I'd been devouring little sneak peeks of this pattern on instagram and marvelling at the striking resemblance it had to some of the coat styles I'd been pinning on Pinterest. So when Marilla put out a call asking for pattern testers...well....I was straight in there like a rat up a drainpipe!
Enter the Freemantle Coat by Marilla Walker! The cocoon shape is wide across the body and torso and tapers to a narrower shape at the hem, which on the view I opted for, stops just above the knee. There are three views to choose from, two sleeve options, and button/giant popper or zip closure options too as well as welt pockets (which I ommitted on my sample due to time constraints) So in my book, this pattern is great value for money. Here it is...Just check out the giant houndstooth version Marilla made!
Particularly cool is the construction of the sleeve with its integral gusset extension. A bit of a head scratcher on first inspection, but actually really simple, clever , and strangely satisfying! Just folow the instructions step by step, and have faith, all becomes clear! Talking of construction....SUPER straightforward. The style is so simple, with such clean lines and subtle details that it's a breeze to sew. No troublesome fitting issues due to the ease built into the design. In short, this was a cinch to sew. The only possible stumbling block I can see for a beginner would be the welt pockets. In terms of the the quality of the drafting I was also super impressed. Everything lined up perfectly including the intersecting seams of the underarm gusset (I love that word).
What made things even simpler for me was the fabric I chose. This beautiful boiled wool from Dragonfly Fabrics. I didn't need to underline or finish seams which cut down my construction time considerably. I just adore this fabric, A dream to cut, sew and wear, I had a hard time choosing which colour to go for when browsing the range, but I'm so glad I opted for this teal. I've had so many compliments.
There are literally no negatives for me with this make. And I am totally going to be making more. I fancy trying this out in sweatshirt material for instance. The only thing I may change next time is the button placement which I may move marginally closer to the the edge of the opening, as on mine it doesn't quite hold it flat. Although I also fancy having a play with the proportions and mixing the sleeve options from view B (omitting the ribbing) with view A. Maybe playing with an asymmetric opening or adding a shawl collar.
In any case, this pattern has me excited as it's ripe for some creative play, and I can definitely see another Freemantle in my future!