Pendleton Blanket Coat!

The Coat I Never Believed Would Happen …

Years ago, back when I still ran the bed and breakfast, I collected Pendleton blankets for all our rooms. When we closed the inn I had to decide what to keep and what to sell. My mom convinced me to keep the blanket you see below, which is called Turquoise Trail (at least according to some sources). 

“Wouldn’t it make a great coat?” she asked. 

So, that was the seed planted. 

Of course that was back in 2014. 

But what is a Global Pandemic good for if not embracing one’s haywire, insane coat-sewing dreams?!

Over this past Christmas my mom said, “I want to do it.” 

Of course I immediately knew what she meant (we have a Vulcan mind meld when it comes to thinking up crazy projects)

I was under deadline for yet another book and said, “You’ll be on your own–I can help with cutting, but not the sewing.” 

It turned out that both were challenging endeavors, but the sewing presented problems we never anticipated: that coat is HEAVY!

One sewing machine locked up and we had to switch to a heavier-duty machine, one used for quilting. 

We also got my 1913 commercial Singer all tuned up and ready to go, but ended up not needing it.  

When we hauled out the blanket we found something I’ve never dealt with before: moth toothmarks! Yes, while I thought I’d been saving and preserving this blanket by not using it moths had been chowing down. Luckily we could cut around most of it, but they sure did some damage. 

BTW, if you are reading this and have a non-disgusting (ie: mothballs) way of repelling moths, please let me know. I have a couple more blankets I’d like to save.

So, (or should I say: sew, heheheheh) I took lots of pictures of everything except the whole, uncut blanket.

Luckily there is the internet and I found a picture to give you a good idea how it looked complete. Also some photos of the cutting stages. 

Mom cut the first pieces and we seemed to be doing pretty well, until it came to matching up the sides (which had an insane number of pieces). Then we realized things just didn’t go together the way we’d planned. 

Her eyeballs were fried, so I did the second batch of cutting (it’s hard to describe how much the blanket pattern messed with our heads and eyes). 

We ended up having to cut the two pillow shams that I’d bought for it, too. In fact, our coat pretty much took up all the blanket and two king shams.

So, yeah, I wasn’t kidding when I said it’s a little heavy.

My mom had to take a break of a couple months before coming back to it in late March. She was so consumed with this project that she DREAMED about sewing it. Or maybe had nightmares.

If you want one of your own, you’ll have to sew it yourself because she said she would NEVER make another. 

But it turned out FANTASTIC. 

Thanks Mom!!

Here’s a picture of the whole pattern

This is the cutting of the second batch, when we had to re-cut a few pieces.

Here’s the coat pattern, which my mom ended up having to adjust a LOT. I wouldn’t recommend this pattern.

Tons of pattern pieces!

Cutting, cutting, and more cutting.

What was left after the cutting.

Our very messy work surface.

Putting the pieces together. This is the front of the coat.

My mom used these handy clips to hold the thick pieces together. Here are the pockets being set in.

More clips!

And a crazy amount of clips on the armpit, which you can see has a bunch of seams.

Here is the spectacular back section all put together!

I’m going to put you out of your suspenseful misery and show you the completed project without inflicting dozens of piece-by-piece photos. I keep them on my phone, like they are grandchildren, so I can bore you with ALL of them the next time I see you!

And the finished project!

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