll line in using rayon seam tape:

crabandbee.com | Vogue 8926 linen coat - adding a roll line

I added a weird little collar stand in the back, pad-stitched from the inside before I closed the facings up and reinforced by quilt batting.

crabandbee.com | Vogue 8926 linen coat - adding a collar stand

And finally, I hem-stitched the bound facing edges to the body of the jacket. The linen was loose and thick enough the stitches do not show.

crabandbee.com | Vogue 8926 - bias-bound facing

I love it so much more now that is has a bit of structure, and it’s been surprisingly useful during the summer. It’s proved a perfect travel piece, too, especially on a plane trip where I used it as a blanket.

crabandbee.com | Vogue 8926 linen coat back

I’ve thought about adding some kind of closure to the front, or perhaps a belt. There’s a weird little moment where the roll line ends but the coat still wants to flip open.

crabandbee.com | Vogue 8926, altered into a linen coat

But for all my last-minute tailoring, it is ultimately meant to be a loose, easy coat and I’ll leave it as is for now.

I’ve got a nice little backlog of projects from this summer and spring, finally photographed… so let’s just say I’m continuing my tradition of blogging along with the Australian seasons!


50 thoughts on “A quick sew gone slow

  1. aaahh! this looks great!! I know what you mean about it being very unstructured and tend to stretch – I have accepted that as a property of this coat 🙂 it is surprisingly versatile in the summer! i love that deep black color!

  2. love this coat! The colour is perfection and I think would go with so many things! I’m sure all of us Australians would agree we’d be happy to have you as a honorary Aussie 🙂

  3. Totally love this and so useful! I have a couple of lightweight, unlined coats and they get worn do much. Maybe I need one in linen now though. Hmmm… 😉

    1. I’m new to this lightweight unlined coat thing but I’m into it! I’ve seen some fantastic RTW versions that have huge notched collars and all kinds of other beautiful details. Might be tempted to make another more elaborate version!

  4. Oh this is lovely, and yes you are very welcome to blog along with our Australian seasons, and help balance out the northern hemisphere bias!

  5. This is so gorgeous. I love the simplicity and the style of this type of jacket/over coat. It just looks so unfussy and straightforward, but still so beautiful because of the lines.

  6. So good! It’s dressed up casual! I totally want to copy both of you now! Linen is a shifty one though, isn’t it? I made some linen trousers this summer that fit perfectly straight out of the dryer but are way too big after about an hour…

    1. Yah the billowing is really a factor! I have a linen tunic I added trim to, and I’m thinking of removing it because the trim stays static while everything else stretches.

  7. This is great! I just made the Sydney jacket (just in time for Southern Hemisphere Spring) which is kind of similar. I’m not a perfectionist, but lately I’ve been forcing myself to make little changes to things that aren’t quite right in my me mades and I’m so much happier wearing them!

  8. This is so perfect! It might be that you’re standing still in the photos making it difficult to perceive the problems you point out (I suspect they might be more obvious whilst moving about), but hell girl I’d jump on this bandwagon. I don’t even understand what your fixes were as I’m so tailoring ignorant (it’s a thing, I tell you), but they seemed to have worked a treat. Gorgeous coat/cardigan

    1. I should have mentioned that all of the pictures were taken after I made the fixes! (Well, the exception is the in-progress shot). I found tailoring very impenetrable before I made my coat, and then after a lot of research and going through the process, I realized it’s a group of techniques to give you greater control over the behavior and fit of the fabric/garment. Everyone who sews is learning that in some way!

  9. No complaints from this Australian 😉 How awesome is it that just a few minor little technically additions and the fabric behaves so differently. It’s a lovely throwover! I really need to do something with linen one of these days…

    1. I will admit I had a bit of a “what would Melanie do?” moment when I was faced with the uncooperative front collar. I have very little tailoring under my belt and I was pleased that I could make use of some techniques I’d learned!

      I’d be curious to hear what you think of linen. It’s so prone to bagging out!

  10. Any garment that doubles as a blanket for travel is a win!!! Chic as always, Morgan. Your extra tailoring paid off!

    1. You’re in the thick of some coat guts yourself right now!

      I always mean to take more in-progress shots because that’s what I enjoy too – I’m glad you feel the same and I’ll try take more!

  11. You are totally a surrogate Aussie by this point 😉 What a fabulous linen win!

    I love how the little tweaks and tricks made such big difference to the way the fabric has behaved – how awesome it is to keep building skills and knowledge and be able to make these changes on the fly!

    1. I’ve shown a solid year of commitment to blogging along with the Australian seasons! Hooray!

      It is nice to feel like investing some time in very specialized skills can benefit other kinds of sewing.

  12. I’m continually baffled as to how you make simple look so damn stylish! (all I can muster from simple is ‘plain’ :-/ )

    1. Your sewing has certainly never looked plain to me! I think you do a great job of picking cool prints or highlighting design lines with a solid. My tastes generally favor simple (with a few exceptions) so I think I have a high tolerance for it, although there are times when I put two of my sewn pieces together and it’s just too plain!

  13. I swear this post didn’t come up on my bloglovin feed! Anyway, this coat just looks like the perfect casual slouchy coat needed on a cooler summers day, or when travelling. Love the colour as well.

  14. Fabulous coat, and I just might have to give this a try in linen myself! I have a lovely piece of linen in my stash, even though it is the rainy season here in Oregon!

  15. I make a similar jacket for my sister every few years, and this is just brilliance. Stealing every one of these work-throughs.
    It’s the stuff we really put the time into finishing that we reach for again and again. The things that feel great to wear and wear well. And you’ve done that up right.

    1. What a wonderful thing to do for your sister! I think you’re right – extra effort is more than worth it, especially if it increases your enjoyment of wearing a garment. I really don’t like thinking about or fussing with my clothes once I have them on.

  16. Wow I love this jacket! It looks so simple and really stylish. I’m so glad you posted it as the style is similar to an old and very much loved store bought jacket that I was looking to replace. I have a winter coat to make first though, so might have to put it on the list for Spring!

  17. Needless to say I love this coat! the fabric is gorgeous and has the perfect amount of body. With all your little couture touches this coat drapes beautifully on your figure … and I am guessing if you are not satisfied with it flying open when you move you can always chain it a bit – I personally wouldn’t it’s the perfect easy coat

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