So many of my sewing projects are fairly quick and easy sews – projects that can be started and completed in one long weekend. This Chilton Trench coat by Cashmerette, however, is not one of those projects. As a casual project, this coat took me about two months to complete. You could probably make it in a little over a week, but I was in no hurry, so I took my time. For the main fabric, I used black 100% pure wool coating I received from Minerva. For the lining fabric, I used polka dot charmeuse satin from Fabric.com, but any silky lining fabric would do. I LOVE the look of this classic black trench with a fun, colorful lining. It’s a complicated project, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
First things first – the fabric. Since the main fabric is 100% pure wool (and I don’t own a dry cleaners), I hand-washed and air dried all five meters of wool. The fabric washed beautifully and remained a jet black throughout the cleaning process. This medium-weight wool is buttery soft and, unlike other wools I’ve tried in the past, not at all itchy. Since it’s a lighter fabric than other coatings I’ve come across, I think it would make an adorable skirt for the colder months. There’s a slight mechanical stretch to the fabric that helps the coat stay structured, but not stiff. I had no issues with snagging or fraying and it moved through my sewing machine with zero issues. I really can’t say enough good things about this wool!
The Cashmerette Chilton Trench pattern is complicated, but fairly easy to follow. One thing to note – be sure you’re paying full attention when cutting out your pattern pieces. I cut my pieces while watching TV and accidentally cut the chest shield on the wrong direction. It was an easy fix (I just switched the shield from the left side to the right side), but it’s still something to be aware of. Also, pay close attention when sewing on the sleeves. A certain someone – me – sewed the sleeves on the wrong sides and spent several hours removing the seams and switching the sleeves. This brings up another important point with this coat. Try on the coat several times throughout the sewing process. I never would’ve known my sleeves were switched if I didn’t try on the coat immediately after sewing them on. This saved me a world of hurt in the long run.
Ultimately, I’m so glad I took my time with this coat. There are so many design elements – the cape, epaulettes, buttoned pockets, numerous button details – to explore when making the Chilton. It really is the perfect project to practice some slow sewing. Anything that involves shoulder pads and lined sleeves isn’t meant to be rushed through. Trench coats with classic details are the kind of pieces that will always be in style and I’m so happy that I now have a black trench to add to my wardrobe.