Updated: Nov 18, 2019
It's fair to say that the Sapporo Coat by Papercut Patterns has become a wee bit of an obsession. I've made it 4 times already, once as it comes out of the packet and then 3 times with my own hacks, and I love every single version. In fact I have more planned.
I'm super-excited to be able to include an offer from Papercut Patterns - 10% off the Sapporo pdf. Thanks Katie! The details are at the bottom of the blog.
My first Sapporo was without any substantial modifications. I did however use lining fabric in the sleeves, instead of using 2 layers of wool as recommended. My fabric is quite heavy, and two layers would have been bulky. It's an easy change to make. I copied the sleeve pattern and cut it into two about 10cm from the bottom edge. A seam allowance was added to both parts along that cut edge. The lower part is the facing and the upper part is the lining. Once they're sewn together, you're back on track to follow the pattern instructions.
I also used hair canvas inside the collar. It's only inside the triangle at the neck, the rest of the facing is interfaced with a softer, woven fusible interfacing. I pad -stitched the hair canvas with the machine for speed, and because the machine stitching is hidden in the wide herringbone pattern anyway. It helps the collar to maintain a good shape.
Version 2 is a cropped waterproof coat. I moved the curve of the seam on the front up to give me more room for pockets. I won't lie, this hack gave me a bit of brain-ache. I'd recommend tracing off the front pattern pieces and cutting the lower piece to the correct length. Remove the pockets. Stick the pattern pieces together with masking tape, with seam allowances overlapping, and redraw that curved seam so that it stays in the same position on the side seam but it comes higher up the centre front. Retrace the pattern with this new seam, adding the seam allowances and the pockets back in.
I cut my pattern to hip height, and it happened to be exactly in line with the bottom of the sleeves. Of course that was totally deliberate and not just good luck...
The fabric for this one is a laminated cotton. It's a coat for a showery day rather than a downpour because I chose not to put any fastenings on it. You know those slightly rainy days but it's warm and you really don't want to be sealed up inside a technical waterproof jacket? We do get those days in Glasgow sometimes. (Scots are rumoured to have more words to describe rain than the Inuit have for snow.)
This coat is lined in stetch netting, to keep the laminated cotton away from my skin without adding any warmth. I put a welt pocket inside for my phone becasue the pockets on the front are shallow, they really are just for resting your hands in.
Changing the front seam gave me another idea, this time with a double faced scuba / wool fabric. This cried out for a reversible version. I joined the front pieces together and removed the pockets entirely. Instead I added large patch pockets, one on each face of the coat. The top stitching gives the illusion of a pocket on both sides, for balance, and it means I have a working pocket no matter which way round I wear this coat.
The fabric for this one is fantastic. It's a fairly bouncy scuba, faced with what looks like boiled wool. It's not quite stable so I overlocked the raw edges, but on the whole I wanted a deconstructed look for this coat.
The grey, wool side has more subtle off white top stitching, actually mostly the tram lines from my coverstitch. The black, scuba side has denser, white sttiching, mostly the reverse of the coverstitch.
You can see more information on this make in a blog for Minerva.com, including details about the photos below.
The fourth version is a return to the short pattern. I used the same hack as the short raincoat, but this time it's in a gorgeous Harris Tweed from Becca at Taobh Tuath Tweeds in Harris. The fabric is beautiful - if you're interested I have an article about it in Love Sewing issue 74, out on 31st october 2019. Again I added a phone pocket inside, and used lining fabric inside the sleeves.
The hair canvas in the collar was hand-stitched this time. Again it's only in that top triangle of the collar. The stitching runs in rows at right angles from the long side of the triangle towards the neck edge, which encourages the fabric to stand. I hand-stitched it so you can't see the pad stiching from the outside, because both sides of this collar are visible.
I love the Orb label you get when you buy Harris Tweed - it's the only fabricin the world protected by its own Act of Parliament. Becca kindly sent me one of her labels too, and I improvised a hanging tab from some ribbon from my stash, which makes me laugh.
Laminated cotton The Sew Studio in Dunfermline https://www.thesewstudio.co.uk/
Double faced scuba / wool www.minerva.com
Harris Tweed http://www.taobhtuathtweeds.com/
Sapporo Coat pattern https://papercutpatterns.com/