Intro: Blue Velvet Bog Coat
My mom is a weaver. I found this coat concept in one of her weaving books and was compelled to try it. It is based on an ancient design dug up from the peat bogs in Scandinavia. Thus, bog coat. It is currently a popular design that lends itself well to creative interpretation, and this is mine.
It can be made long or short. The sleeves can be narrower or wider. You can ad a collar, make it from multiple fabrics, and it is a great palette for quilting. I hope seeing how I created my vision inspires you to create yours. I would love to see what anybody else does with this concept.
Step 1: Blue Velvet Bog Coat
You will need some fabric and thread for sure. Other things you might need would be zippers, buttons, lining and embellishment fabrics, and trims. I chose a blue gray upholstery velvet with a soft drape. I also found a jacquard weave upholstery fabric with a small shot of the blue gray for the lining. I decided to use a zipper to keep the chill out.
You will also need basic sewing supplies:
Fabric marking pens
The basic fabric shape needed for this coat is a rectangle. You will need a few measurements to determine the fabric size needed. To determine fabric size use the bog coat diagram with the following information:
A= Your wingspan, finger tip to finger tip. This will account for a hem and ease length of the sleeve.
B= The length you want the coat to be from the shoulder, plus the hem length. I am using a 2" hem.
C= This is how wide you want the sleeves to be. 10" to 12" is commonly used. The sleeve openings can be cuffed or tapered as part of your custom design. I used a 10" opening for my sleeves.
Solid lines are cut lines, dashed lines are fold lines and the dotted line is the center back.
The other diagram is for the neck opening. It is placed at the intersection of the shoulder fold line and the center back line.
The first thing to do is square one end of the fabric. This piece is 59" wide. You may need to add width to the fabric, depending on your wingspan measurement and the width of the fabric being used. I use a square and a yard stick to do this. This fabric is wrong side up. I draw a chalk line from edge to center of both sides. Then I measured down 10" and 20" from this line on each edge of fabric. Connect these with a chalk line across the fabric. This is the shoulder fold line and the arm/front cutting line.
I decided to make the coat 34" long, so I marked and drew a line across the width of the fabric, 36" from the shoulder fold line.
Now measure and mark the center of the fabric width. Draw a line perpendicular to lines drawn across the fabric. This is the center front/center back line.
Draw the neck opening as per the diagram.
Cut out the rectangle. Do not cut the neck or arms yet.
Square up the lining fabric. This time I cut the piece 34" from the shoulder fold. The lining is not as long as the coat.
I wanted to make sure the neck opening would fit so I made a mock-up from muslin. Adjust this to fit you, then use it to mark the coat.
I folded the coat in half, right sides together, along the center front and back line. Mark a 1/2" seam allowance inside the neck opening. Cut the center front line and the neck opening. Pin all the edges together carefully and cut the sleeve seam, which is 1/2 the width of the folded fabric.
Lay the coat on top of the lining piece and carefully align and pin edges. Remember, the lining is 2" shorter than the coat. Cut the same lines and neck opening of the lining fabric that the coat has. I just used the coat for a pattern.
This is how the coat is constructed. First I pinned and sewed the sleeve seams, right sides together. I used a 1/2" seam and tapered to nothing at the under arm.
Next, pin and stitch the seam across the front, tapering to nothing at the under arm.
Stitch the lining , right sides together the same as the coat.
Stay stitch around the coat neck edge. Since I am using a 1/2" seam allowance, I used a 5/16" from the edge stay stitch.
Press the sleeve seam open. Press the seams across the front up on the coat and down on the lining. This is to reduce bulk when the pieces are sewn together.
I used a decorative machine stitch to top stitch across the front and along the sleeve. It helps keep the fabric from fraying.
I decided to put a trim piece down the front to cover the zipper and block the wind. To make a 2" trim piece I cut a 5" strip the width of the fabric. Fold strip right sides together and stitch across the ends. Clip corners and turn right side out. The piece was long enough to go the full length of the front and gather around the neck for a stand-up collar. I gathered the upper part and pinned it around the neck opening. Check the zipper being used and put the trim piece on the side without the pull.
An easy way to gather fabric, especially heavier fabric is to zig zag stitch over a crochet cotton or lightweight string. Secure one end of the cotton and pull the other end. I makes nice soft gathers and the crochet cotton does not break.
Position the zipper where you want it to start and stop. Baste in place.
With right sides together pin the bottom edge of the lining and the coat together. Stitch together with a 1" hem. Leave a 10" opening around the middle back.
Press seam toward coat.
Place lining and coat, right sides together and pin front and neck opening. Fold bottom of coat even with lining fabric. Stitch front and neck opening. Trim corners and clip neck opening seam of lining the same as the coat.
Turn coat right side out and match up sleeve seams of coat and lining.
Turn in hems of lining and coat sleeves. Pin in place. This does not have to be very accurate. You are just trying to establish the connection. Reach into the opening at the hem and pull the sleeves through. You will have the inside of the sleeve and lining. Re-pin, accurately, and with right sides together and sew the seam around the bottom edge of the sleeve. Pull sleeve back through and pin the edges in place. I used a decorative machine stitch to top stitch around sleeve opening.
Turn under un-stitched part of hem 1". Bring cut edge of lining fabric to the turned up hem. Fold hem over lining and pin in place. Hand stitch coat to lining.
Iron lightly and the coat is finished. Cuddle up and keep warm!