The Darcy Coat Hack

The weekend long read.
I'm obsessed with this coat.
Strong opening sentence for a strong garment. 
Last winter I worked on releasing my first coat pattern, the Darcy Coat. I wanted it to be the mother of all winter coats. Whether it is is down to personal opinion but I think it’s pretty close…
This pattern is an oversized long coat with a big collar, welt pockets and adjustable sleeve tabs. It’s extremely roomy to give plenty of space for layering over bulky winter jumpers. This is the 4th one I've made, the others being in wool, waxed cotton and a shorter version in denim. I love all of them and they all serve a different purpose so this is a pattern that can work hard for you.
Last winter I made this coat in a beautiful green fabric that was sold to me as 100% wool. When I brought it back to the studio it melted on a high heat iron so it turned out to be a wool/polyester blend. The fabric has already started to look very worn out, despite having only worn it for about 4 months last winter. It was so frustrating to put days of work into sewing something and it not turn out to not be the substantial life-long piece you were aiming for.
I wanted to re-create a new Darcy Coat this winter to satisfy that wool-coat-itch and also to run through this gusset pocket pattern again. You might recognise the pocket as a hack addition for the Potters Jacket. I’m working on adding this to the official instructions for the Potters Jacket rather than an additional hack as it seems to be very popular. I wanted to run through the instructions using a wool which is a bit more bulky and I’m really pleased with the result.
Other than the pocket the main changes I made for this version was making it longer and thinner. The change has transformed the garment so much more than I thought it would. Read below for all of the changes I made.
Before we get into the details of my make I thought I'd share some tips for sewing your own Darcy Coat:
1. Treat cutting out and pre-fusing as a separate task before your sewing day. It’s a long piece to sew and it's a good part to do separately.
2. Try to get a 100% wool fabric if you can and if you end up with a blend remember to use a pressing cloth to avoid melting the fabric.
3. Pressing is SO important for this piece. Take your time and treat it like a craft in itself. Use a bit of body weight on the iron to get a nice flat seam. Don’t use a continuous steam setting as it will drench the fabric and cause it to stretch, use steam intentionally and sparingly. And don’t over-press and burn the wool! Do a test piece to see where the limit is for your fabric. 
4. Once you’ve finished leave it for a day and return with fresh eyes for the final pressing and buttons and button holes. Take your time with the final pressing as you can really sculpt the garment to look fantastic as this stage.
5. Work up to it. This isn't a quick piece to make and not one for beginners to tackle. If you're still building up your sewing skills our workshops are there to give you a strong foundation to your techniques and knowledge. I recommend taking your time to get a strong base for yourself with a couple of these workshops before tackling the Darcy Coat.
Let me know any thoughts and questions and have a happy Sunday.
Cut: Darcy Coat
Size: 10
Fabric: 100% wool loden, 385GSM (sourced from a wholesale supplier)
- added 20cm to the overall length
- removed about 10cm from the back side seams at the hem (total circumference at hem = 146cm)
- shaved a tiny bit off the collar point
- added bellow pockets
- replaced popper on the sleeve with tie and clasp