Two days before my birthday, I decided to make a whole new outfit to wear for the occasion. As you do. I seem to specialize in setting dumb self-imposed sewing deadlines for special events, but I don’t think I’m alone in that. ..Right? After I hastily sewed a new black dress and a lacy cardigan (not pictured here because of deep regrets I have about both), I then ALSO decided I had to have a new coat to wear over the whole shebang. The secondhand wool coat I had worn for three winters was pilling to death and a vengeful mouse had chewed his way through one of the pockets completely. I generally ignore holes in my clothes, despite being a sewing professional (just like how the “cobbler’s children have no shoes”, the “sewing teacher has a wardrobe full of holey rags”), but a hole in an outerwear pocket just meant a death sentence for my SEPTA tokens so that was a problem. Time for a suitable replacement.
Okay, so how does one sew a coat in a day? You cheat and sew a coatigan. COATIGAN, my most favorite word that the fashion industry has ever bestowed upon us. This is the Silvia Coatigan by Schnittchen Patterns, and it’s exactly what it sounds like: a cardigan, made out of coating fabric. No closures, no hardware, no shoulder shaping, no cuffs, no nothin’. Because of the lack of closures, this isn’t the best cold-weather buffer of a coat, but it’s great for looking great on 45ish-degree days with a big scarf.
The Silvia Coatigan is designed to be a long jacket with a shawl collar, dropped shoulders, and pockets integrated into a horizontal seam in the front. There’s an optional lining and 1-button closure. I will not deny that this is essentially just a bathrobe pattern that doesn’t crossover or tie in front, so the fabric you use makes all the difference in whether this is acceptable to wear in public. The slouchy look was appealing to me, especially after seeing the Pug & Needle’s version. It can take some imagination to see beyond the, uh, styling of the furry pink version on the Schnittchen website.
I made my first version of the Silvia Coatigan earlier in the winter out of a black woven fabric for indoor wear, which you can see in this Instagram photo here. I’ve worn it so much because of its snuggly shawl collar and overall warmth, though my fabric was this weird textured basket weave so it was crazy snag-prone, rendering it un-photographable. But don’t think I’ve stopped WEARING it. Remember what I said earlier about how holey garments are kinda my signature look.
I thought the pattern would work well for an outerwear piece, too. I bought this herringbone wool coating from Mood Fabrics when Mali and I trekked to NYC in November and I basically just bought a bunch of expensive neutral fabrics. I made the size 36 based on my bust and waist measurements. I would have graded out for the hips if I were going to actually close the cardigan but I didn’t bother. It’s certainly roomy in the torso and the sleeves are plenty baggy so it fits over other garments just fine.
The pattern is described as having an optional lining, but the instructions assume you’re lining your jacket and don’t tell you how to finish the seams or sew the hems if you’re omitting the lining. I did underline this coat, but to me that was still more time-efficient than printing & taping the lining pieces and sewing them to the curved facings and figuring out the bagged hem situation. That meant I cut the same pieces out of a lighter weight cotton shirting and basted them to the wrong side of the outer fabric. Then I constructed the garment as usual, saving time by serging all my edges. I sewed the bottom of the facing to the bottom hem, RST at a 3/8″ seam allowance, so that it forms a corner when flipped out. The hems are serged, folded up once and hand-stitched in place to the underlining. Pretty straightforward! You can see the plaid underlining in the following photo. It’s kind of a crazy clash in patterns but it was all I had on hand.
As everyone else has warned, there are no diagrams in the instructions or online tutorials for making this pattern. I’ve made enough shawl collar robes and jackets at this point that the construction process was intuitive for me, but if I had attempted this 3 years ago I probably would have gotten lost. The instructions are translated from German so some of the terminology is a bit different than US sewing patterns, but it’s still much better than Burda, haha. For example, I guess “heed the marks” means “match your notches”? One non-language-related quirk is that they double-notched the front of the armhole/sleeve and single-notched the back, which is opposite of the norm. Don’t put your sleeves in backwards, folks! The sleeve caps are not symmetrical. I sewed them in flat instead of in the round, just fyi. No easing required because this is a dropped shoulder design.
The pattern is broken into two files — I assume because the file size would be too large otherwise. Altogether the whole pattern with instructions and lining is 71 pages. Oy. The instructions don’t tell you which document contains which pattern pieces, though, and they don’t tell you which pieces or pages you need for the unlined version. SO here is a lil’ reference sheet for all y’all aspiring coatiganers who don’t want to waste printer ink.
UNLINED VERSION – You need the following pieces:
1. Upper Front (doc 1)
Document #2: Print pages 8-9, 13-26, 30-33