Wild Beasts

Every year, I make coats for my kids that they can wear in the fall. It’s a really rewarding project. They always love their coats and end up wearing them for multiple years.

Thie year, for the first time, I let my kids pick out their own fabric for their coats. I took them to Mood in NYC. First I showed them the wools, which must be an acquired taste because they were unimpressed. Then I brought them back to the furs, which were a huge hit. I was surprised they did not pick more colorful furs. My younger daughter picked a long haired fur that could double as an ewok costume. My older daughter picked a white fur with metallic gold stripes.

The pattern came from the Japanese pattern book Basic Style. It’s a great book, with loads of different styles of childrens’ coats. However, I bought it at least a year ago, maybe two, and this is the first thing I’ve made from it. So maybe it’s not that useful to me. I used the duffel coat pattern, but simplified it a bit because all the duffel coat doodads would just be lost in the fur.

My older daughter is now 129 cm tall. I always sew one size up for my kids so things last a while, which would be 140 in this book. And that is the largest size in the book! I’m at a bit of a loss as to what I will do next year for her coat. She’s certainly getting taller, but her frame is still so slight that even the smallest adult sizes would swamp her.

This will almost certainly be the last time that I work with fur in August. It was not so bad in the beginning, when it was mostly flat seams. But toward the end of this project, when the jackets were almost completed, I felt like I was wrestling an uncooperative medium-sized animal under the sewing machine. And I swear, these coats gave off heat of their own. I had to sew on the buttons a couple at a time because I just could not keep these coats in my lap. If I do make fur jackets again, I’m waiting until September at least.

Here are some detail photos:

Front View

back view

Front View

back view

The button loops are made with rainbow ombre rattail that my kids brought home from camp.

They are lined in necktie silk. I lined to the edge rather than putting in a facing because the fabric is so bulky.

Ewok fur coat lining, also necktie silk.

I used backer buttons because that’s generally a good idea on outerwear.

Action shot. She has been wearing it around the house for the past couple of days.

Below you will find my Gallery of Coats Past, showing my previous childrens coats. The photos link to the posts that I did about each coat.



  1. mrsmole
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 6:06 am | Permalink | Reply

    Another closure item to use is elastic ponytail holders. They come in all colors and thicknesses. I made 3 furry costumes for my kids for Halloween when they were young. After wrestling with all that fur and trying to clean it out of my machine, I realized it was in my sewing room, on the walls and shelves, etc for a long time. Your kids will be the envy of their friends!

  2. Posted August 13, 2012 at 7:02 am | Permalink | Reply

    They’re too cute! I love the blue linings :o)

  3. Eileensews
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 7:48 am | Permalink | Reply

    Beyond cute! I want a fur now.

  4. Nancy K
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink | Reply

    Wonderful coats.

  5. Shams
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    Omigosh, so cute!!! They will be the envy of their friends. But, I can’t imagine sewing all that long fur in your August heat! Plus, the fibers… everywhere. You really are a dedicated mom!

  6. jonesyb
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    These coats just fabulous!

  7. Posted August 13, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Holy cow those are cute wild thing coats!

  8. Posted August 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    They look adorable — lucky girls!

  9. Posted August 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Gorgeous coats!!!! I need to do more like that.

  10. Posted August 13, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Love these coats! And I know what you mean about sewing fur in the middle of summer. And I’m having the same trouble in sizing for my girls as you will be (are)! Love the ewok!

  11. cucperson
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oooooh, I wish you were my mother! Wonderful, wonderful – the coats and the cuties.

  12. Posted August 14, 2012 at 2:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    Those are awesome – lucky kids! I kind of want an Ewok coat of my own now.

  13. Posted August 14, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    First can I just tell you how adorable your daughters are! I’m sure it’s been a pleasure watching them grow up. Next, the coats are fabulous. I love that you allowed each one to choose their own fabric and that this is what the end results are. The coats are simply fabulous!

  14. janew40
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink | Reply

    I love the timeline of coats!

    My 10-year-old daughter always gravitates towards the faux fur in *any* fabric store. If species reassignment ever becomes a medical possibility I’m in deep trouble.

  15. Posted August 15, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh my goodness, faux fur in August. You are brave. I love the coats and your daughters look thrilled!

  16. Kbenco
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The coats are amazing. Your daughters look so happy in them. You are a noble mother to sew faux fur in summer – or any time!
    The next year coat pattern can be the same – I sewed about a size 6yr old width for each of my daughters from age 8-12, just adding length each year, which is pretty easy. Then you can feel virtuous about using your pattern book twice,although I always think I get full value from pattern books by reading them for entertainment.

    • Posted August 16, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink | Reply

      Wow, that’s a really good idea. And like most really good ideas, it now seems so obvious that I’m convinced I would have come up with it on my own. But it’s great that I did not have to.

  17. Posted September 2, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Those coats are pure awesome-ness and crazy cool! Lucky kids!

  18. MF
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 12:45 am | Permalink | Reply

    These coats are wonderful! This is the type of thing your daughters will remember happily about their childhood. I think this is the first time I’ve commented here, not sure which blog roll led me here. Your blog name suggests you may be interested -Hermes artisans are doing an exhibition (ends Sunday) in NYC at 583 park avenue, where they are showing how they make the iconic goods, ie bags, scarves!

One Trackback

  1. By Using the Good Scraps « Adventures in Couture on November 20, 2012 at 1:05 am

    […] colder. The silk lining fabric is left over from This skirt, and the faux fur is left over from this coat. Obviously, there was no pattern involved. I put a seam in the fur at the center back so the nap of […]

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