Pattern Hacks · Sewing

Pilvi Coat Toile


Pilvi Coat ToileIt took no time to whip up this toile. The sewing probably took all of 15 minutes. Pattern adjustments and cutting out may have taken slightly longer, but worth it.

I’m going to start calling this a toile again. Every time I type “make a muslin” or “photograph muslin” into my phone to-do list, it auto corrects to “Muslim”. I’m worried that my neighbours might think I’m setting targets for myself to go out onto the street and photograph them.
Also we call this fabric muslin in North America but it’s called gingham calico here in the UK and it gets confusing when I go to buy it. I have trouble calling it calico.

Adjustments To Pattern Before Toile

  • I used the largest size except in the raglan seams, where I cut two sizes smaller. Below you can see how i traced the smaller size line. I blended the raglan sleeve medium into the large size underarm.


removing width from shoulders

  • I added 3cm to the width of the coat front and made the dart adjustment. I used a curved dart on one side of my toile and a straight dart on the other. I prefer the curved dart.


  • I also redrew the centre back line so that it spread an extra 3cm width at the hem. I did this because I felt it might be a bit tight in the butt. It was a good idea and the right amount of flare.

Toile sewn

Then I made up the toile really quickly. I was glad I had added the extra bust width. it wouldn’t have fitted me without it. The flare in the back, was just the right amount.  The adjustments I made to the toile were:

  • The dart end was too near to my bust point, so I raised it 2cm.
  • The neckline was an odd shape, so I redrew it. This will be my new cut line, so the actual seam will be 12mm below this.
  • I pinched a tiny bit of fabric from the front raglan shoulder seam as the seam was still standing off my neck after I redrew the neckline.
  • I actually like the longer hem length. I will turn a 3cm hem and interface it. I plan to interface the neck, front and and hems for a crisper finish.
  • I’m planning three invisible snaps: neck, bust and below bust.

Pilvi Coat pattern adjustments

There’s a lot of drag at the shoulder still, as there was in the pictures of Lotta’s friend, who clearly has broader shoulders than I do.

Pilva coat

I slashed the toile at my shoulder point to see if it would spread. It didn’t, so I don’t think I need extra shoulder width.

Pilvi coat shoulder slash

I think I’m going to go ahead and make the pattern as I have adjusted it, but if anyone has any ideas about this fit issue, I’d love to hear them.

I have debated a lot as to whether I should line it or not. I considered just lining the sleeves but that would probably be more trouble than lining the whole thing. The advantage of lining would be that it slips so easily over all the underclothes. But somehow lining seems more formal than I want for this coat.

I’m now planning Hong Kong binding for the seams. I’m off to Dalston Mills to see what fabric I can find for the binding. I’ll let you know how I get on.

7 thoughts on “Pilvi Coat Toile

  1. Hi Juju, minor point but I think your toile fabric is called calico in the UK . Gingham is the stuff with little squares. Lx

  2. I have the same problem with “muslin” autocorrecting. :/ I think your sleeve needs more length, not more width, in the sleeve head. If you slash horizontally and it wants to spread and this helps the folds, you’ll know. Of course, then I think you’re stuck adding a seam or dart, which you may not want.

    1. Kim you are right. I don’t know why it alluded me. I slashed horizontally at the sleeve break point and the it opened 2-3cm and looked right. This is a difficult correction to make though without adding a dart. I have done some slashing and spreading with the sleeve. I will try a muslin and see if it helps.

  3. It’s going to be great! I feel that if you make the armhole deeper – cut a scoop of as much as an inch out out of the bottom it might eliminate that bunching.

  4. I agree with Michelle, deeper armhole. Does the toile feel tight when you reach forward? Maybe adding a little width to the upper sleeve would help too. Neckline is a nice detail.

  5. I love this coat, just bought the book myself but was wondering how to fit it to a larger bust. Thanks for your post. (I’ve been a novice sewer for about 40 years and will have to work up the courage to try it…)

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