As winter got into the swing of things I thought it would be a good idea to clean out Jude’s closet. I got rid of all the too-small summer clothes and made sure he was set for the winter weather. Well, it turns out that he only had one winter coat and it was looking a bit shabby. And just around that time Ajaire (from Call Ajaire) put out a testing call for her newest design, The Mackinaw Coat.
I have tested for Ajaire before and loved the process and results. Last summer I was honored to test The Paneled Sunsuit – with Sleeves!, and her Ruffled Arch Skirt. I loved, loved, loved both of those patterns and I was so excited to be able to test this new pattern for the Mackinaw Coat. It’s always an honor to test for a designer, and there is always something to be learned.
This coat comes with a few options. There is a girl’s version (with a pleated front), and a boy’s version (with a flat front). The flat front could also be used for a girl who prefers less volume. And there are two collar options for each view, a small collar and an exaggerated collar. That makes a total of four combinations available, not including the two different sash options. There are welt pockets (with or without flaps), a loop for the sash in the back, and optional bound button holes.
I chose to make the boy’s view (flat front) with the smaller collar. I also chose to make the collar in the same fabric as the main coat, most people didn’t do this. There are lots of great photos from other testers of the coat with collars in contrasting fabrics and they all look great! Check out this coat from my friend Katie, over at Robutton, she did the girl’s version with the exaggerated collar in a contrasting fabric as well as contrasting fabrics on the sleeves and sash. Isn’t it great?!
I am not going to lie, this pattern is not for the faint of heart. I had a few late nights (normal for my sewing life), and a few read and reread the instructions before I really understood what I was supposed to do. I even pulled out my college sewing text-book (Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing) for some clarification. But if you take it slow and don’t expect it to be easy (and look up YouTube tutorials when you need help), you will end up with an AMAZING looking coat.
The Mackinaw Coat Pattern Review
Pattern name: The Mackinaw Coat
Pattern designer: Call Ajaire
Coupon/Giveaway: Giveaway on Swhetty Bettie’s (from now until February 13th). Use coupon code MACK15 to get 15% off the pattern from the Designs by Call Ajaire Etsy Shop, but if you join the Designs by Call Ajaire Facebook Group you’ll have access to a group special 25% off coupon to use during the release period!
Size range: 12 month to 12 years
What size did you make? 4t with 5 length
Fabric used: Corduroy, flannel for lining, and fusible fleece on the inside for warmth
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take? I made a longer length (5) and I’m glad I did. Jude is tall, so he needed a bit of extra length. Added fusible fleece to all the main coat fabric pieces (and didn’t use interfacing on those that called for it) before stitching them to add warmth. This is totally optional, but makes the coat very warm.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you? It wasn’t an easy sew. It took about a week of late nights (my only sewing time) to put together. At some points the instructions are pretty advanced and I had to reference my Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? I think it fit’s wonderfully. I’m glad I adjusted the length, and maybe could have even gone to a 6 for length, but am happy with it over all. It’s got plenty of room for a nice cozy sweater underneath and is a great winter coat.
Will you make the pattern again? Yes, I have fabric to make one for Avi, just need to get on it!
Do you have any advice on this pattern? 1) Go slow. Don’t be afraid to look up YouTube videos or other tutorials if you get stuck (especially on the bound buttonholes). 2) It takes a lot of paper to print and subsequently takes a long time to tape together. Put on a movie and enjoy the taping process. There will be a sew-along starting on February 23rd, on the Call Ajaire Blog, and there will reportedly be some sort of giveaway.
1 (worst) through 5 (best)
Instructions (1-5): 4
Construction Process (1-5): 4
Final Fit (1-5): 5
Overall Rating (1-5): 4.75