Waffle Patterns Pepernoot Coat

I finished my Spring coat! Waffle Patterns’ Pepernoot Coat. I love it.

I kind of feel like this review is 100% fair to the real pattern. The thing about grading up two sizes and doing an FBA is that I can’t comment much on how the garment went together or how it fit, because any inconsistencies may be a result of the grading and flat pattern alterations. I’m not an expert at either so there were some things that didn’t match up perfectly as I sewed everything up. My pattern alterations did work out and I quite like the fit. You can read more about what I did for fit here. That said, I do think the size range is small. Waffle Patterns only goes up to a size 48, which has a 43.3 inch bust. I get it’s the standard size range for most indie pattern companies and for the major pattern companies, but this is a plus sized sewing blog and if I don’t push for a wider size range then it may never happen. There is such a limited selection for good coat patterns for plus sized people and Waffle Patterns is all about the coat. Out of 17 patterns, 9 are coat patterns. They all have such great details, too, and well-thought out designs. I have my eye on the Tosti utility jacket next. With such great patterns, it’s a shame that a portion of the 23K+ Bloglovin followers of the Curvy Sewing Collective aren’t able to use the patterns without major modifications like I had to make for my Pepernoot coat.

I can comment that the instructions were really good and there is a sewalong to also help you with anything confusing. It’s not a beginner pattern, though. I don’t think I would have been able to make this without one coat under my belt and a lot of experience. It’s listed as an advanced pattern and that is accurate.

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I completely fucked up the hood insertion. Basically instead of following these instructions, I sandwiched the hood in between the lining and the main coat. That means the zipper can’t be inserted properly between all the layers. I made it work by ripping back some stitches at the edge of the hood on either side and then inserted it that way. I’d already graded my seams so ripping out the entire hood seemed like a bad plan. It worked out, though, and the zipper went in okay. Phew.

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I decided not to add zippers to the pockets. It just struck me as impractical after a while, because I would probably just want the zippers open all the time. I also wasn’t keen on the zippers I had picked up. In my head, they would have brass teeth and brown zipper tape, but I only found silver teeth and black zipper tape locally. My front zipper was the same, but it’s hidden by the front band so it doesn’t bother me. I made the pockets open at the sides. You are supposed to sew the pockets on before the zipper. I judged the placement on my own comfort (how long my arms are…short fyi… and where I would want them to sit).

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Once the zipper was inserted, the placement is thrown off by the width of the band. I pinned it back and checked how it would look at half-width and it worked a lot better. I cut off the edge of the band and ripped back some stitches on the top and bottom and pressed it a bunch and then topstitched the edge closed. I love the way it looks now and it doesn’t throw balance of the pockets off now. This probably would not have been an issue if I didn’t use contrasting fabric for the pockets and band. In the same fabric, it would not have stood out as an issue.

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The other thing I decided to add after the fact was buttonholes to the sleeve tabs and a band across the waist that fastens with buttons/buttonholes. It adds definition to the waist and gives the coat more interest. The buttonholes are not a requirement in the design, but I really like the look. The waist band mirrors the style of the sleeve tabs. I used those as a guide and then made two long stripes the width of my waist less the front bit. I interfaced one side with medium weight interfacing and then sewed the two pieces together with an opening left in the centre to pull the ends through to the right side. Then I pressed it like crazy and topstitched the entire thing. Topstitching closed up the opening in the centre. I then added buttonholes and sewed the buttons on to the coat. For now, the waistband is tacked at the back, which droops down a slight bit. When I get back and resolve the lining issue, I will add belt loops to keep it in place.

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I love the buttons and they match perfectly with the coat.

You’ll notice I made no attempt to pattern match. The contrasting brown wool (which has pink and grey stripes in it! Hello perfect match!) helps disguise the lack of pattern matching. Not completely, but enough that I like it. The pink plaid is a brushed cotton and some areas were stretching out from the grain. Thanks JoAnn Fabrics (not!). Not the greatest quality material, sadly. I interfaced all pieces to get it more stable, except I ran out for the skirt pieces. It worked out okay, but after the trip I think I will go back and add interfacing to the skirt pieces, because the pockets pull at the fabric a bit. I also plan on adding some of the brown fabric on the other side to reinforce the pockets. I’ll just be careful while I am away to not pull on the pockets too much. That means I will have to rip out the stitches that keep the lining in place at the hem, but that will work out for a different reason. The lining also doesn’t seem long enough and pulls up the hem of the coat a bit. That will be fixed as well when I get back by shortening the hem of the coat. I actually think a shorter length would work really well on me. My skirts hit almost right at the hem of the coat and quite frankly I like a little more of them showing under the coat.

The lining is a light mint green poly satin. Of course, I got shoes and a pashmina scarf to match the lining, because I’m a dork.

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Originally, I wanted to add a removable fur trim to the hood, but now that I look at it I’m not sure I want that. I think it’s too much for the coat. The fur I bought will definitely be used in the future. This project reinforced how far I’ve come in the past couple of years in sewing skills. I look at the first coat I made and it’s not nearly as good quality as this coat. I think it’s time to make another winter coat. I’ll start planning that out closer to the end of the summer, but I think it might be the Tosti coat, because I just cannot get it out of my head…

In spite of the tone of this entry, I had fun making the coat. I will not be making a coat before a big trip like this again. I was pretty ambitious making it so close to the day we leave…and sort of stressed myself out when I tried it on and didn’t adore it and then decided to narrow the zipper band and add the waistband. But I’m glad I did it!

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I adore my Pepernoot coat and can’t wait to get to Amsterdam in it! We leave soon so sooooon. Things will be quiet here for a bit until I get back and then I will have all sorts to share with you about the trip! I’ll be able to show you my fabric from the fabric market in Utrecht and Kantje Boord (they sell lingerie fabrics!). All the chocolate in Bruges from our day trip to Belgium. Tulips, windmills, and the flower parade in the Netherlands. The craziness of King’s Day (we brought orange to wear!). The neat architecture of Rotterdam. Medieval sites in Estonia. The Duke’s Castle in Germany. The Hermitage and Catherine’s Palace in St. Petersburg. The sea fortress Suomenlinna in Helsinki. The palaces and castles of Stockholm and Copenhagen. Our cruise ship shenanigans. And all the foooooood, the glorious food. And so much more! I can’t wait!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Waffle Patterns Pepernoot Coat
  • Pros: Drafted really well. Lovely design elements. Hood! 😀
  • Cons: The size range is quite limited in my opinion. I want to try the other Waffle Patterns, like the Tosti jacket, but grading up is a hassle. I do wish more pattern companies would expand sizing and Waffle Patterns has such great designs and more advanced patterns than 90% of the companies out there. The amount of paper in the pdf is ridiculous. You may want to get a copy shop print of this done so you don’t have to go through the pain of putting all that together.
  • Make again?: Yes. I would make it again and try some other design elements (secret pocket in the lining) and the zippered pockets.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-md4/5 stars

Pepernoot Coat – Pattern Alterations and Muslin

It’s funny how I feel like I’ve been making the Pepernoot coat for a while, but I haven’t even cut into my final fabric yet!

I started with the largest size – 48. The measurements are:

Bust 43.3

Waist 36.2

Hips 45.6

Between the two largest sizes, the pattern grades differently. Between size 40 and 42, there is a 1.78 inch difference or a 4cm difference in the bust, but between size 46 and 48 this difference jumps to a 6cm or 2.3 inch difference. I chose to grade up based on the 2.3 inch difference in the bust. Grading up two sizes meant the following changes:

Bust changed from 43.3 to 47.9 inches

Waist changed from 36.2 to 40.6 inches

Hips changed from 45.6 to 49.8 inches

These are not finished garment measurements, though. The finished garment has about 5 inches of ease across the bust. The finished measurements are not listed for the waist or hips.

With 22 pattern pieces, I had a lot of flat pattern alterations to do. I graded up two sizes on 19 of the pieces (3 were for all the sizes and didn’t need alterations: sleeve tab, pocket, and pocket facing). I used this method on the Curvy Sewing Collective to grade all those pieces up two sizes.

For the bodice pieces and the bodice lining pieces, I also chose to to an FBA of 1.5 inches, which adds 3 inches to the bust for a bust size of 50.9 just short of my 51 inch bust. Finished garment should have 5 inches of ease and have enough room underneath for layers and wearing ease.

I also graded up the waist and added 2 inches there for 45.6 inches just short of my 46 inch waist. The 2 inches was added by darting from the waist, but in my final pieces I will be slashing and spreading instead for the front skirt pieces to make them proportionally fuller since my muslin didn’t have enough flare to the skirt. The method I used for the muslin will be fine to get an idea of the final fit in the waist/hip, but slashing and spreading will be a better way to get that flare. I will just have to imagine the better shape I want in the final garment when trying on the muslin.

For the muslin, I just used a thrifted sheet. I used it last year for my winter pictures. I didn’t have a space for that this year without sacrificing my sewing area so I decided to repurpose the sheet into muslin material. It’s not really final garment worthy material.

Here is my muslin:

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Fits pretty well, but there are some issues. The armsyce needs to be widened. I’m not sure what happened there. Possibly lost some with the FBA, but I am not sure. The sleeve doesn’t fit into the armsyce. It will need an extra inch or so. It’s likely it was an issue with grading rather than the pattern itself, but I can’t verify that. Sleeves also need to be shortened by a few inches. My hand is somewhere in there on the right.

The waist needs to be raised by about 2 inches. The FBA lowers the waist. Sometimes I need to take that length out and sometimes I need to add more length in. It really depends on the pattern. Shortening the bodice will mean shortening the front band, but both are easy alterations.

Here is an idea of what the bodice will look like shortened:

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It’s a much more flattering fit on the right. It’s just pinned up here. The left side got pinned a little too high, but the right side is perfect.

 

The back fits really well, too.

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To sum up:

  • Started with a size 48
  • Graded up 19 pattern pieces 2 sizes
  • 1.5 inch FBA on bodice main and bodice lining pieces
  • Lengthened front band and facing for FBA alterations
  • 1.5 inches added to waist

Next alterations:

  • Shorten bodice main and bodice lining pieces by 2-3 inches
  • Shorten front band and facing for bodice alterations
  • Redo waist grading for slash and spread method
  • Widen armsyce to accommodate sleeve size
  • Shorten sleeve by 2 inches
  • EDIT: Narrow shoulder adjustment (See Kathy’s comment below)

After I do these alterations, I’m cutting into my final fabric. I’m excited to see the final results with all the details of the pattern highlighted. I think it’s going to be a great Spring/Fall coat.

A reminder on my fabric choices:

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Main fabric: medium weight brushed cotton pink plaid

Contrast fabric: Medium weight wool suiting

Fur trim for hood: faux fur (I will be making this a removable fur trim)