When Deer & Doe announced that they were broadening their size range I was mildly enthused. Enthusiastic for more sizes …. but …. the new patterns only go up to bust 45 5/8″ and the expanded sizes are only available in PDF format. That’s better than their previous size range, but being a fan of paper patterns, it was a little irritating to have to purchase a PDF when I could have bought the pattern at one of my favorite fabric stores. However, I just adore this trench coat with it’s princess seams and it’s cute skirt, so I was sold.
Pattern Name: Deer and Doe Luzerne Trench Coat
Size Range: 34-46 (B 31 1/2″- 41″) printed; 34-52 (B 31 1/2″ – 45 5/8″) PDF
What size did you make? Graded up to about a 54/56
What are your…..
Body Shape: Pear-ish/Spoon
Bra size: 44D
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
Aside from enlarging the pattern, the only adjustments I made were to the sleeves. I did a full bicep adjustment, but they weren’t quite loose enough to wear with a sweater underneath, so I ended up drafting a second undersleeve piece that I sewed to the existing pieces for more room — essentially making it a 3-piece sleeve. I did adjust the armscye, but I should have adjusted them a little more or added underarm gussets so I could eliminate more of the puffed sleeve effect on the shoulders. I sew mostly vintage inspired pieces, so that feature doesn’t bother me.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
This trench coat doesn’t have the classic trench features like storm flaps or epaulettes, so it’s a more streamlined and easier coat to sew. The back yoke kind of imitates a storm flap and the buttons on the back belt loop and sleeve tabs are just sewn on. Of course, you could easily sew buttonholes or make a back storm flap with the yoke piece and get those two features. Without them, it makes this coat easier and quicker to construct and you have less pattern pieces to deal with. I used bias tape made out of Liberty tana lawn to bound the seams and although I prefer lined jackets/coats, it is so nice to look at that finish and it was quicker than sewing and installing a lining.
The instructions are okay. I don’t know if it’s the translation to English or if I’m a dunce, but I found the button placement directions terrible. This coat has bound buttonholes and I had a serious f@#k up as I put one of those bound buttonholes on the wrong side. The instructions weren’t clear nor was the pattern piece. I looked at the drawings within the instructions to figure that out and alas, I put it on the wrong side. I ended up having to unpick that bound buttonhole and had a big hole in the front of my coat. I darned it closed on my machine so I could wear it and will put an applique or something over it to cover that up. I found myself scratching my head about the front skirt pattern pieces vs. the instructions as well. This is a rather uncomplicated pattern to sew, but the instructions need some work. Honestly, I would have fared better not reading the instructions.
How did you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think that the design works well for your body shape?
Aside from the sleeves, this pattern fits well. I like the shaping and how it looks with dresses and skirts. When it’s tied closed, it gives me nice proportions and looks great. When it’s open, I look like I stepped out of the 80’s and it’s not too appealing to me. But…. I think that’s the overall issue with trench coats on me as they add a lot bulk that I don’t need when they’re open.
Will you make this pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
I’m not sure I need another trench coat. This is the second trench that I’ve made. The first (Sewaholic Robson) was in silk faille and not very practical, so I wanted to make another one that I could actually wear in the rain. This trench is made out of a cotton twill. It’s a lighter twill than I had hoped it would be and it wrinkles terribly. I had to heavily starch this coat three times to get it to look like it does now and I may just dip it in liquid starch. I looked at some cotton twills in person whilst wearing this coat and saw twills that were heavier and probably wouldn’t wrinkle so much. I’d recommend making this pattern in a fabric like that unless you want to: a) iron it all the time or b) walk around looking disheveled. Seeing other twills does kind of make me want to make another trench — perhaps in navy or green.
If I did make another version of the Luzerne, I would work on the sleeve/armscye, do a swayback adjustment to the back bodice, lengthen the belt/tie, and sew regular buttonholes instead of the bound buttonholes. Although I graded all pattern pieces following the measurement chart, the belt seems a little short and should be a little longer IMO. I also don’t think this trench needs bound buttonholes and I would sew regular buttonholes instead. My silk trench doesn’t have bound buttonholes and it looks fine without them. Another thing that I think would be cool to add is a hood. That would make this trench even more useful to me.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources or materials that helped you sew this piece up?
My biggest problem with this pattern is the instructions. Once again, it may just be me, but I find them and the included drawings to be faulty. They don’t explain the process well and could confuse you enough that you end up with a huge hole on the front of your coat. I would suggest studying the pattern pieces and comparing them to each other along with thinking things through before you cut. This coat isn’t much different than sewing a shirt dress and should be easier and quicker to sew than it is.
I didn’t use any resources or materials when constructing this coat, but here are three that could help you, especially if you are outside of the size range:
Pattern Rating (1-5):
Size range: 3.5
Construction process: 4
Final fit: 4.5
Overall rating: 3.625
Overall, I love my finished coat. Although the instructions weren’t the best, the pattern is well drafted and I like the way it looks on me. I adore the pockets and the back belt loop. I like the idea of a streamlined trench without some of the classic trench features and the skirt shape is a bit more feminine than the straight classic look. I’m unhappy about how wrinkly the fabric I chose can get, but I love this very spring-y lavender and it’s a great lightweight coat to wear.