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Simplicity 8554 Trench Coat

This garment has been a long time coming. I have actually had this pattern cut out for over a year and have now finally got around to stitching it together. I had planned to have this sewn up in time for Autumn 2018, but time ran away with me and as it really isn’t the best wardrobe choice for the very cold Winter months, I thought it would be a good project to save and make in the Spring. Turns out in the run up to Spring I completely forgot about it, and so here we are, Autumn 2019, and I’ve made it at last.

Simplicity 8554 is a great little pattern for an unlined trench coat, with various choice options for you including the jacket length, sleeve style, side slits, pockets and belt. I chose to make View B which is the mid-thigh/knee length version – shown in blue at the top left of the pattern envelope below.



This jacket features side slits, which I really didn’t want, so I simply sewed these right up when sewing up the side seams. It has some really nice details including storm flaps either side at the front,  gently rounded collar and lapels, good pockets and a lovely belt tie with soft points at each end.

I don’t know exactly what the fabric composition is unfortunately. It was a bargain purchase from Milton Keynes market a couple of years ago, and is a beautiful deep navy blue colour with the perfect amount of weight and drape for a trench coat like this. The quality is outstanding and I’m really happy with it.  I’m afraid that a dark colour like this is sometimes tricky to photograph, particularly when inside.



As mentioned, the jacket is unlined. To finish off the edges of the facings inside, I used a length of handmade floral bias tape that I had made some time ago with the remnants from a previous project.


I also used my bias foot on the sewing machine to ensure neat and even stitching, and for the whole this worked great. Although, despite adjusting the foot to allow the needle to fall exactly where you want it to, you do need to keep you eye on what’s going on when you’re feeding it through – as it’s easy to allow the edge of the facing to ‘slip’ out of the bias if you’re not careful.

bias foot

Aside from sewing up the side slits, the only other adjustments that I made were to shorten the length of the jacket by 1″, and the sleeves by 2″.


There is a small mistake on the pattern instructions. To achieve the belt width shown on the pattern envelope you need to use all 4 belt pieces that you will have already cut out. Step 27 of the instructions appears to ask you to sew just two pieces together and then fold them in half lengthwise which would in fact give you a belt which is half the width to that pictured.


The pattern is described as an ‘easy to sew’ project according to the wording on the envelope, and I would agree to a certain extent. It was fairly straightforward to sew, but I feel that you might need a little sewing experience to give you some confidence. The collar went in neatly with no problems at all, and the jacket has no buttons or other fastenings – it simply wraps around and is kept in place with the belt.

As is often the case with ‘The Big 4’ sewing pattern companies, there is a generous amount of ease built in, and I would probably size down at least one size if I were to make this again.

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x


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My Snuggly Simplicity 8089


Just a quick one today to let you know that it’s my turn again to share with you what I have made for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network, and this month it’s something a little different for me – a jumper!

Do head on over here to read my full review and take a look at lots more pics!

Hope you enjoy it,

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x



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Simplicity 8342 Summer Sewing Challenge Entry.


I was really pleased when I heard that Simplicity New Look were holding another sewing challenge. To celebrate 90 years of creative sewing they launched a competition for all to create and share an item of clothing from a choice of 5 patterns.

I  loved pattern 8383 the most, but as this pattern was for newcomers I was unable to choose it. This left the decision between the Vintage Make and the Dressmaker patterns (as I did not want the Childrenswear or Menswear pattern), and in the end I opted for the Vintage Make pattern as I preferred the jersey top on this and decided that I could hack it into a dress with the addition of a contrasting jersey skirt.

I have some jersey fabrics in my sewing stash, but for this project I needed two pieces that would work together, so a little shopping trip into Leicester was required (shame …not)! and the result was this pretty Autumnal berry coloured super soft jersey for the top and a matching berry floral design on a dark background for the skirt. These little gems were from Stuart’s Fabrics on Leicester Market, he has some great jersey fabric at the moment.



The pattern is a great one to have. There are 2 versions of the tie front top – either a halter neck or tiny cap sleeves. Also included is a ruffled wiggle skirt and cropped pedal pushers. I stuck to the tie front top and knew that I wanted to hack it into a dress as that way I would get more wear out of it.

The construction of the top is straightforward, as usual with Simplicity, and it took very little time to cut out and sew up. There were no surprises and nothing complicated. I cut a straight size 12 and the only alteration I made was to shorten the length of the shoulder straps by about 3.5 cm as they felt a little too long as they were.

In order to make it into a dress though,  I now needed to take off about 11 or 12 cm from the length of the body. A bit drastic, but this means that the waist seam of the dress sits on my natural waist. By the way, I loved the length of it as a top, and had I been leaving it as a top it would have been the perfect length – not too short and not too long!



The skirt was easy to add. A simple full or half circle skirt is fun, and gathers was also something I considered.  But in the end I simply chose a skirt from a  dress pattern that I have already made and used that! I simply stitched it to the top, made a casing for some elastic from the seam allowance, popped in the elastic to give a very subtle gather, and it was done!

I love a dress without fastenings that you can throw over your head and you’re good to go. Hooray for jersey knits!

Although all the detail in the design is focussed on the front of the top, the back is pretty to look at too. A small amount of gathering across the back allows for a comfortable fit and makes sure it stays in place!



Thank you to Simplicity New Look for the pattern, and congratulations on your 90th celebrations. It’s been fun trying to decide how to be creative with this pattern, and lots more inspiration can be found on social media using the hashtag #SimplicityTurns90

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x