Bubble coat conquered

I’m finally getting around to sharing photos of the coat that I completed recently! I’ve been sewing like mad, preparing for an upcoming trip. I’ll keep this post short as my work is not yet done! (I.e. Packing!)

I made this coat using a Burda pattern, bubble coat with front ruffles. I skipped the ruffles though! I’m just not a ruffly kind of girl.

Bellbird burda bubble coat

It’s definitely a bubble shape, no doubt about it. A certain someone suggested that it could be rather hip accentuating, but I’ve really been into the whole oversized look lately so I say ‘bring it’.

Definitely some pressing required here!

Definitely some pressing required here!

The style lines of this pattern are what really drew me to it. I love the way that the yoke and the sleeves are one piece, and I really like the front inset too. It’s such an architectural look I think. And so cozy with the rounded seam lines that come in a bit at the bottom hem.

Bellbird Burda bubble coat

The fabric for this came from my stash, but before that I found it on sale a couple of years ago at a little shop near here. It’s a wool/cashmere coating with a slightly furry nap, which meant that I had to be really careful about cutting everything in the same direction. For the lining I used a silk twill in a matching deep red. I’ve worked with silk twill before and it has to be about the trickiest fabric for me. It’s just so slippery! The cutting out took the longest, I’d say. After that it wasn’t too bad, especially when I tamed the fraying seam allowances with my mighty overlocker.

Bellbird Bubble coat

This was my first ever coat project, so I took some time to read up on tailoring techniques. The design of this coat meant that I couldn’t take the traditional route involving hair canvas and roll lines, so I sort of made my own way. I ended up block fusing ALL of my outer fabric, for a few reasons. The main reason was that the wool itself is quite soft and not very thick, and I really wanted the shape of this coat to be quite exaggerated. I knew that the yoke and the front would most certainly need to be fused, and because of the yoke-becomes-sleeve thing I concluded that I may as well fuse it all! I enlisted the help of the professionals at Hawes and Freer,  who fused the whole lot for me in their industrial fusing machine. I should probably dedicate an entire post to it at some point as I think it’s an interesting process. Here is one photo of my fabric coming out after the pre-shrinking step:


Overall I’m pretty happy with my new coat! It’s cozy and interesting, and I learned so much along the way. All of those inset corners were a first for me, as well as bagging the lining, which was quite fun. The one thing I’m not quite sure about is the front, in terms of closures. I’m predicting that I’ll wear this open more often than closed, but I wonder if the front of the coat could use some embellishment in the form of one or two big buttons? The pattern recommends large snaps but I think they could look a bit unsightly if I were to wear the coat open. Thoughts welcome! Also, I catch-stitched my seam allowances down invisibly, or so I thought. Anyone know why they are showing through? Will a good final press with some steam take care of it?

Bellbird Burda bubble coat

I must say a huge thank you to Lindsay, my coat-along partner in crime. I’m not sure that I would have completed this if it hadn’t been for the deadline we imposed! Check out her gorgeous coat if you haven’t already. And three cheers for the others who joined us in our mission!



  1. Such a great shape! Love this colour on you and I am so intrigued by the fusing process. Didn’t even know such a thing existed. Would love a post on that. As for closures. I think you should leave it. It looks clean and simple.

  2. Just lovely! I really love the color, and the lengthened sleeves.

    I did go for the large snaps on my coat, and covered them with some of my lining fabric so they’d be a bit less obtrusive. In our climate, I need to be able to close it!

  3. I second Kirsty on this one (I knew she would love it by the way!). I’d keep the lines clean and clutter free with no big buttons or visible closures. If you wanted a closure, you could use magnets sewn in under the lining so they are invisible ( I did this in my Dior Knock off coat and it worked really well). Otherwise, I absolutely love this coate, just the way it is. Fabulous shape and style lines, so striking and unique. Well done on a great first coat!

  4. Looks awesome! Hope a good press with lots of steam take care of your naughty catch stitching! I would love to hear more about the block fusing/pre-shrinking process. That machine looks impressive! And I like the dress you wear underneath your coat. Did you sew that yourself? Hope the packing is going well!

    1. Thanks! I will try a good steaming once I get back to NZ. Yes I did make the dress underneath, it’s a Papercut Saiph tunic in a stretch wool. Will try to get some pics!

  5. Its awesome, it looks so minimalist and cool! I’d be a bit wary of adding anything to the front, but you could always take it into your button shop and see how different closures looked? The colour is great, and a post about the fusing process would be really interesting!

  6. That coat is stunning. I absolutely love the shape in particular. It sounds scary and quite a lot of work, so well done Bella. I like the simple unfastened look too. That dress underneath does look cool as well!

  7. I’ve never made a coat so I don’t have a lot of great wisdom to share. I will say though that I love the way it looks as is. If it was me I wouldn’t add any closures. I love the colour you chose. It’s a beautiful coat!

  8. i swear, the teeny puckers in your seams are so uniform i kind of want you to leave the iron be and embellish them with red embroidery thread. seriously, never seen such pretty puckers (this from a pressing addict).

    and SUCH a gorgeous color & shape! close her with a vintage brooch??

    1. PS loving the embroidery thread idea, I feel that embroidery is a rather neglected embellishment don’t you? Hmm getting some ideas for summer stitching.

  9. Hooray, congratulations for completing your coat! It’s just gorgeous. I can see why you were drawn to the design lines! I don’t think the catch-stitching marks are a big deal at all. I do wonder if the cashmere is generally kind of finicky? Cashmerette had a recent post on the trouble she had with cashmere and fusibles. And speaking of fusibles, I would love to learn more about the industrial fusing process!

    1. Thanks Morgan! I’m glad it’s over too, time for some quick projects I think. Hmm yes perhaps my coating was particularly thin, hence the stitches showing. I’m not sure that it’s as visible in person (fingers crossed). Commercial fusing post upcoming!

  10. Wow, it came out gorgeous! Love the bubble shape, love the lining, love the front seam lines. I agree, the minimalist look is good and you can always spice it up with a little scarf or brooch when the mood strikes 🙂 Did you make the grey dress too? So much good stuff! Lindsay’s coat is gorgeous too!

  11. You spectacular bubble! I didn’t even know you could get someone else to do the fusing – you’re such a clever researcher. This must look FABULOUS with all of your black & grey items. More outfit grams, girl! x

  12. Can’t believe I missed this post! Your coat looks fab and I love the shape! When I showed my husband my new coat pattern samples he said they looked too big on the hips! I walked into the room with one on hoping for congratulations and instead got that, so was a bit miffed. I conclude that these shapes are man repellers, but I love them! I think the only way to avoid puckers is to underline and catch stitch to the underlining and like everyone else agree that they look so neat I wouldn’t worry too much. Love the hairy fabric!

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