Behind the design Designing The Unlined Raw-edged Coat
This style is one of the first six patterns that launched The Maker's Atelier. It can be traced back to the Raw-edged Coat that is included in my book but it went through many evolutions along the way. The differences between the two can be seen in the illustration.
The original coat was designed after I'd spotted a windsurfing pro at the world championships. His sponsors, a wetsuit manufacturer, had made him a true neoprene coat to wear as a marketing ploy - it was so cool I had to have one! I first came across a non-rubber neoprene at Cloth House: this was a bonded then coated jersey from Japan.
I experimented with small pieces to see how to work the seams and realised the fabric wasn't fraying. I decided to leave the edges unfinished or raw. Early fashion neoprene style fabrics were less flexible than those readily available now. So I used a two-piece sleeve to allow for shape and movement.
When I knew I was going to launch a pattern range I also knew an unlined raw edged coat would be one of the styles. I chose the simplest shape to have evolved from the original. I wanted to make sure it would be accessible to dressmakers of all abilities: a reasonably easy to make first coat that appealed to more experienced makers as well.
Rather than the trickier set-in style sleeve I went for a simplified dropped shoulder. This meant I needed to alter the overall silhouette, tapering the body and sleeves to create an almost cocoon shape. The collar has also been changed for an easier construction. The collar attaches in a simple curve along the neck seam rather than notched. The finished effect is a more relaxed style and depending on the fabric it can become more of a long cardigan or 'coatigan'.
The Unlined Raw-edged Coat suits boiled or felted woollen fabrics, Melton constructions that won't fray and of course neoprene fabrics.