McCalls 7520 – pauline trigere coat – remake a coat to a coat

McCalls 7520 - pauline trigere coat - remakea coat to a coat

When I saw this coat – I was so pleased as there is a lot of fabric, so I probably overlooked both the fabric quality and a few stains (the trims of leather in it seemed to have put the original owner of cleaning it!)  The original coat  very much of its time, with lapels and different fastenings, the lining was anchored, as opposed to bagged (it was curious to see all the hidden bits of sewing and detail).  I took the coat apart and brushed it well, and steamed the pieces heavily with the iron and laundered the lining (I had decided to reuse it, as it wasn’t too bad and I couldn’t find a shade like it easily).

When the pattern was laid out, as usual there was compromise, the front of the coat was nearly on the straight so I lost a bit of space there, as the button detail tab on top used up extra fabric space.  The full sleeve would not fit, so I would have to take a chance with a cuff.  I was sure everything would fit, but I completely forgot about the underarm section. This just about fitted, but then the pocket seam would be tight.  I had thought if there was enough fabric that I could make it the original length which is mid calf, but the more I thought about it, the less I liked it especially as there is only one button, so I decided on a finished length of 90cm/36″, as this length is good with trousers.  In the illustration, the coat looks shorter than it is, the actual length of the coat is about 30cm/12″ longer – mid-calf. In the end, I had to put a cuff on the sleeve to get the length, a small inset for the pocket recess, and shorten the coat overall.  

McCalls 7520 - pauline trigere coat - remakea coat to a coat


I interfaced all the sections, in the original coat, the fabric was supposed to drape so only the front was interfaced and the back interlined.   This coat is a wool cashmere mix (45% cashmere!) I don’t think it was best quality cashmere and for that matter, wool, and also the patch pockets had left marks on the front, so i was also wondering if it would clean up sufficiently for a public outing!


The sleeve heads were very uncooperative this time around (as opposed to the jacket), and I was progressively getting more and more suspicious of the ‘less than lovely’ quality of this fabric, to the point of I didn’t know who was having the attitude over ease, me or the fabric.  it was only when the coat was at the lining stage, I decided to try and match them once more and curved the point (the design element) on the rhs so it matched the other.  I don’t know how noticeable the difference is, but I suppose if I can see it, then it will always bug me.

It was only when the coat was finished I realised I could have and should have inserted the sleeves  in on the flat, and then sewn the sleeve seam and shoulder seam as one.  I wore the coat out to lunch to ‘road test’ it.  Its a nice warm coat and worked well with a black polo and jeans.   I am also considering taking the sleeve off and re-doing if it is going to get out more, and will wait till the marks on the front (where the pockets were) become less noticeable (or see if they will).  

McCalls 7520 - pauline trigere coat - remake coat to a coat


There was only one real issue and that was when we left the cafe, some big droplets of rain fell from the awning outside on to the coat and it soaked immediately and made the coat look very stained, the marks dried and disappeared off in 20 minutes but looked so so grubby when it was wet – and as it rains a lot here, I was wondering on the practicalities.  The coat was fine when it drizzled so I don’t know if somehow this coat was washed with detergent of some sort to make it so absorbent? or if this can happen anyway with camel shades …… coat is now resting in my wardrobe for a few weeks and I will steam it again to see if the pile lifts up from where the pockets were, if it does, then I think I will consider re-setting sleeves………..

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7 thoughts on “McCalls 7520 – pauline trigere coat – remake a coat to a coat

  1. Anonymous says:

    I came here via Sew Retro. I've just finished going through the whole blog, and commented on a couple of specific posts, but I just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying it. Your upcycling shames most uses of that word – I am very inspired by the chic, elegant results you are getting from your reuses, and I am also inspired by how you are in many cases using patterns that are fairly simple and doable, but with a lot of style, to get a rewarding result minus the interminable fiddling or risk of running out of steam and getting mired in UFOs. I'm bookmarking your blog and really look forward to seeing what else you make!

    – Jessamyn

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Also, as an aside – I often rename my bookmarks from the one automatically supplied to help me remember what they're about. Yours is “rudai deanta – elegant upcycling,” and I respectfully suggest that using something like that as your tag line might help draw in other readers who may not immediately get what an appealing concept you have going.

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  3. Eimear Greaney says:

    thank you so much for your comments Jessamyn, and your suggestion of Elegant Upcycling is fantastic, really, as its exactly what I am going for. I will add it my pinterest board now and try work into others later. A lot of my sewing is dictated by the fact that I have now hit my 40s and find that clothes in shops appeal less and while they may fit, they dont look 'right', and I have never really been a the 'bang on trend' person. currently I am trying to avoid charity shops as I have projects for the next 3 months plus….I better get back sewing my christmas blouse here, but had to reply immediately to say thank you!

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  4. Anonymous says:

    I, too, am in my 40s, and I so very much agree with what you're saying! I still buy clothes, but I often have to alter them, and would just make them all but between historical sewing projects and things for my husband (who is in a wheelchair and thus REALLY hard to suit off-the-rack) I would hardly have any clothes.

    I also have a tendency to get bogged down in coming up with the perfect design and perfect finish when making clothes from scratch, whereas if I were to find something in the store even close I would be happy enough. I need to focus more on the fact that all that time wasted in waffling and fussing could be spent in getting clothes into my closet and fabric out of the stash.

    – Jessamyn

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  5. Eimear Greaney says:

    ditto on the stash!! I am supposed to be tackling my smallish stash of fabrics I have as well as the upcycle sewing, but the last time I was in dublin (bigger town than where I am from), I only bought more! I get too precious on stash fabric sometimes and at least with the charity shop buys I am bit more decisive, and the challange seems to focus me. (historical sewing projects sound very very time consuming – I couldnt even contemplate them!)

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  6. Caroline says:

    I”m enjoying reading your posts – what a great approach to sewing. Do you ever buy fabric or are you deliberately limiting yourself to re-fashioning? The Pauline Trigiere pattern, and all your makes from it, is especially fabulous!

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  7. Eimear Greaney says:

    Hi Caroline, thanks very much. Yes, I do buy fabric, but not too often, as there only one fabric shop where I live and the choice is limited. So I generally buy fabric when I am in Dublin. I would have always done a bit of refashioning, but when I started on these pieces, I have just kept going, and when I have tagged the blog with 'there is an idea behind this…etc' , I was quite serious! I am just seeing where the idea goes. Originally, it was supposed to run in tandem with another friends project, and then it became about me supposed to be improving my sewing (over the years I have picked up so many bad sewing habbits!) and there were other strands, but overall, I am enjoying it all, so am quite happy sewing along and have a notebook full of ideas to work on for the next while. I really enjoyed the Pauline Trigere pattern myself. Thanks again, e (am making a dress from store bought currently!)

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