Sewing With Wool - The Piccadilly Peacoat Sew Along Begins!

Hi Everyone! We're super excited to kick off the Piccadilly Peacoat sew-along! This coat is such a cute scaled down replica of a real peacoat. It has many [pattern pieces and so many great design details. I encourage you to read through the pattern and watch the videos thoroughly to be sure you're catching all the important notes and details!

In this post you will find several videos broken apart into smaller sections. I think this will make it easier to sew the coat in sections, which will allow you to take breaks and jump back in when you have time to work on the next part of the coat.

If you haven't gathered up all of you supplies yet or are uncertain which fabric to use, be sure to refer back to the Sewing With Wool Topic Overview post. You'll also find links to the patterns and many resources too!

But, before we begin the in-depth sew-along video series, I wanted to share with you a list of "Tips For Sewing With Wool Fabrics"


  1. PATTERNS – Select a pattern that is suited to the wool fabric you have chosen as there are different types of wool and wool blends. A light weight wool or wool blend works well for the doll scale. With proper care, it can be sharply tailored, so be sure to double-check that your pattern cutting is very precise, to get that perfect fit.
  2. CUTTING – Nice sharp scissors will make all the difference when cutting. For straight edges, use a rotary cutter and cutting mat if you have one. Pattern weights or magnets work well to keep the fabric flat when cutting.
  3. NEEDLES – Use a heavy needle for the bulky wool items and test on a scrap first.  A regular 90/14 needle has worked well for me. If your fabric is a lighter-weight wool you may want to try a thinner needle, such as an 80/12 sized needle. Whatever size you are using, make sure it's a fresh needle so it's nice and sharp to help it get through the layers easily. A ball-point needle is usually the best option for a wool fabric. It has a rounded tip that easily slips through the fibers without snagging or cutting them.
  4. THREAD- if your polyester thread is breaking, try a silk thread which is stronger. In general, you want to match the fiber in the thread you're using with the fiber in your fabric. This means that seams will have the same response to washing, drying, and wear as the rest of the garment. With wool, however, that's not an option. Instead, try silk thread, which has similar properties. It's not strictly necessary—a polyester-wrapped cotton thread will also work well in most situations. With lightweight wool, however, silk thread provides a superior finish, especially with decorative stitching.
  5. PRESSER FOOT - If you're sewing with bulky coating fabrics it's a good idea to lower the presser foot pressure on your machine, if your machine lets you do so. This will make it easier for thick fabrics to pass through the machine and will avoid squishing all the layers as you sew.
  6. STITCH LENGTH - If you're sewing with a thick coating fabric, it's a good idea to slightly lengthen your stitch to around 3mm. A lighter weight coating will need a stitch length of around 2.5mm. If you're not sure what stitch length to use, try it out on a scrap of fabric and increase the stitch in small increments until you've found the length you're happy with. 
  7. SEAM FINISHES – Sewing wool which is bulky will need graded seams where the seam allowance is cut away in layers. This is a bit different than simply trimming the seam allowances. Grading seam allowances simply means to trim one seam allowance narrower than the other. By grading one seam allowance narrower than the other you'll reduce the bulk in the seams. This makes it much easier to press as there's less fabric in the seam and gives a much neater result overall.
  8. PRESSING – Press every step of the way with a pressing cloth and if you are steaming, be sure you have tested steam on the fabric as part of the preparation process. Some wool shrinks so it is important to regulate the use of steam and heat. Coating fabrics require a bit of care when pressing. Turn the iron down to a medium-low temperature (many irons have a wool temperature setting), use plenty of steam and only press from the wrong side without a press cloth. If you press the on the right side of the fabric, you'll definitely want to use a pressing cloth to avoid any shiny residue that may be left on the fabric. A press cloth can be silk organza, a plain lightweight colorless cotton (like a tea towel). 
  9. PRESSING TIPS: To avoid seam impressions from the right side after pressing, place some card between the seams before pressing - this will add a barrier between the coat and the seams and will stop from the shape of the seam being seen from the right side. You can also use pliers or a wooden clapper to really flatten bulky seam allowances especially at the corners, but be sure to use the press cloth here too!
  10. LININGS – Lining is the perfect way to finish a wool or wool blend garment! It creates a smooth silky interior, making it easy to get the coat on and off, and it also beautifully hides all the interior seams. Good choices include rayon and polyester. Add a little "surprise & delight" with a patterned lining to finish off your garment.

The Piccadilly Peacoat Sew-Along

Ok, now let's jump into the sew-along! Be sure to keep these things in mind as we sew the Piccadilly Peacoat together!

First we'll take a look at the pattern details, the supplies needed, and how to cut it out.


Now we will begin the sew-along! In this first video we will sew the coat back.


In this next video, we will sew the coat front and the collar.


In this next video we continue with the sleeves and sewing the side seams.

Tip: Here's the video we referenced showing how to shape a sleeve cap. With this design specifically, there shouldn't be any fabric shrinkage at the stitching line, simply along the seam allowance edge. It is very minimal, but makes a nice different in the shaping of the sleeve cap when the coat is finished!


Phew! That is a lot of sewing! I think it's time we take a break and get ready for the next session (next Tuesday) where we will sew the lining and then finish up the coat!


Bettie Barnes
Bettie Barnes

November 12, 2020

where can I download the videos?


November 10, 2020

@cindy – The easing on the sleeve cap is pretty minimal, the sleeve piece fits the armscye as is, so be careful to shrink the puckers in just the seam allowance, and gently shape the cap. It should fit fine. Don’t gather it, just pull the threads to draw up the seam allowance enough to shape the cap – hope this helps to explain!


November 10, 2020

Should I be worried that I could shrink the sleeve too much?

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