Finished: 1930s Winter Coat in Textured Teal Wool

1930s winter coat in teal wool and brown

Outfit Details

1930s Winter Coat in Teal Wool – Made by Me
1930s Teal Wool Hat The Washerwoman
Faux Fur Scarf – Helen Moore
1930s Brown Suede Gloves – Stardust Year Vintage
1930s Brown Leather Handbag – Dairy House Antiques
1930s Brown Leather Shoes – UK Charm Vintage
1930s Orange Satin Blouse – The Wardrobe Mistress
1930s Brown Wool Skirt – Made by Me

1930s winter coat in teal wool and brown

One thing I love about dressing vintage is sometimes an outfit can take quite a long time to come together. It may start with one piece and then grow from there. Or it may be, as in this case, you buy something at a vintage fair just because it’s so beautiful, take it home and realise it actually goes with a couple of pieces you already own and you just need that one piece to bring it all together. The item for me was this beautiful original 1930s teal wool halo hat with brown, orange and ivory detailing that I bought from The Washerwoman back in the Autumn of 2016.

When I got home that evening I immediately realised that it went perfectly with an original 1930s orange satin blouse I’d bought from The Wardrobe Mistress back in the summer of 2016 and the 1930s brown wool skirt I made. All I needed was brown accessories and a matching teal wool coat to bring the whole thing together. As I knew there was absolutely no way I was going to find an original 1930s teal coat, it was going to have to be made.

So, on I went on a massive hunt for a matching teal wool fabric. And trust me, it wan’t easy, you cannot imagine the number of different tones and shades of one colour! But, eventually I found the perfect one on Dragonfly Fabrics and it was beautiful. Not only was it the right shade, but it also had an amazing texture to it and it was 100% pure wool, perfect for my ethical sewing practices. The only problem was, it was £29.50 per metre! Thankfully it was just before last year’s Black Friday and I waited until they launched their offer. So, in the end I got 15% off the whole 3 metres. Yes!

1930s winter coat in teal wool and brown

As I was already working on a winter jacket at the end of last year, I decided not to rush and make the coat straight away, but rather wait until this Autumn to get started on it. Instead of using an actual sewing pattern, however, I chose to draft my own pattern from an original 1930s tailoring booklet. It had about 20 coats and jackets to choose from and you can see the drafting pattern I chose here. If you’ve no experience with flat drafting guides, then these are a set of written instructions where you use maths to draw in each point of the pattern to create one for your exact size.

The original drafting pattern had no photo or illustration to show what the finished coat looked like. It also didn’t have a sleeve pattern. Oh, and it had no sewing instructions. So, basically all I was going on was the illustration of the flat pattern and the short description of the garment. However, I’m pretty good at visualising things, especially clothes, so I went on instinct and chose a coat pattern that had an really interesting seam panelling.

However, after drafting the pattern and making the mock toile in calico, I decided I didn’t actually like the top part of the front seam detail on me. It seemed to frame my boobs and accentuate the slightly wider shoulder, which wasn’t really a look I wanted. Therefore I slightly rejigged the pattern to draw the top of seam line into the armscye.

1930s coat top-stitching detail

As the pattern I chose had no drafting instructions for the sleeve I used the one from my winter jacket as a basis for what I wanted to create. I knew that I wanted a typical 1930s style sleeve and that meant a big bishop sleeve. I also wanted to do something slightly different to any bishop sleeve I’d done before. So, in the end I decided to create a cuff that curved in the same style as the coat’s front detail seam and by some kind of miracle it actually looks like its a continuation of the line when I wear it! I can’t tell you how much I love these sleeves. They are everything I’d hoped they would be and even the lining has the same shaped puff, so when you turn them inside out the shape remains.

1930s coat back top-stitching detail

The back was much more simple than the front with a seam line all the way up the back and a dart either side at the waist for shaping. The one thing I wasn’t prepared for, though, was the top-stitching. I cannot tell you the number of spools of top-stitching thread I got through and doing that back seam line neatly, not once but twice, was a tiring job. I do think it gives it a lovely finish throughout though.

1930s coat buttons and buckle

The top-stitching continues all the way around the outer edges of the coat and the matching belt. This was an absolute nightmare to do as the coat was all sewn together by this point and was very heavy. I had to take it so steady because one wobble would ruin the whole effect. It does still annoy me, though, that I couldn’t quite get the exact shade of top-stitching thread to match the coat. Gütermann really need to increase their colours in this thread because it’s very limited. I had to order this one from Germany just to get a close match!

The beautiful original 1930s brown buttons and matching buckle were actually a gift from from friend Kitty (from Kitty Lou Vintage). When she sent them to me I had absolutely no idea what I was going to use them for. However, after a big debate on my Instagram about whether I should use these or a set of ivory ones, it became obvious that these were the perfect finishing touch for this coat.

1930s Lucite hat pin

My beautiful hat is held on by an original 1930s Lucite hat pin. It’s the only hat pin I own and I think it’s rather special. It’s got such a great Art Deco look about it and it will literally go with any colour of hat! The hat itself was the inspiration behind the first hat I ever blocked myself (I really should find some time to do more hats!) as I loved the halo shape. It’s definitely a shape that I think suits me.

1930s halo hat detail

We took this photo a little later on in the day when we were antiquing as I totally forgot to get a decent shot of the felt flowers. What was I thinking, this is the entire inspiration behind the whole outfit! I absolutely love the colour combination. I never would’ve thought to have put teal, chocolate brown, deep orange and ivory together, but it works perfectly.

1930s orange satin blouse

Now, I apologise that I didn’t get a proper shot of the outfit underneath, but it was sub-zero temperatures the day we took these photos. I braved taking the coat off just long enough to get this photo of the stunning original 1930s orange satin blouse I bought from Simone at The Wardrobe Mistress. Sadly, the bow is covering up the beautiful Art Deco buttons (there’s four of them) but you can see the amazing detailing on the rest of it. I really, really want to create a pattern from this and have one in every colour. You just couldn’t get any more 1930s than this blouse.

1930s coat lining detail

And here’s a sneaky peak at the incredible lining of the coat. It’s a proper tailoring lining from The Lining Company and is in the same matching orange and brown of the rest of the outfit. This cost me just as much as the outer wool fabric but after I’d received the sample nothing else quite came up to scratch. After a lot of debating with myself over whether I could afford it and whether it was worth forking out for, I convinced myself on both issues. And I regret nothing!

1930s outfit - me being silly!

I apologise for this photo. There are no words. I blame my mum who said, “Go on, flash your lining!” But at least you get to see the whole outfit!

1930s brown leather handbag

The amazing original 1930s brown leather handbag cost me £35, which is a bit more than I would normally pay for a vintage handbag, but just look at it! I’ve never come across one this shape and it’s just so pretty. The only problem is, the bottom seam isn’t very secure and when I put my phone, keys, money, lipstick and etc in it, it starts to strain. I only use it on special occasions now, just to make sure I prolong its life.

1930s brown leather shoes

The original 1930s brown leather shoes, however, are in amazing condition. Yes, they’ve been worn in the past as the leather has softened and wrinkled slightly, but that only helps when wearing them. I have a pair of original 1940s black shoes that are really quite stiff still and they do start to pinch after a while. Don’t you just love the wavy top-stitching lines on these? Thankfully I didn’t have to sew them!

1930s winter coat in teal wool and brown

And I love how the faux fur collar from Helen Moore adds that extra bit of luxury to this coat and it matches too. I have to say the collar and this winter coat are quite possibly the best two things I now own in terms of practicality. Both keep me so incredibly warm, and stylish too! They were an absolute Godsend on a recent pre-Christmas trip to London, especially when walking down Oxford Street at 11pm to admire the window displays. I know I’m going to wear this coat time and time again this winter and many years to come, unless I decide to make another one that is! 🙂

1930s winter coat in teal wool and brown



Just a vintage gal suffering from the Golden Age syndrome. A lover of all things old, especially the 1930s, seamstress, crocheter, maker of hats and enjoys rummaging at flea markets.


  1. I’ve been waiting on pins and needles to see this grand reveal after the big debate of button color on Instagram. So perfect!!!! Alll of it, especially the lining flash 😉
    What I want to know now is how you fit this wonderful wardrobe into your closet? It must be bursting at the seams. Great Job!

  2. The colour and texture of that wool is divine. Love the shape and details on the coat. A wonderful ensemble, very well thought out combinations ;o)

    • Isn’t the fabric gorgeous? I’m so glad I finally found it. Thank you for your lovely comments xx

  3. Your coat is stunning! You put in such attention to detail that it really is quite special. Plus, it’s a gorgeous color! It’s very elegant. 🙂 The rest of the outfit is great, too! So much awesomeness in one go! Wow!


    • Oh, thank you Quinn! I adore the colour too. It’s neutral enough to be teamed with just about any colour but is more interesting than black, navy or grey. xx

  4. Wowza, that coat is amazing! I love the 30s style lines. The sleeves and the buttons are perfect, and I really like the collar. I might have to make myself one…

    • Thank you Liz! The thing that strikes me the most with this, in terms of 1930s, is the fit of the skirt part. It’s so subtle but the hips have that truly classic 1930s slim feel. I’ve never cut any other pattern quite like it, but now I understand where that silhouette comes from. xx

  5. that coat (and indeed the outfit) is perfect. I adore the style lines of the coat. the angle of the cuff really gives it a twist, and the back dart shaping is lovely. well done on fabric choice its perfect. I am so jealous of that blouse. Would it help that (divine) bag if you sewed a up the the bottom seam of the lining or do you prefer to leave it authentic. Really stunning outfit

    • Oh thank you Eimear! The biggest problem with the bag is the outer leather seams are very fragile. I tried sticking them but it didn’t work. I think I need to find a really small curved needle to try and hand sewn them together to add stability. I have a big curve needle but it would cause too much damage. xx

  6. What a beautiful outfit. Your coat is lovely. But the blouse…. the blouse is what I’m coveting most.

    • I know, that blouse is amazing isn’t it? I really need to make a pattern from it and make my own version. I know I’d live in them! xx

  7. I love everything about what you’re wearing here, but pride of place really goes to that magnificent coat. It simply is stunning and once again, I’m admiring your skills! And then you show us the lining, which is a wonderful surprise. Even if the fabric and lining weren’t cheap, I don’t think you would be able to get a coat like that for what you paid, especially as this is a unique piece. xxx

    • Thank you Ann! Yes, you’re probably right, finding a coat like this would probably mean you’d end up spending way more than what I paid for the fabrics. xx

  8. What an absolutely stunning coat! Your attention to detail is wonderful- and all that topstitching was worth it for the beautiful result. I especially love the curved sleeve cuffs.
    I’ll bet that it’s so warm too- being made of wool- synthetic coats just don’t keep you warm!

    • Thank you Nicole! It is indeed very warm and has served me well through the last few days of heavy snow. I’ve barely felt the cold at all! xx

  9. Those sleeves…oh my they are wonderful! Fantastic job on the coat you did a marvelous job and should be very very proud of yourself.

    • Oh, thank you Liz! Those sleeves really are wonderful, aren’t they? The 1930s really knew how to do sleeves. I definitely have to use the pattern for them again on anther garment. xx

  10. This whole outfit is just perfection. I love the way the coat cuffs carry on the line of the seam. And a lining as wonderful as that definitely deserves to be flashed! xx

    • Thank you Elaine! The fact that the cuffs and seam line match up really was a complete fluke. When I did the pattern for the sleeve I didn’t try really actively to make them match, I just hoped they would. Perhaps I should always work that way in the future! xx

  11. Absolutely gorgeous coat! The whole outfit is divine, but I just can’t get over the gorgeous coat, what a lovely colour and it suits you perfectly! 🙂 Well done, Cate!

    • Oh, thank you! The colour is gorgeous, isn’t it? It was hard to capture exactly on the photographs (blue is so hard to shoot!) and make sure they were all the same with the light changing so quickly. I love it though, it’s neutral enough that it will go with lots of colours. xx

  12. Hello from France 🙂 Your coat is amazing !!! I’m searching for a fur collar and this one would be perfect with my winter coat but I can’t find it on the Helen Moore website… Is it the one with the buckle, but you removed it ?

    • Oh thank you Alexandra! Unfortunately, for some inexplicable reason, Helen Moore decided to discontinue this style at the end of last year. I have found some still available in other colours on another site, so if you wanted to have a search online for one in this colour, it’s called “Helen Moore Asymmetric Scarf in Golden Bear”. Hope that helps! xx

      • Thanks a lot ! I just started following you on Instagram 🙂

  13. Well you certainly finished this coat at the right time for the cold snap! Did you get snow? This coat would look amazing in the snow!! Absolutely stunning job. The attention to detail is unsurpassed! I love the cheeky lining flash photo xx

    • Thank you Sarah! Yes, it snowed the day after we took the photos, which was a shame. But to be honest, it was a struggle to get out of my village on Sunday and Monday, so the likelihood of actually meeting up with my mum (my photographer!) was pretty slim. xx

  14. I just discovered you through the #vintagedecemberstyle on Instagram.
    So EXCITED by this coat – it’s absolutely gorgeous! Can’t wait to check out more of your blog.
    Happy holidays!

    • Oh thank you! Welcome, I’m so glad you found my little corner of the internet. I do hope you enjoy reading my posts. Happy holidays to you too! xx

  15. ARRRGH!!!! This is the Most amazing coat ever!!!! And the whole outfit has come together spectacularly!! Also the lining flash picture is definitely my favourite!! Love a flashy lining!!

    • Aw, thank you Christina! Yes, I couldn’t just do any lining in this coat, it had to be something spectacular. xx

  16. Gorgeous! The colors, the silhouette, the details, the impeccable sewing!!! Very inspiring work right down to the styling. I wouldn’t have been able to resist that lining fabric either <3

    • Thank you Bianca! I actually thought of you when I saw the lining because I know how much you love Autumn and a wonderful motif. The orange and brown leaves combine this perfectly! xx

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  18. This is an amazing outfit! The buttons on the coat really stand out and match with the bags and shoes! Well put together!

    • Oh, thank you! The buttons, and buckle, definitely are one of my most favourite parts of the coat.

  19. I would have never thought to put teal and orange together but they look great! I love the sleeves on the coat and all the topstitching. I’m super jealous of your hatpin! I recently finished a big project too, a skirt suit with a fully lined jacket, but I probably won’t get pictures on Instagram until after Christmas.

    • No, neither would I, but I just love the combination of the four colours on the hat, they go so well together. I will definitely keep them in mind for any future projects. I think ivory with touches of teal, orange and brown would look amazing! xx

  20. The sleeves to that coat are amazing, as is your rather beautiful Hat Pin. I just love everything about your style.

    • Aw, thank you Alexandra! The sleeves are definitely my favourite part of the coat. xx

  21. This is just the most amazing outfit. You are so very talented! The coat is glorious, both in colour and style. Such lovely details and those sleeves! Love the lining fabric too. The blouse is a fabulous colour and I see why you want more in that style.

    • Thank you Kate-Em! The blouse is one of those easy-to-wear styles but has so many classic 1930s details to it. It’s definitely a must style for my wardrobe. xx

  22. Gosh, that entire outfit is really splendid.

    I’m slowly improving my sewing skills, and your coat is such an inspiration.

    • Thank you Lisa! Learning to sew is always an on-going process and, even after 25 years of doing it, I’m still constantly finding things I don’t know. I hope you enjoy your own sewing journey! xx

  23. Thanks for sharing this amazing. In my opinion A coat without pockets is like Happy Hour without a beer and shot combo.Without pockets isn’t going to make you rue the day you bought it when you’re fighting your way through flurries of snow and have no place to tuck your hands.

    • Thank you! That’s what beautiful vintage gloves are for and you get to buy loads of different ones to compliment each coat!

  24. Cate the Christmas rush meant I didn’t get a chance to comment earlier – but I’ve been meaning to find a moment to say that this is surely the most *stunning* ensemble. Thrilled that you let rip with that ‘lining exposé’ image – how utterly marvellous. From the original hat inspiration, to your pattern drafting, execution and accessorising it’s just inspiring. I *adore* that lining, the buttons, the belt buckle – where to stop? I have just struggled with top-stitching the front seam on a skirt which I thought would be so simple – and yet, not – so I empathise with and am suitably impressed by, the top stitching of your seams. Such elegance – you have surpassed yourself. A very Happy New Year – can’t wait to see what 2018 will bring!

    • A very happy New Year to you too! That’s okay, I’m just catching up on all my blog reading too. Thank you so much for your lovely comments, you’re making me blush! This coat has actually made me fall in love with top-stitching, oddly enough. I made a skirt over the holidays that has it on it too. However, what has arrived this morning in the post, is a quilting sewing foot that has its own stitching guide on it. I’ve read that it’s fantastic for creating lovely neat top-stitching lines, so I’m dying to give it a go. I’ll let you know how I get on. xx

  25. Wow! Beautiful coat, stitch perfection, what an accomplishment!

  26. The coat is amazing and beautiful, as are you. Please may I have a picture of you in that whole outfit, coat, hat, shoes, purse, coat lining and orange blouse and will you sign it with the date and year??? ? In some sewing places there is what sewers I have known to call a “Mood Board” You tack onto the board anything that reminds you to be happy . Anything that inspires you. Please help me stay inspired. Please?

    • Hi Eleanor, it’s not really something I do, but you’re welcome to print out any of the images from that post if you wish. I really do appreciate your lovely comments though. xx

  27. Love the coat! In particular the colour and the sleeves. They are amazing!
    Also LOVE the handbag!!!

    • Thank you Gia! The sleeves seem to be a favourite of most people! xx

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