I have a Saporro mark 2, made in a stable knit, unlined and shortened.
The lining is Liberty tana lawn Queue for the Zoo in blue, again it’s been in the stash for 2-3 years.
I backed all the outer pieces with white fusible weft insertion interfacing (bought from Stone Fabrics) and used hair canvas to add a backstay.
Having a coat with no closures when you live in Scotland doesn’t make much sense. The least obtrusive closures I could find that would work were large (27mm), sew-in snap fasteners from MacCulloch and Wallace.
A press cloth, tailor’s clapper, ham and sleeve roll were really helpful in getting a well-pressed finish on the wool.
I used silk thread (rayon would work too) to mark all notches- I couldn’t find a marking tool that was visible on the fabric and easily removed.
I also added seam tape to the shoulder seams for extra stability.
Pattern changes, additions and construction…
I’m a UK size 10 and 5’7″ so went with the xxs/xs size. Having looked at others’ versions online I made an unlined toile in fleece (to be given away to a good home) to check the proportions and fit. The cocoon shape includes a lot of ease and it can look overwhelming.
The outer fabric and interfacing were cut at the same time (same way as my Claire Coat but no interlining this time) before fusing everything. The interfacing gave some nice extra body and support to the fabric. I needed 2m of fabric rather then the 3 stated in the pattern.
I added 1″ to the pocket depth. I might add another inch if I make it again. The coat front and new pocket bag (original beside it) ended up looking like this:
The pockets bags are cut out of lining rather than outer fabric to reduce bulk (and hairiness from the mohair) and I prefer the way it looks. I left 1 & 1/4″ plus 3/8″ seam allowance for the pocket facing on each outer pattern piece.
The bracelet length sleeves on this look lovely but in a winter coat they don’t work for me so I reduced the width of the sleeve by 3″ at the cuff edge and graded it to the armhole in a straight line. Then I added 1 1/2″ to the sleeve length then the same for the sleeve facing + 3/8″ seam allowance and 1/4″ to allow for the turn of the cloth. This also allowed me to line the sleeve rather than have the double cuff included in the pattern. The result is nice narrow cuffs- enough space for gloves and no draughts! The new sleeve piece looks like this:
I added a backstay in hair canvas to the back piece (see Claire Coat post for more on how). This one is 10″ long measured from the centre back neck.
I also stitched bar tacks over the seam line at the outer edge of the pockets, again for stability. The stitching has disappeared into the fabric so don’t have a picture (stitch length 0.3 and width 2.5).
Understitching the facing wasn’t enough to keep it lying flat inside the coat so I stitched in the ditch on the shoulder seams for a couple of inches which really helped.
I added a hanging loop between the facing and lining (same process as Claire Coat) and anchored it by stitching a cross through all layers (this also helped to keep the facing in place).
I cut all the lining pieces as per the instructions and also cut two sleeve pieces (1″ longer than the sleeve length and omitting the turn up for the facing) which I sewed to the body pieces. I bagged then hand finished the lining- sewed the facing to lining then sleeve facings to sleeve lining, turned the whole thing the right way out and hand slip-stitched the hem into place.
There are extra squares of interfacing on the wrong side behind the snap fasteners. I used four and spaced them 6″ apart- one 6″ above the seamline between the coat front upper and lower sections, one on it and two below it.
In order to make the snaps as unobtrusive as possible I used the flat side for the visible half of the snaps and covered them in the mohair (which I steamed and pressed the heck out of first to flatten as much as possible). The inside snaps are covered in the lining fabric. The closures are there when needed but distract as little as possible from the overall look of the coat when worn open. It’s not designed to fasten because of the style lines on the front but needs must for the Scottish climate! The snaps have the added benefit of anchoring the facing really securely.
It’s a really light and warm coat. All the changes and additions I made make the coat work for me in the Scottish winter and all the extra internal structure should make it last for lots of them.