all my own work by ann

Sewing and textiles with Ann

Simplicity Hack-Along 8700

Time to enter a competition! I haven’t entered a competition for ages.

And I could do with a new coat, so I had a go at hacking 8700. It doesn’t really lend itself to being combined with any of the other hacking patterns. And I will enter the Daywear category, because I have worn it nearly every day since I finished it.


I made it from a beautifully coloured wool mix bought on Birmingham indoor market; so not all that expensive then. I carefully steamed the fabric before cutting, and mainly steamed the seams. It’s lovely and warm.


  1. I lengthened it. I wanted it to be long enough to cover a number of tunic length jumpers that I own, and which hang below some of my other coats.
  2. I lined it. Winter coats should be lined. I therefore had to work out the pieces needed for a lining, and adjust to accommodate a zip fastening.
  3. I closed it with a big chunky contrasting zip. Being honest, this was to avoid the ‘problem’ of creating bound button holes, which is still a challenge for me, and which might have been too chunky in this relative thick wool. The zip length was determined simply by sitting down and measuring from my neck line to the point where a coat would start to separate when sitting in it.

I included the lower pockets, but not the breast pockets or the shoulder tabs.

I already know that sewing with thick fabric can present some challenges to my sewing machine where seams meet, so I was careful to reduce bulk where ever I could. So the collar and pocket flaps are both lined with the lining fabric. I probably should have lined the pockets themselves as well. Next time.

I love this coat, as I am so sure that it is unique, especially the contrasting colours, and it really works in terms of covering winter jumpers. Once I had worked out the hacked design it was relatively easy to make, and I successfully met the challenge of reducing the bulk, especially in the collar and shoulder areas.

I needed to use a walking foot, as the wool and lining fabric handle rather differently, and needed to be passed through the machine at the same speed. The result would not have been good without a walking foot.

Here’s the zip being inserted, backed by strips of interfacing for support, and tacked in place. I always tack zips in place.


The final challenge was to decide how to finish the bottom of the coat. I eventually hemmed the coat and lining so that they hang separately. With most previous coats I have hand stitched the lining to the coat hem. but this can cause problems with the way that a garment hangs. No such problems with this garment.

Maybe that wasn’t the final challenge; given that this is for a competition, I felt that my entry should show me wearing my coat, and I don’t always have a photographer handy. So thanks to Keith for the photographs in his garden at new year.

I had some fabric left. This seems to be normal these days…. So I made a matching hat, which although not part of the competition, goes great with the coat and makes it all the more unique.

I was tempted to design my own, based on templates that I already have, but eventually went for Kwik Sew 3543, which offered exactly what I was looking for. Except that the pattern is for stretch fabric and my wool doesn’t have much stretch. I already had the fur fabric. I does have some stretch. The walking foot was still on the machine! I hacked this pattern as well, not only from my fabric choices, but I lined the inner hat and the back of the fur band with the same lining as the coat. The hat took about 2 hours to make. More may be in order, and it would make a quick and easy present if I can get the head size right!


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