November 9, 2015

New season, new coat: McCall’s 5525 trenchcoat

Just in time for all my undercover sleuthing needs: a tan McCall’s 5525 trenchcoat! It’s a classic for a reason, folks. I have a fantasy of a wardrobe full of a rainbowย of trenchcoats, but decided that I’d start with the workhorse classic, beloved of Burberry et al.

McCall's M5525 Trenchcoat / Cashmerette

This McCall’s pattern is a traditional trenchcoat, with all the bells and whistles you associate with the style: enormous collar, shoulder flap thinggummy-jig, cuff latches, back buttoned cape whatsit and tons and tons of topstitching (apologies for all the technical language folks, a true professional is speaking here). I went with View E (the pattern has some truly… “alternative” alternatives) and added the weird shoulder flap thing in for fun. The main reason I chose it over the trendier indie alternatives was the sizing, as this is a rare pattern that actually comes in true plus sizes, even though it’s still drafted for a small bust (boo). I went with a “straight” 22W which I knew would give me a decent amount of ease. I’m not sure whether that was the right choice – I feel a little swamped in it, and I’m wondering if I should have made the 20W with an FBA. But I hate princess seam FBAs… so. Who knows.

McCall's M5525 Trenchcoat / Cashmerette

When I was in London I assiduously spied on the thousands of women on the tube who were wearing trenchcoats, and scoped out what I wanted to add to the basic pattern (talking of which, I’ve got a separate post coming on fun additional things you can do to coat patterns). Two jumped out at me: that I wanted triple topstitching, which contributeย a certain trenchcoat je ne sai pas, and channel stitching, where you sew lines of parallel stitches to add rigidity to a piece and make it look cool. The triple topstitching is much in evidence on these photos, though unfortunately I didn’t get much on the channel stitching which was mostly on the pockets and undercollar.

McCall's M5525 Trenchcoat / Cashmerette

I’ll confess: the topstitching was hard! I used an edgestitch foot which is my #1 best friend, but it still meant being very, very careful and trying to stay parallel. Did I do it perfectly? No I did not. Did I rip out and re-do the princess seams 8 times? Yes, I did. But in the end, I think it’s passable, even if the ladies at Dior would faint on the spot.

McCall's M5525 Trenchcoat / Cashmerette

Check out my cape, Mum!

McCall's M5525 Trenchcoat / Cashmerette

One really bizarre thing about the pattern is the length of the cuff latches – I already shortened them by 3 inches and they’re still a solid 2 inches too long and keep catching on things. Might have to go back in and shorten them.

McCall's M5525 Trenchcoat / Cashmerette

For the main body of the coat i used this Theory “candied ginger” cotton twill from Mood, with buttons from Wawak, and this lovely Liberty silk satin from the crazy cheap Liberty shopย in London. Alas, I didn’t have enough lining to print match, but I won’t tell if you don’t. For fun, I added a little electric blue bias tape between the lining and facing for a wee pop.


So there we have it, a classic trench for the coat wardrobe (adding to my beloved Grainline Cascade duffel coat and massive collar coat, and my… less loved green coat). I’m not used to wearing double breasted coats so I do feel a little swamped in it.. We’ll see if I ease into it. I have some amazing Loro Piana waterproof coating from EmmaOneSock from ages ago so I need to decide whether it should be a trench or something else… Decisions, decisions!


Are you a trench fan? Have you tried any other patterns?ย And anyone want to join my new Private Detective agency? No seam allowance left unexamined!

72 thoughts on “New season, new coat: McCall’s 5525 trenchcoat

  1. sallie says:

    This turned out absolutely gorgeous! I’ve been lurking all your sneak peeks on IG and practically squealed with delight when I saw the finished trench pop up in my blogroll this morning! It’s so wonderfully classic and chic, and I love your lining and electric blue piping – such special touches! I think the fit looks really spot on – you might feel a bit swamped, but you look elegant, and maybe it’s because I always tend to not give myself enough room when I make outerwear, but I think the ability to wear layers underneath this is a HUGE bonus, because, you, know…. life, practicality, all that stuff. I am in total admiration of all the work that went into this, and you did a superb job! Congratulations!

    1. Thanks Sallie! While it’s fun to make crazy stuff, classics are definitely the workhorses of my wardrobe. And you’re right – it’s easy to over-fit and make things close fitting but actually having a bit of wiggle room is a good idea!

  2. Genevieve says:

    What a timely read, I’m planning a trench…Burberry-style…out of a luscious wool cashmere flannel that I scored for $14.99/yard. I just love the triple top stitching, your sewing is pretty darn great. Thanks for being YOU!

    1. Wow wool cashmere flannel sounds amazing! Good luck!

  3. Gill says:

    Wow, that is stunning and you look lovely in it!

  4. knitmo says:

    I had a short trench (in black) that fit fairly well over my HH bust and I wore it until it fell apart. It is an item of clothing that is sorely missed in my wardrobe and day to day. I need to replace it, and would like to sew it. However, the thought of all the fiddly pieces is a bit daunting. And it’s those details that make it.

    As of now, I have many other holes in my wardrobe that also need to be filled (and can be done so more quickly) than making a much-wanted trench.

    1. Trenchcoats are definitely useful, especially this time of year when the weather can’t make up its mind! There are indeed a lot of pieces (over 30 I think) but it’s pretty straightforward once you start. And finish ripping out all the topstitching ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Katy Gall says:

    So gorgeous. Do all the extra flaps serve any purpose (besides looking cool?)

    1. I *think* they’re meant to encourage rain to fall off you rather than cling to the coat, but i’m not entirely sure! Anyone else know?

  6. Well oh my goodness isnt that the nicest coat ever! Very impressive – I must use this post as a dangling carrot to perhaps get better enough through the year to make one next autumn! Yours is beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚ absolutely love the lining blue too

    1. Thanks Clyde! It’s definitely worth giving it a go.

  7. Carol S says:

    Now take it to the dry cleaners and have it treated to be water repellent.

  8. heather says:

    love it! you’re so talented! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Aw thanks! If you saw the topstitching up close you might think so a bit less though ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Oh Jenny! Your version of McCalls M5525 turned out beautifully! I just might have to dig out this pattern again and do a longer version of it….maybe in a shade subtle enough to quality for your detective agency. You’re right about the cuff bands….way too long…I had forgotten about that.

    1. Thanks Sue! Yeah the cuff bands are bizarre. Maybe someone at McCall’s was having a sneaky lunchtime drink that day.

  10. Heather says:

    I think this turned out fabulously and your topstitching looks amazing!! You are being to hard on yourself! I think it look so flattering on you! I’m a bit envious as whenever I try on a trench coat I look like a child playing dress up in her Mom’s work clothes. Perhaps it would be different if I made one myself.
    Also isn’t the tube a great place to spot cool fashions – it’s one of the reasons I love London!

    1. Ha, we’re always hardest on ourselves, right? I think trenches definitely have to be well-fitting to look good, so maybe you should give it a go!

  11. Tanya Maile says:

    So great to see the finished project! It sure looks awesome and will truly be a staple! I’m going to finish my trench up shortly that I started ummmm….a year ago…..

    1. Thanks Tanya! And you have to finish yours because PINK!

  12. sewmanju says:

    Wow Jenny this is fantastic. The details – especially your triple stitching – are beautiful. I know what you mean about the double breasted thing though…I am determined to make a single breasted coat (winter and trench)…there are so many double breasted pattern options out there and not so many single breasted. Maybe that’s an idea for a future pattern for you? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Thanks Manju! And great minds think alike because I was *just* talking with Carrie about how I tried to find a single breasted one but there isn’t a pattern out there… Watch this space!

  13. michelleinsea says:

    Your coat is gorgeous! I’ve got a UFO of this pattern…started, um, four years ago. I don’t think my version is ever getting finished at this point. ๐Ÿ˜›

    1. Ha, UFOs do have a tendency to just stare at you judgingly ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Grace says:

    Fabulous!! I love the triple top-stitching and the cuff cinches. I have no idea what the back cape thing-a-ma-jig is called but the one on front is called a “gun-flap”.

    1. Awesome! I’ll keep my gun there ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. crab and bee says:

    This is utterly classic! Wonderfully done. I hope you decide you love it because I think it looks great.

  16. Michelle says:

    Oh, this is gorgeous! I love that you chose to go with the classic khaki look. It’s timeless, for sure.

    1. Cheers Michelle! Yes I think this is one I’ll get a lot of wear out of.

  17. justine says:

    Wow! So gorgeous! I’m loving your top stitching!

  18. Sew Recipe says:

    I too have a dickens of a time sewing parallel to do topstitching. A double needle helped, but for triple stitching-which is so cool-I might have a bit of an anxiety meltdown. I think I may just have to add a coverstitch machine to my nursery in my office downstairs.

    1. Ha it definitely was a bit nerve wracking! But it does help if you have a speed dial on your machine and an edge stitch foot – slow and steady wins the race…

      1. Sew Recipe says:

        Those must be on the really cool machines I guess. My Bernina 350 doesn’t, but I know that some of their more complicated machines do. Is yours a Babylock or Husqvarna? I know those do too. I’m going to start putting out pamphlets on my husband’s pillow and possibly in his car. If I get desperate, I’ll put it on his motorcycle to remind him it’s my turn. mwahahaha.

        1. I have the Bernina 580 but some cheap machines do have the speed dial thing too! Most helpful though is the edge stitching foot which I think you can get for any machine pretty much

  19. Really smart Jenny. I don’t think you look swamped at all in it. I’ve a lovely silver-grey linen RTW trench I bought years ago in France and feel very chichi and grown up in it! It’s a timeless garment.

  20. Hannah says:

    Mmm, I’m crazy in love with this – the triple top stitching is gorgeous!

  21. Barb Nicoll says:

    I think you did a terrific job on your trench coat! It looks so professionally done. I love the lining!!

  22. Jo says:

    Love this! You’re definitely not swamped in it, the fit looks great. I’ve never wanted to sew (or wear, in fact) a trench but looking this cool is now seriously tempting! Plus the detective club, obviously… mmm might there be room for a navy blue member come spring??

  23. its fantastic, your looking like a real life Cashmerette PI! The trench looks fantastic and the detailing is brilliant, 100% times better than the Burberry – sadly not made in England anymore.

  24. Lynn (YSG!) says:

    I started this pattern, but it’s currently on time out in Area 51. Your version makes me want to go back and finish it! Oddly enough, I did make another trench coat, BWOF 9-2006-114 and absolutely LOVE it.

  25. Kerry says:

    Jenny I love your version of the 5525! The details although fiddly make this pattern stand out from the rest. Before I knew much about fit, I tried this one and it ended up a wadder. You may have me taking another look at this pattern for another go. Annnnnnnnd…..if you were possibly throwing around the idea of developing a single breasted version, I’d be first in line with my dollars.

  26. Jan says:

    Love it. I may have to check this pattern out myself. A spring deadline perhaps.

    Can I ask where you got your boots? Love them too.

    1. Hi Jan! They’re from DuoBoots in the UK which is now called Ted and Muffy ( Unfortunately they’re from years ago though so I dont’ think they have them any more! The cool thing about that company is they make them in calf widths.

      1. jannybean says:

        Oh. That’s awesome (wide calves) and sucky (old style, UK shipping). ๐Ÿ™‚ I am going to check them out for sure though. Thanks!

  27. A Fashion Addict says:

    You did an incredible job!!

  28. dokucug says:

    It’s just so beautiful! I’m a big fan of color, but I’ve also come to the conclusion that you just can’t beat a classic tan trench coat. I hope that when I get around to making mine, it looks as great as yours!

  29. Emma says:

    You have such fantastic taste! I want to steal so many things in your wardrobe…

    Speaking of which, any chance you have more of that fox fabric to sell on its own? I already have the pattern but I’ve become obsessed with a foxy Appleton dress. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Hi Emma – I do! I emailed you ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. spikeabell says:

    The triple top stitching looks rad, a great detail. On sizing, much worse to make a coat that’s too small and you realise you can’t fit a jumper on underneath or other unpractical things! It looks fab on you.

  31. ellegeemakes says:

    Burberry has nothing on your trench! I love the stitching, the back flap, and the cut. I think the size looks perfect – you want it to be a bit slouchy so that you can turn up that collar and hunker down when the weather begs you too.

  32. Tomasa says:

    Your trench coat is fantastic! You did a fabulous job – bravo! What a shame this pattern is out of print…

  33. I have NEVER considered a trench coat before, but after seeing your version, I’m in love! I don’t even want to make my own, I just want to steal yours! I’m swooning over everything–that huge collar, the back flap, your triple-stitching, your lining and piping, your buttons, the perfect color of that fabric. AWESOME make, girl!

  34. Janet says:

    Very impressive – I’m now itching to have a go at this pattern but I see it’s out of print ๐Ÿ™

  35. Love this! I’m actually planning a trench in Burberry wool I got from Mood. I’m going to use a Style Arc pattern with the same shoulder-flap-thingie.

  36. What an awesome classic! Love that triple topstitching touch and that lining! Checking out RTW versions is a great idea to get just what you want

  37. bimbleandpimble says:

    Boom! Classics are so worth the time and effort involved because this bad boy is never going out of style! Though the idea of prepping and cutting all those pieces is somewhat terrifying…

  38. Carolyn says:

    Your trench is awesome! You did such a great job on this!

  39. silentmoose says:

    Oh, I love this. Except, it’s out of print and I can’t find anyone who stocks it any more. Does anyone know of anywhere I can find it? Or does anyone have a copy they’d be willing to let me buy from them?

    1. SC says:

      Hi silentmoose — I bought an uncut copy of this on eBay (US) a few months ago, there are definitely copies floating around. Check Etsy too — good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Meg White says:

    You are so inspiring! I love the color of your green coat….. I was wondering if a self-belt might look nice with it.

  41. gingermakes says:

    This is really beautiful! What a perfect coat! The details really make it- it looks super expensive and you look super fancy! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  42. Donna says:

    After seeing your review on McCalls 5525 I knew I had to have this pattern, as it is no longer in print I searched the internet and the only one I could find was in the US, it was already cut but by a stroke of luck it was cut in my size so I purchased it. I brought some gorgeous fabric and layed it out and started cutting. It was not until I got to piece no 5 that I realised that the top bit had been ripped and it was missing. I have searched the internet for another copy with no luck. I was wondering if any one had a copy cut in size 22 the could trace around the top part and post it to me. I would of course pay for the postage. I can e-mail a picture of the bit that is missing. I would be eternally greatful if someone could help.

    1. Donna says:

      I forgot to mention I live in the UK โ˜บ

      1. Anne says:

        Donna, do you still need the top of piece number 5? I can help out…

        1. Donna says:

          Hi Anne, yes i do, that’s great news thank you! My e-mail address is I can email you a picture of the bit that is missing.

          Donna ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. Catherine Lavergne says:

    Hi Jenny – thank you for being so generous with your knowledge – I especially appreciate the many useful tips you provided about coat making. Your research and comments are very useful.
    I loved your trench so much, I searched for and purchased the pattern online. About to finish the muslin, got most of material. Pretty excited about the project.
    My question to you is : what kind of interfacing do you used here? My coat fabric has quite a bit of body, wondering how much stiffness to add…Thank you!

Let me know what you think!