Lightweight and relaxed, The Merchant & Mills Strand Coat has side seams brought to the front and features handy side pockets. The waist seam has an inseam pocket. The sleeves are set in and sport elbow darts, while the front fastening is created by inseam hooks and eyes.
UK sizes 8 to 18. I started making this coat in size 12 as a store sample, but I didn’t have time to finish it, so I asked our seamstress, Bonnie, for help. She had the GREAT idea to make the seam allowances smaller so the coat would fit me (I’m usually a size 16 or 18 in Merchant and Mills). This pattern has plenty of ease, so we could “make it work” in size 12.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, it did, except that we made it a smaller size so it wouldn’t be too voluminous. It is too tight for me in the bust, but I like the look of it unclasped.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, they were. Carolyn is a precise pattern drafter, which makes her designs fit together easily. The instructions are brief but ample with helpful line drawings.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
We liked how well the pieces fit together, and how easy the instructions are to follow.
Carolyn at Merchant and Mills likes her garments to be very loose fitting. Because I’m six-feet-tall, I don’t like clothes to add volume to my width or my height, so I’m happier with this coat in a smaller size. Bonnie also made a Strand Coat out of Lana Bollito Wool for my daughter, Charlotte which you can read about here.
Cloud9 Timewarp Bark Cloth in Loop Navy – a very easy fabric with which to sew. The fabric is great for home decorating projects, and for clothes because it is the same weight as canvas, but drapier. It has a visible loose weave that makes it fall gently from the body instead of straight out, like a canvas would. We have even seen some great bark-cloth dresses.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
We created some extra room to fit my size-16 body into a size-12 pattern. Next time, I think I’ll make the Strand Coat in a size 12 with a full-bust adjustment so it won’t be too big, but it will clasp over my bust.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, and yes. The pattern comes together easily, and can be altered to fit many body types.
Because Montana is a place with extreme weather, before I started sewing again as an adult, I considered lightweight coats silly. I would need to wear a heavier coat on top of a canvas coat nine months of the year, so why bother? Now that I own a fabric store and can sew anything I choose, I love the idea of a lightweight canvas coat: it spruces up any outfit, and makes me feel ultra-put-together. This is a great pattern and a great wardrobe basic!