Hot! Advanced Sewing Project Idea: Sherlock’s Coat

If you know me or have ever taken a look at my closet, you’ll know that I have an affinity for coats.  In fact, I relish the arrival of winter not only for the opportunity to play in the snow but also because it means that I get to drag my coats out of hibernation.

I’ve been showing Marc the recent BBC show Sherlock, a modern re-imagining of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories.  I think that they’re one of the most faithful portrayals of the Sherlock/Watson interactions to date, and the modern setting lends a bit more relevance to the stories.  I also think that whoever their costumer designer is did a great job at capturing the characters of Holmes and Watson through their sartorial choices.  In fact, they are so well-dressed that the show has actually been influencing fashion in recent months.

One of the tidbits of clothing from the series that I really love is Sherlock’s coat.  It has gotten a lot of attention from other fashion-aware fans who have identified it as a $2000+ coat from Belstaff, a British fashion house.  I love long coats, and this one has a lot of frock coat-inspired details that really appeal to me.  However, $2000 is what I would pay for a car, not a coat.

But, hark!  The fandom delivers!

A self-taught tailor from Japan has recreated the coat and has been documenting the process on her blog.  She has great details and instructions and has been more than willing to answer my questions via email.  I think that with her instructions and maybe a pattern to start off with, I think that I could feasibly make one of these coats for myself before next winter.

I am full-up on sewing projects for the next few months (campfollower gear and a sew along to host), but I think that this could be a fun project to do over the summer.  It’s a bit above my level, but with Marc’s help, I think I could do it and it would be a good challenge as well as an opportunity for me to learn some more advanced skills.

Unlike the fan who recreated the coat, I am not looking to make a 100% reproduction, but instead simply a coat that is inspired by Sherlock’s coat.  I would probably make mine in a solid or heathered charcoal gray wool instead of houndstooth, use blue buttonhole stitching instead of red, change the cuffs a bit, and probably make the skirt of the coat about 4 inches fuller to compensate for my ginormous ass.

If I do this, I will definitely need a dressmaker’s dummy, but I had been considering purchasing one anyway, and I think that it would make an amusingly utilitarian addition to our apartment’s decor.

So, do you think I’m nuts for trying this?


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  1. Oh, seriously, not crazy. Unless I am too! I’ve been bereft without my duster coat which recently had to go-I lost literaly half my bodyweight so my beloved coat was now able to fit both my sister and me in it and couldnt be taken in any more so after ten extraordinary years together (in which I just LOVED to swish about in it) I’ve been on the hunt for a new one. But NOTHING is quite right. You know when you have in mind exactly what you want, and you swear youve seen it in about every store and then….nothing.

    So, I decided I’d have a stab at making my own. Whats the harm, i think to myself. I often make gifts for friends/family of garments/bags etc so I know my way around a sewing machine and clothes. And Sherlock’s coat is fairly close to my old one and I’ve been following the same fan in Japan who made a recreation of the Belstaff and had the same idea as you-why not make my own?! I’ll probably make mine darker, possibly even just black and that fur collar isn’t even coming into consideration, its vile. Such a gorgeous coat hidden under that monstrousity.

    So if you’re crazy, then fear not, you aren’t alone in that boat, I too will be taking on the same task in the coming months. God help us both!! 🙂 🙂

  2. Yes, I definitely want to see this when you’re done. I like that show too!