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Made By A Fabricista: Melton Wool

Guess what sewing friends, this is a great time of year to make a new traveling coat for the holidays! We're heading to celebrate in a colder climate than where we reside, so a heavier coat is a necessity. I'm already a big fan of wool in general, so a coat in wool Melton was high on my list of wants, both for warmth and sustainability.

I decided to sew an Octave Coat by Love Notions. I've sewn this pattern in recent years both in a heavy fleece and in a knit coating I bought from FM years ago. The original pattern includes a shawl collar or hood option, and this enormous moto-style collar is a free add-on. I love how it's both dramatic and has a vintage flair.

I appreciate the thigh-length bodice of this coat, I really need that kind of coverage. The wide overlap of the lapels also adds to the layers of warmth I crave. 

Rather than a button closure or the waist tie closure option, I just added a simple heavy-duty snap. I might go back and add one more for security, but so far this is working quite well and I love how the front remains very uncluttered.

If the prospect of sewing a wool coat intimidates you, allow me to elaborate and hopefully assuage any fear. Melton can seem a little nerve-wracking to sew with, but the experience is actually very easy. There's no unraveling or fraying of raw edges, and you can get gorgeous clean cuts with shears or a rotary blade. While the hand is thick and dense, it cooperates and I used wonder clips to line up my piece edges for sewing. A walking foot is incredibly helpful for keeping the edges of two or more layers cruising through the stitches at the same speed, especially for the very long seams. While the fabric is thick, there's also an airy quality and a universal needle works really well without any snagging or thread trouble. I used a size 80 since that was already inserted in my machine, but please always run a test scrap through before sewing the real deal to check out and assess your tension!

The fabric is pliable and dense, yet retains some drape. There is a lovely plushness and you can squeeze it just a bit like a marshmallow. This is heavier weight and since it has a brushed surface texture, you can't really see the weave. The felting makes the hand really soft and I don't find it uncomfortable to wear it against bare skin, like at the collar area. Because of the lofty nature of the fabric, the threads really sort of sink into the fibers. I found that increasing my stitch length was helpful for topstitching. 

I used a cotton press cloth and steam ironed my coat only from the wrong side. This is a perfect fabric for using a wooden clapper to press amazingly flat seams. I pressed all my seams open to reduce the bulk of the layers. Melton is also easy to shape around darts or curves with a little extra steam. Here’s a picture of the inside and pocket before I added the lining, nice flat pressed seams! 

And the pocket from the outside with nice sharp corners. 

I hadn't originally intended to line this one (the pattern includes options for lined and unlined) but then I remembered all the yards of cotton sateen I treated myself to back in late summer, so I grabbed a cut and decided to level up my coat. This is a very lightweight fabric base for lining and really adds no bulk whatsoever, so I wasn't concerned about making thick seams even thicker or bunchy. I love how it hides all the inner seams and pockets, just so streamlined and professional! 

And the obligatory flasher picture to show off the lining goodness. 

Truly, bagging a coat is a little bit magical. In a voluminous fabric like this, I recommend leaving yourself several extra inches in the open side seam in order to make sure you can fit your whole coat through said opening during the bagging process.

Now I’m prepared for colder weather and can stay warm during holiday travel and festivities!  I adore the style and this coat will be worn probably daily throughout this season, and for all other cozy times. 

I wish everybody a wonderful holiday season throughout the next several weeks! Hopefully you'll get the chance to work on a warm project for yourself.

Happy sewing! 

KATIE  @kak513

Unfortunately Fabric Mart Fabrics sell out quickly!
You can find similar fabrics by shopping the following categories: COATING, WOOL, & COTTON SATEEN.


  1. Love your coat. It looks really nice with the lining and gives it that finished look. Wishing you a great Holiday Season also.

  2. Thay looks so very nice and classic

  3. This is such a handsome, well sewed coat in a beautiful classic color. I can see it would provide extra warmth by pulling up the large collar and wrapping a scarf around it on especially chilly days. Your tips on steaming and lining are really useful!


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