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Should I? Shouldn’t I

SewCreative | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I have been dithering with myself over the winter coat(s) I am making myself.  I have light weight polar fleece and irridescent nylon.  My first plan was to have 2 coats, the nylon could be worn over the fleece or each worn singley. As my dithering went on I realized I didn’t think either would be substantial enough on it’s own for proper drape and hang.  Then I decided to make the coat reversible.  This means sewing stretchy fleece to nylon.  Am I asking for a million headaches?  I haven’t cut yet so can’t do some test seams but has anyone done this and how did it go?  Any pointers?  I’ll also check out the web sites in the snowpants thread to see if they say anything on this subject.  I would love to get this coat done as the fabrics are gorgeous garnet red.



  1. kjp | | #1

    Do you have a walking foot?  Maybe quilt them together & make the jacket reversible. 

  2. louise | | #2

    Dear Sew

    I have seen RTW jackets that have the same general description, they simply edge stitch about 1/4" in from the finished edges.  A walking foot certainly would help. 

     I am not so sure that the two jackets would lack sufficient body on their own.  They obviously would be for windy days/rain (nylon) and cool days (fleece).  I think you could make the two as you originally intended. Heck in an issure of Threads they made a vest out of chiffon for goodness sake! 

    Anyway, hope this helps and happy sewing!


  3. FitnessNut | | #3

    I don't know why you think they wouldn't be substantial enough as two separate coats. I am typing with two coats over one arm that just came out of the dryer (the joys of multi-tasking!)....one is fleece and the other is Gore-Tex with a fine mesh lining. I wear them singly and together, depending on the weather conditions. I even wear them to run in -20°C winter weather! I think you would find that two coats can be so much more than one!

  4. Elisabeth | | #4

    LL Bean sews stetchy fleece to non stretch shells all the time. If they can do it (and sell millions) then you can do it too.

  5. Alissa | | #5

    Dear SC,

    This (your separate coats idea) is considered a selling point in outdoor gear shops (like REI).  It allows you to "layer" and control your temperature better when you're participating in outdoor activities.   (For instance, you might combine a turtleneck, a shirt and/or vest followed by a warmth layer and carry a windproof/rainproof layer in your backpack, which would allow you to shed layers as it gets warmer and add layers as it starts raining, blowing or getting colder.) 

    If you decide to go that way, you might want to stop by your local hiking retailer to give you some ideas about how various kinds of sleeves/shoulders/plackets/collars are "built" and what kind of ease they require so that they will all work together...

    Best wishes.


    1. SewCreative | | #6

      I have decided to go with reversable, as this will be an ankle length coat for travelling to and from work, standing at bus stops in the wind and the rain.  I can't see me wearing only one layer at a time of this coat two-some.  I can see that a jacket would be suitable for 2 coats and layering but, for my purposes I think reversable will be better.  Thanks for all your advise, now I better get at it as the wind and rain are here!

      1. DianeY2 | | #7

        Please let us know how your coat turns out.  Thanks.  DianeY

      2. luv_2_sew | | #8

        I just found this website today - so you may already be finished your reversible coat!

        I made one similar for my mother. I used a trench coat type pattern for a three quarter length coat. I believe it was a Kwik Sew.  I made two coats - one with patch pockets and the other with welt and flap pockets.  I cut the nylon coat outside seam allowances larger and trimmed off the fleece seam allowances (centre front and sleeve hems).  Cut one collar fleece and the second collar larger in nylon. Wrapped the nylon collar edges around the fleece like a quilt binding and then sewed the fleece and nylon coats together at the neckline, sandwiching the collar in between. Hemmed the bottoms separately so the coat drapes without bunching. To finish the outside edges, I wrapped the nylon over the fleece at the centre front and sleeve hems, again similar to wrapping a binding on a quilt, and stitched them. The fleece side now has nylon trim at the edges, the nylon side is plain with topstitching where the binding was stitched.  Buttons and buttonholes down the front.

        Mom's 83 and she loves the coat and has worn it for 2 years now. It's lightweight, comfortable, warm and waterproof.  Now if I could just get around to making myself one!!!

  6. Kiley | | #9

    I made my newest grandson a reversable jacket out of navy stretch denim  with different western brands in colors on the denim and red corduroy. When turning up the cuffs it gives a nice contrast to match the contrasting collars. I made the pants to match out of the denim with red cord cuffs.  It is quite heavy and warm. I like it and might make him another that is lighter in weight. Maybe a rain coat, thanks for the idea. 

    1. SewCreative | | #10

      The coat isn't going as planned.  I did some swirly quilting on the fleece with the nylon on the backside and am cutting out some areas - reverse applique technique.  (this is before the coats are together) The fleece is pulling up with the stitching, I guess there is no help for this as it is stretchy.  I didn't want to interface it because it would show on the cutout parts.  I am just doing this around the upper bodice and upper back.  I put the project aside to ponder this problem but I HAVE to get the coat done this weekend or freeze traveling to and from work.  I do plan to hem them seperately and am putting faux fur around the hood and cuffs.

      1. kayl | | #11

        Remember polar fleece is a knit, so you probably want to stabilize it
        before stitching. Totally Stable seems to work ok for this.Kay

        1. edgy | | #12

          kay,I tried to make some MM leggings and they weren't stretchy ENOUGH. When I wrote MM, they suggested that if I want streth, I should buy the powerstretch.Confusing.........

          1. kayl | | #13

            There is some cross-grain stretch in regular ol' polarfleece, and
            it's unstable enough that you do get the stretching or gathering with
            tight sewing, but it's not as stretchy as say, powerstretch. Most legging patterns require more stretch than polarfleece would have.It's sort of like t-shirt jersey has some cross-grain stretch, but
            it's not enough stretch to make a swimming suit from... at least not
            one that would stay on if you decided to dive. <g>Kay

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