The Sapporo Coat designed by Papercut Patterns was completed just in time for the serious chill that set in in Tel Aviv this past week. There’s always a time during the winter months here when the cold seems to penetrate the bones, and that time of year has arrived. We live in a postwar building which has zero insulation in the walls, so it can sometimes be much colder inside compared to outside temperatures when the weather gets cold and wet. I’m wearing the coat as I write this post now. In fact, I have been living in his coat while inside the house. It is keeping me warm, pink and happy.
It may seem like I’ve relegated my Sapporo to a housecoat, but the only place I can wear it these days during this never-ending lockdown is in the house. And I want to wear it as much as I can. The main reason why it’s difficult to take it off is that it gives me this special snuggly feeling. The fabric makes me feel like a big teddy bear is hugging me. It has the look of wool, but it is actually a viscose polyester blend in a loose weave of white and soft pink threads. This soft, beautiful and smooth-to-the-touch fabric was gifted to me by Minerva. Big thank you! It isn’t as warm as regular wool, but it’s still quite cozy in here in my coat. The good thing is the coat can be washed in the gentle cycle of the washing machine, and dried in the dryer. Since the fabric has breathability, I might even be able to wear it when it starts to warm up in the spring.
The weight and drape of the fabric give it a certain slouchiness, but not in a bad way at all. On the contrary, it exudes comfort and cuddliness. The only thing to watch out for when working with this relatively loose weave is the raw edge after you’ve cut into the fabric. I serged the raw edges before pretreating it. And I serged all the raw edges after cutting out the pattern pieces, before I even started piecing it together. If not, the threads at the raw edge will literally fray and come apart with too much handling. I avoided making any snips at all to mark the notches, and chose to mark the notches with an erasable marker instead. Also when I had to snip into the corners of the fabric at the seam allowance, I made sure to stabilise those places with little pieces of interfacing and lots of fray check. Other than that, the fabric was very easy to work with. It’s very malleable, and it moulds well around curved seams which means I had to do minimal snipping into the seam allowances. It takes a good pressing with the help of a clapper.
The design of this coat has made this a star pattern in the sewing community. The lines of the coat make it really unique. It is shaped like a cocoon, and the collar is a slender funnel. I love how the pockets are worked into the angled seaming of the coat, and the two sloping seams in the back provide a great opportunity for colour blocking.
This coat is also very versatile since it can be made up in a variety of fabrics from a light silk to heavy wool. It also comes in 2 views – a longer full-length version, and a shorter version. There are also 2 choices for the sleeves – one that is full-length, and another that ends at a 3/4 length.
With no closures to wrestle with, this coat is probably doable for an ambitious beginner who wants to learn how to bag a full lining for a coat. This step always makes me nervous because it is like birthing a baby when you reveal a full coat from the small opening at the side seam of the lining. I had no trouble at all with the instructions, and sewing this up was a pleasant experience that didn’t take up much time at all. Please note that I am writing about the updated version of the pattern. I read from some pattern reviews that there had been some drafting problems in an earlier version. But it seems like Papercut Patterns has made all the necessary adjustments to rectify the problem. Good for them for listening attentively to their customers!
The only problem I encountered is that the sizing is way off. Sizes for the coat come in size 1-8. According to the body measurements, I should sew up a size that is between 2 & 3. However, I saw how @craftyprofessor on Instagram made a size 1, and decided to follow her lead. Just so you know, a size 1 in the Papercut Patterns body measurement chart is B:76cm, W:56cm & H: 82cm. My 9 year old has a 56cm or 22 inch waist! I would never have chosen to sew a size 1 if not for the advice of @craftyprofessor. Thank you!!! And even after sewing up a size 1, it still has an oversized look. I reckon a size 0 (if it were available) might work as a better fit. So my advice is to size down (not just 1 but maybe even 2 sizes), or make a muslin if you are unsure of which size to sew up.
I made the long version of the Sapporo, with long sleeves. The fit is roomy for me, but that leaves me options to layer beneath the coat. The lining is a fuchsia viscose-linen blend I have in my stash. I am already dreaming up of a lighter version with the shorter sleeves and shorter length. It was difficult for me to choose which version to sew up first, but I’m glad that I started out with this longer version to help me counter the arctic days ahead. In the meantime, a hot cup of tea or cocoa sounds really good right now so that I can hibernate more in my stylish Sapporo swaddle.