Just Sew Helen's Sewing Diary

Hello & welcome to my Sewing Diary 🪡 a place to share my sewing plans & dressmaking, pattern & fabric reviews and pattern & fabric pairing inspiration, with snippets of tools, gadgets & notions that I use or desire.

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Easy to wear Coatigan - Simplicity 8811

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We’ve had some great weather recently but knowing the UK it won’t last & I wanted something I can slip on to run errands, especially when in the car, that’s thicker than a cardigan but not a heavy coat hence the 'coatigan'


I’ve looked at many different ‘coatigans’ and when the opportunity came up to review a coat fabric from Minerva, I took the opportunity to make one, with nice, large patch pockets.

The polyester/wool blend coating fabric is available in grey or brown and although it is classed as heavy weight, I would describe it as more medium.  The right side has a lovely soft, brushed feel to it, and it is a non-stretch, woven fabric.  I like the larger check pattern and chose the grey/black.

The fabric washed well and maintained its shape pretty well and also didn’t fray too much.  I’m a bit too impatient to overlock all the edges before prewashing and it wasn’t a problem with this fabric.

The pattern I decided upon is one I had in my stash but as yet had never used.  Minerva also stocks this pattern, Simplicity 8811

Simplicity 8811

It is designed for stretch fabrics such as sweater knits or fleece & I wondered if my chosen fabric might have a bit of mechanical give being largely polyester but there is minimal movement.  I toiled the pattern using a cotton duvet cover and although it’s obviously not the same weight, it is woven and non-stretchy.  I initially cut size medium and graded to a large from the waist to the hips and as my coat fabric is woven decided to cut a straight large in my main fabric.  The fabric is easy to pattern match with the large checks and to be on the safe side I cut each piece separately, right side up, in case the pattern wasn’t matched on the doubled lower piece.

I made version C, with the sleeves from A.  

I decided to line the sleeves as it is a bit scratchy to wear on bare arms if throwing it on over a tee shirt & also to make it easier to get on and off.  I picked a black satin charmeuse which has a slight stretch & cut the lining about 1cm wider and longer to allow some give and to prevent the lining pulling the sleeve out of shape.  As the sleeves are not set in but sewn flat, I underlined the sleeves by stitching the lining to the sleeve wrong sides together and then handled the sleeve and lining as one piece.  I purchased 1 metre and plan to use the left over fabric to make some underwear.

I still haven’t mastered the overlocker (I’ve been saying that for about 4 years!) and stitched the seams with a straight stitch and finished the edges using the overcast foot with a medium zig zag stitch.  This works really well which explains why I’ve still not got around to using the overlocker.


When trying on the jacket before stitching the side seams it actually felt too big.  In the end, I removed the sleeves at the (dropped) shoulder seams & recut the armholes and side seams using the medium pattern lines.  The centre front and self-facings are the same for all sizes, so it was easy to do without affecting the rest of the garment.

Overall, I love the coat/jacket/cardigan especially the large pockets which are perfect for keys, phone and dog treats.  The front pattern piece extends at the top to create a collar that wraps around the back of the neck. It creates a collar that fits up snugly around the neck and keeps it's shape. I also like the pocket construction.



The pockets are stitched to the lining, turned inside out, and attached to the coat. It creates a really neat finish and smooth curves.


I’m not sure if I’m a fan of the dropped shoulders and feel that they fall at the widest part of my arms, but they fit with the overall design, and looking at other pictures wearing their finished cardigans they all look great and appear the same.

You also can't beat a bit of pattern matching :-) 


I’d like to make another in a sweater knit and a couple of fabrics I might use in the future are tagged below, a red lurex sweater knit and a grey, soft textured knit fabric.



Thank you to Minerva for the fabric.

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