Early 2022, I will be moving all the way across Canada to Prince Edward Island – from one small island to another! Since I will be once again living in a place with actual winters (snow! below zero temps!), I decided to sew myself an ultra toasty coat. Enter: the Pepernoot Coat by Waffle Patterns.
I’ve had the Pepernoot coat bookmarked for quite a long time. I love the lines of this coat. It has a slight fit and flare silhouette which lends itself well to wearing both skirts and pants. The yoke details are gorgeous and add so much interest. It’s also long enough to keep my butt and thighs warm, which is very important if you live somewhere cold. Basically it looked like my perfect winter coat, I just needed to find the perfect fabric to match.
And then Blackbird Fabrics released their deadstock wool coatings. I don’t think I’ve ever clicked “add to cart” so quickly. The fabric is an 80% wool, 20% nylon blend, and is just the most gorgeous shades of mustard, green and a hint of red. I picked up 4 metres so that I would be able to match my plaids, and I’m glad I did because I used basically all of it in my pursuit of perfectly lined up stripes.
The lining is Kasha flannel-backed satin and the coat is interlined (underlined? I never know the difference) with 100g Thinsulate, both sourced from Club Tissus/The Fabric Club. More details in a bit!
The Fit and Alterations of my Pepernoot Coat
My current measurements: B – 38″, W – 28.5″, H – 42″. I’m just under 5’8″.
I made the Pepernoot coat in a size 42, with a few alterations. First of all, I’m a little bit tall. I’m like a small tall, but enough of a tall that I generally have to add a bit of length to my patterns. The Pepernoot was no exception – when I did my first muslin without adding length, the coat looked very maternity wear on me. The waist seam hit just below where an empire waist would, and since that wasn’t the look I was going for, I lengthened the bodice by 2.5″
Originally I thought that I would need to lengthen the sleeves as well, but they turned out to be the perfect length. So a warning if you’re shorter: you may need to shorten the sleeves! I also took in the centre back by 3/8″ each side, starting about 6″ above the waist seam.
I made a few small changes to the design of the coat. First, I didn’t bother with zippers on the pockets. I always use the pockets on my coats, and I didn’t want to scratch my hands with zippers every time I reach for my phone or keys. To reinforce the pocket opening, I hand-sewed arrowhead tacks at the opening.
Second, I drafted a facing for the hood so that I could line it with the flannel-backed satin. This just makes for less frizzy hair when you pull down the hood.
Let’s Get Cozy – Lining my Pepernoot Coat
This coat is super toasty – exactly like I wanted! I achieved this by not only using a flannel-backed satin for the lining, but by interlining the entire coat with 100g Thinsulate. If you’re not familiar, Thinsulate is a synthetic batting of sorts that is used as insulation in winter gear. It’s not only great at keeping warmth in, but also isn’t bulky (it’s literally thin insulate). It comes in various weights, each with a cold-rating. The 100g Thinsulate is rated for -20C, and between it, the wool and the flannel-backed lining, I should be good in my new East coast home.
I mainly followed Closet Core’s tutorial for interlining with Thinsulate, with a few adjustments in certain areas like the centre front and around the darts to reduce bulk.
As you can see from the pic above, I cut out the areas where the darts are and machine basted the raw edge to prevent any of the Thinsulate innards from making their way out. I did this for the pleated areas of the lining as well.
Now, the arms are a bit puffier due to the Thinsulate. This isn’t something that bothers me, since it’s a winter coat and I expect a certain level of “can’t put my arms down”. But seriously, my movement isn’t restricted at all – I’ve driven, gone grocery shopping, walked around a garden of lights etc. in this coat and had no issues.
Details That I Love
I knew that if I was going to make myself a coat that I will wear for many years to come, I’d want to ensure that I spent the time to get the details right – the biggest one being plaid matching. I painstakingly cut out each pattern piece single layer so that I could ensure the stripes lined up.
To get the sleeves right, I had to wait to cut the sleeves until I finished constructing the bodice. I then basted muslin sleeves onto the finished bodice and used a marker to draw where the bodice stripes hit on the sleeve piece. I transferred those markings to my pattern piece and used them as a guide when cutting the sleeves from the main fabric.
Another detail I love about this coat are the pieces I cut on the bias: front and back yokes, under sleeve, sleeve tab, pockets and center hood. I added a centre seam to the back yoke so that I could get a nice chevron affect. These pieces were all carefully cut out so that they are symmetrical. Definitely worth the time I put into it!
It’s amazing how the simplest things make such a huge difference – like investing in a good zipper! The zipper is a YKK #8 metal zipper that I ordered from Wawak and it’s honestly fantastic. It never sticks, and it feels super sturdy.
The last thing I want to point out is a construction note. Before making this coat, I had no idea what a sleeve head was. One of my buds on my crafting discord server suggested installing one when I expressed frustration at my floppy shoulder. I followed this Threads tutorial, but essentially it’s just a rectangular piece of fabric that you attach to the shoulder seam. It makes a world of difference!
I was so nervous to start this coat project because I was worried about how complicated and difficult it would be. Honestly? Sewing with wool is a breeze compared to some of the other fabrics I’ve worked with (rayon, anyone?) and while the project was incredibly labour intensive, the actual construction part was very pleasant.
The best part (and I’m not afraid to say this) is responding “thanks, I made it” when someone compliments this coat. I’m so proud of this project and the work I put into it and I’m stoked to wear it this winter and for many winters to come.
7 thoughts on “Noot Noot, I Made the Pepernoot … coat”
This is impeccable! I’m in awe of all the details you included and the pattern matching is amazing! 😍
Thank you so much!! I’m quite proud of it
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This is absolutely gorgeous! I have this pattern saved to my list of things to sew! It’s very intimidating as I’m a bit of a novice sewer still. I have Navy wool set aside for mine tho so I won’t have to worry about plaid matching. I’m not brave enough for that yet!
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I am saving this coat post because it is SO AWESOME. Great job!! I need to make one like this, but probably not plaid because I definitely would not do as good as you at precisely matching the lines. A solid mustard though… Yes, please!
PS. What sort of fabric did you make the muslin out of to make sure it would fit in the finished coat with lining, interlining, and heavy wool? Or did you make the muslin in three layers?
A solid mustard coat sounds lovely! My muslin was actually just a very cheap polyester canvas. I put a couple of sweaters underneath to simulate the layers of the finished coat!
Thanks for the info! And for the inspiration! I’m planning to tackle this project before fall.