My first Sapporo has been worn daily this winter and much admired. There is something about mohair that seems to make people want to touch it! It really is such a gorgeous shape. It’s worn here with a favourite pair of Ginger jeans and a silk chiffon Square One Piece top from the Yoshiko Tsukioro book.
I bought a piece of double faced navy and grey wool in one of the smaller Tomato stores in Nippori Tokyo over a year ago. It’s a pretty stable, heavy weight knit with a limited amount of stretch. It was the end of the bolt so there was only just over a metre and a half left. It has sat in my stash since and I have been through so many pattern possibilities to find the right one. I loved the fabric and wanted to make something I would really wear and that would show off both sides of the fabric.
THIS IS HOW…
I knew there was nowhere near enough to make a full length Sapporo which recommends 3m although I managed it out of two. I pinned the hem of my existing coat up to see how short I could make it and keep the deeper pockets I added. After folding up the pattern pieces to that length (finished length is the side notch) and some pattern Tetris I worked out that I could fit everything except the side back pieces on the fabric. I could then either piece what was left or cut them from something different. I also kept the long sleeves from my first version. I didn’t cut the mitred corners at this stage. I used knit interfacing on all pieces suggested in the instructions.
I ended up piecing the leftovers but was careful to keep the grainlines lined up. I really like the asymmetry of the two pieces I ended up with.
Since this version is unlined I wanted to make the pocket bags more of a feature. They’re cut from a piece of Liberty Queue for the Zoo in navy I redrew them so they were square and sewed them with the right side on the outside. Once I’d sewn them closed I turned the raw edges under and to the back and stitched round them again to get a clean edge finish.
The shoulder, side and back seams were sewn then finished with a two needle coverstitch. I also used this to finish the seams either side of the pockets although I did baste the stitching line in for these so I knew where to turn and stop.
All the other seam allowances were finished on the overlocker. I did sew all the seams on the sewing machine with a straight stitch first, even though this is a knit fabric. The oversized style and limited stretch of the fabric means that the seams don’t need to stretch. This allowed me to press all the seams to get a really sharp finish on them (the clapper came in very useful for this too).
I also used the coverstitch to finish the sleeves, the edge of the pocket facings and coat facing. The last two were decorative more than anything else and meant I could trim the edges really close to the stitching.
I did understitch the facing again this time and then hand stitched the facing to the coat at the bulkiest seams – shoulder and back. This really helped to get the facing to lie flat and stay rolled to the inside of the coat.
The hanging loop is secured with a crossed rectangle just above the coverstitching.
The covered snap fasteners on my first Sapporo have worked really well so I went with the same for this one, just reducing the number to three. There are two little squares of fusible weft insertion interfacing under each of them.
I ended up sewing them to one side of the facing first then sewing the facing to the coat to make sure no wrong side stitching was visible and that the snaps were really well anchored.
I finished the facing and hem by slip stitching them in place so they stay put and there are no visible stitches on the right side.
As with all coat making, it’s all the invisible internal additions and structure that make such a big difference to the quality of the finish and longevity of the garment- it’s always time well spent.
- Honestly, I love this as much as my first one and it will get just as much wear over the spring and Scottish summer.
- The structure of this fabric works really well for this pattern and I really like the coverstitched seams and asymmetrical back pieces.
- I’m also really happy with the simplicity of the wrong side because of the contrast colour, pocket bags and grey stitching.