Bella Loves Patterns recently released a new drop of patterns, 'The Traveller Collection' consisting of four patterns, nailing the combination of comfort and warmth, while looking super chic! We thought a review of the Traveller Coat pattern would time well with colder weather approaching here in the Southern Hemisphere and our recent drop of luxurious wool fabrics in stores and online! The Traveller is a classic style with a modern twist featuring dropped shoulders and a notched collar. Read on for our full review, kindly worn by Genevieve from our HQ team!
The Traveller Coat by Bella Loves Patterns
The Traveller Coat is a midi length, double-breasted style with a moderate casual fit. Featuring a wide notched collar, drop shoulders with epaulettes (which we chose to omit), standing welt pockets, and a back vent.
We made a size 10 for Genevieve using 3.1 metres of our super-luxe Italian Wool Blend Melton - Dark Fern (154cm wide), 2.5 metres of our Reversible Twill Lining - Kelp (135cm wide) and 3.1 metres of our Fusible Interfacing - 90gsm / Black (150cm wide), which was just 20 cm over the recommended fabric requirements.
This is a very thorough and detailed tailored coat project and thankfully the instruction booklet is packed with valuable tips to follow, in-depth notes covering each step complete with diagrams and photos depicting the process. We did note that most of the pattern pieces instruct to 'cut x2' instead of 'cut x1 pair' which is commonly used, this could be confusing to some new sewers that will need to be aware of which pattern pieces to reflect so they don't end up with two of the same side of front pieces for example.
The cutting process was a lengthy one as most pieces are blocked fused with iron-on interfacing, but we completely agree with the tips in the instruction booklet to not skip this step! Block fusing your fabric for a coat makes for more stable fabric with consistent structure and more strength in the areas fused for a crisp finish.
When making a coat like this it is crucial to follow the pressing steps as you go and even more so if using heavy wool as it can be difficult to get back into bulky areas once you've moved on (especially once the lining is attached). We highly recommend using a tailor's sleeve roll and ham for the best results when pressing! Making your own pressing ham is a great scrap-busting project, there's plenty of DIY projects to follow out there like this free Twig & Tale Tailors Ham Pattern and DIY videos here.
The instruction manual for the Traveller Coat has an in-depth section for baste stitching. This added significant time to the overall project as it requires carefully basting in marked areas across the front panels, pocket area and facings as well as all hem areas.
The project is definitely an Advanced Level sew and the pattern is available in PDF format from Bella Loves Patterns website here.
Genevieve wears her Traveller Coat with our Make by TFS Mabel Dress in Forest ZQ Premium Merino!
Italian Wool Blend Melton - Dark Fern
This classic lush dark green makes a beautiful addition for any me-made wardrobe, pairing with many colours and is a good alternative to black!
The Traveller Coat best suits mid to heavyweight coating fabrics such as boiled wool and melton styles, or could also make a great mid-season coat if made in denim, heavyweight tweed, interesting jacquards and linen. Lightweight slippery fabrics are recommended for lining such as satin, silk habotai, cupro, and acetate.
As our washing instructions for wool coating are to dry-clean only we made sure to give our Dark Fern Italian Wool Blend Melton a good steam press using our iron before cutting to avoid any shrinkage after it's sewn.
We used x6 of our Brown 22.9mm Recycled Polyester Buttons for the front of the coat, check out our full range of sustainable button choices online here and soon to be stocked in stores!
We've recently received a few delicious wool coating fabrics, we think this bunch pictured below would be ideal for this coat! From the top is: Japanese Wool Blend Herringbone - Cream Sprinkle, Japanese Twill Wool Coating - Sienna Fleck, Japanese Wool Blend Melton - Gunmetal & Japanese Brushed Coating - Black.
This coat is a satisfying and rewarding make, if you'd like to up your outerwear game and give this a go, we'd love to see the result! Tag @wearethefabricstore or use #TheFabricStore and #BlpTravellerCoat so we can share your creations!
Ps. Love the tonal green look? Genevieve is wearing our Make by TFS Mabel Dress in a size 10 layered under the Traveller Coat sewn up in our Forest ZQ Premium Merino!