A Coat for a Baby


1972 McCalls 3121

Scraps. Bits of fabric that aren’t small enough to throw out, but aren’t big enough to make something in their own right.  We all have them.  Unless you’re one of those sewists who buy the exact amount on the pattern envelope, you’re going to have left-overs.  I have two tubs of these scraps and last week decided I needed to do something with them.  The urge didn’t come out of the blue.  Rosemary at Prolific Project Starter (what a fab name!) is hosting a month of “Scrapbusting” this February.  That, along with the news that friends of ours are having a little girl this year got me thinking of using those scraps for making stuff for little people.  I’m pretty sure my left-overs are enough to make small clothes!

First piece out of the tubs (and I had to get to the bottom to find it) was some blue cashmere coating that I’d used about 5 years ago to make a cropped military style coat for Belle.  The remaining pieces were a T-shape and one long narrow-ish piece.  I thought it would be great to make a vintage coat for the new arrival for next winter.  I have quite a few vintage coat patterns for kids in my collection, the style is pretty much the same from the 40s through to the 70s!


Odd shaped pieces of fabric for the coat

The pattern I chose was McCalls 3121 from 1972 for a 1 year old.  I had similar patterns from 6 months old to 8 years old!  There aren’t too many pieces in this pattern, a front with grown on facing, back cut on the fold, upper and lower collar pieces, back facing and patch pockets.  The lining for the fronts and back are separate pieces.  I had enough fabric to fit all the pieces on, but had to separate the front from the facing.  The fabric just wasn’t wide enough, but I had more length.  I interfaced the lower collar pieces and the facings with fusible interfacing from Gill Arnold.

Collage mccalls coat details

Vintage McCalls 3121 in blue cashmere

It was really quick and easy to make, lacking all sorts of details in the construction that would be essential in an adult’s coat.  What I did like was the upper collar piece being properly drafted to be bigger than the under collar pieces.  I’d checked with the fabric that the pieces would work on the turn of cloth.  The lining is a wine red acetate, pulled from the stash of lining fabrics in the cupboard.  I like the colours together and would have loved a brighter, pinker colour.  Unfortunately the only piece of that colour was definitely not enough to line this coat.

Collage mccalls coat

The buttons were tricky.  I wanted something pretty that would be suitable for a little girl and hoped that I had some daisy shaped buttons in the stash, but it was not to be.  Then I remembered a bag of wooden buttons my mother sent me a few years back.  I chose buttons with a pretty, delicate floral design printed on them.


I love this little coat, it’s hard to see just how small it is, it’s so cute!


The lining was hand stitched along the hem, there’s even a pleat in the centre back.

I have some plaid cotton & wool blend left over from a jacket I made Megan 7 or so years ago, I’m crossing my fingers that there’ll be enough to make another little coat, but in a bigger size so the little lady can have a cool coat for her second winter too.  I think I love making little people’s clothes, it takes so little time and fabric!




6 responses to “A Coat for a Baby

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