Pattern Review: BCN Unique Patterns Cassock Coat

ETA on October 19: Paco was gracious enough to send me a sizing chart for his patterns, which I have added at the bottom of this post. Thanks, Paco!
a.k.a. “Paco Peralta’s Cassock Coat” I’ll preface this review with the disclosure that Paco is a dear friend of mine, so I am undoubtedly biased in my opinions. That said, I paid full price for this pattern. I get nothing for any recommendations I may make. I did not contact Paco about it nor did he ask me to blog about it. So go ahead and read and interpret my review with however many grains of salt you think are warranted. 🙂

Pattern Description: Pretty close fitting, lined, shoulder-princess-line coat. In-seam pockets and two piece, shaped sleeve. Button closure. Choice of rounded collar or collarless. I made the collarless version

Sizing: I believe this comes in 38-50. I made a 42.

Available as a PDF? No. Each pattern is hand drawn. How cool is that???

Fabric Used: A really wonderful pre-interfaced mohair blend bouclĂ© from Gorgeous Fabrics (of course!). Alas, it is sold out, but You Can Find Similar Fabrics Here. For the lining, I used a Yves-Saint-Laurent-Pink silk charmeuse that has been in my stash forever. It may have come from Gorgeous Fabrics, but I’ve had it so long it might even predate the business. Don’t you love having a stash?

Pink silk lining, with Paco’s label

Machines and Tools Used: Pfaff 2130 home machine, Naomi the Naomoto. Tailor’s ham, shoulder stand, silk organza press cloth, strips of file folders for pressing. If I think of anything else I’ll let you know.

Needle/Notions Used: Universal 80/12 needle for the bouclĂ©, Universal 65/9 for the lining. “Cigarette” sleeve headers and Japanese basting thread from Susan Khalje (full disclosure, also a friend, but again, no affiliation and no solicitation). Japanese hand sewing needles that were a gift from a friend. Vintage shoulder pads, silk organza scraps, thread, buttons (temporary).

Tips Used during Construction: Anything by The Pressinatrix, Using Pins to Mark Start/Stop Points, The Case for Muslins

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? There are none. If you have a working knowledge (i.e. you consider yourself intermediate or thereabouts in your sewing skills), you should be able to work out the construction. These patterns are so beautifully drafted that they sew together quite easily. If you have a good sewing book handy, you are good to go.

Construction Notes: You can see most of my construction notes in my post about the Coat’s WIP. I ran up the muslin, and because the fabric is pretty thick, I added about 1/8 inch to the seamlines below the bust. The good news? I didn’t need an FBA, and I didn’t need to lower the bust point. THANK YOU PACO, on behalf of real women everywhere!!

Other than that, I didn’t make any changes.

I made buttonholes with my Pfaff, and I bought some inexpensive buttons at the local JoAnn. My friend Rosie is going to Paris soon and she volunteered to get me buttons while she is there. These look fine, but oo la la – I can’t wait to see what she comes back with!

Likes/Dislikes: How do I love this coat? Let me count the ways… Seriously, I love that I did’t have to change the bust point from a 13-YO-model bust to a real-woman bust. I love the fit through the shoulders. I love the lines. Really, there’s nothing I don’t love about this coat. I put it on (no makeup today so no pictures of me in it, sorry) and showed it to DH, and his reaction was, “That’s so elegant!” That’s why I married that man!

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Yes and yes! I’m thinking about shortening it and making a car-coat length. One thing to note is that this doesn’t have the massive amounts of ease you may be used to with some coats. In the 42, I can wear sleeves, but not a chunky sweater underneath it. So if you want to wear thick garments underneath, you may want to adjust the pattern or go up a size.

Conclusion: A FABULOUS pattern. I love it, and it will get lots of use this winter and many to come. Here are pictures of the finished coat.

Front with temporary buttons, but they aren’t too bad.
The back looks less interesting, but it moves so beautifully
Showing off the lining
How beautiful is that sleeve, I ask you?

I just love this coat. I’ll wear this with a scarf at the neck and boots for the winter. This is a wonderful pattern and I really recommend it.
Happy sewing!

BCN Unique Patterns Size Chart:

Paco Peralta Sizing Chart

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Gorgeous Fabrics

I own an online fabric store, www.GorgeousFabrics.com. The name says it all!

27 thoughts on “Pattern Review: BCN Unique Patterns Cassock Coat”

  1. Ann – this is lovely! Your husband used the right word to describe it – elegant. I don’t think I’ve seen a bad version of this pattern sewn up yet – and I didn’t realize that Paco hand drafted each pattern. Wow! And yes, I’m co-signing the stash/collection love…especially since I wouldn’t be sewing these days without mine!

  2. That is one fabulous coat! With the weather this weekend, I’m sure you will get some use soon. ;). Can you explain the use of the cigarette padding in addition to shoulder pads?

    1. It’s not padding for the shoulders, Rita. It’s a sleeve head, which is sewn at the shoulder seam, but sticks out into the sleeve cap, giving a bit of support to the sleeve at the shoulder. It makes the sleeve fall smoothly without collapsing at the shoulder.
      Does that make sense?

  3. This really is an elegant jacket. I love the pink, silk lining. It is the perfect backdrop for creating many looks with so many different scarves and boots to choose from!

  4. Where is sizing information for the pattern(s)? I gather they are European sizes, but what do the numbers correspond with? Thanks

  5. Nicely done and I’m glad you went with the pink lining. I wonder if you can still buy those fur or mock fur collars. The collarless version gives you tons of scarf options. Love it.

  6. Ann…your coat is simply STUNNING! I appreciate your detailed description of construction and how the pattern is drafted. Just the fact that you don’t need an FBA…very appealing since I have the same body type but shorter 5’3″ Hooray for Paco Peralta! I’m impressed and will be buying that pattern soon! Thanks for sharing your masterpiece.

    1. I dunno – I haven’t worn it outside yet 🙂
      The buttons are placed so my core stays covered, which will keep me pretty warm. If you worry about the winter Boston wind (a legitimate thing, too), you can add a couple more buttons or re-space the 4 buttons on there. Another option is putting one or two big snaps to give you additional closures that are more subtle.
      HTH!

      1. Yeah, that does help. I’m thinking about making a coat, but since I’ve never made a coat before, and this will only be my second Boston winter, I don’t know whether I should interline the coat with some kind of windblocking material or add extra insulation. My walks are typically an hour or longer, way too long to put up with an inadequate coat!

        1. I made a bouclé coat several years back that I underlined with cotton flannel. I washed the flannel in hot water and dried it 3 times before cutting to get all the shrinkage out. That coat was SUPER warm. So a wind blocker or a flannel would probably serve you well. HTH!

          1. sorry to jump in the middle of this conversation, but not sorry enough to resist. Gorgeous Fabrics, you mentioned underlining with flannel. i am getting ready to start a winter coat project, and i need more warmth than the wool coating can give me by itself. i am still getting my terminology straight. when you say “underlining”, does that mean underlining the coating with flannel and treating the two as one? Or underlining the lining with flannel and treating those two as one? either/or?

            thanks so much!

          2. I underlined the outer shell (the bouclĂ©) with the flannel. Partly because it was a pretty open-weave fabric, so the underlining also gave it some stability. If I was making the outer shell from, say, a “harder” fabric like a melton, I would underline the lining. If it was a softer fabric like a flannel I would probably underline the flannel rather than the lining.
            Does that help?

  7. That is beautiful. The pattern resembles my favorite coat (RTW), that I’ve owned since high school. It is such nice quality, you’d never guess it’s 30-something. If it does wear out, i will have to try Paco’s.

    I envy your fabric! it makes such a difference to sew with high quality materials. I guess that’s my only rub with your reviews. You taunt us with beautiful fabrics that always seem to be sold out. 😉

  8. i’m replying to your reply above!

    yes, the different options you described for underlining do make sense. thank you for talking through several different scenarios!

    additionally, your coat looks quite classy indeed. i can’t wait to see the real life pictures.

  9. This coat is a winner! For business, Christmas shopping in NYC, weddings, funerals, meeting Queen Elizabeth: perfection. Congratulations and thanks for the inspiration.

    This kind of result is my #1 reason for wanting to sew: a level of quality and fit that is totally unaffordable to buy, and, mostly a pleasure to make. (My #2 reason: freedom to invent my own designs.)

    Technical question. Did you pre-treat this interfaced boucle or the silk fabric before sewing it up? Steam-shrinking, anything?

    1. I didn’t Judy. I will only dry clean it, and even that not more than once a year at the local “couture” cleaners that I trust with all my bouclĂ©s. They know how to treat them 🙂

  10. Ann, I never take anything you post with salt. I’ve read and seen your work for some time now, and really trust what you write and show about home garment construction. The coat is beautiful. Beautifully drafted pattern, and that’s according to what you say, so I’m on board with that, and beautifully constructed. It couldn’t look better if Paco’d (may I use his first name….I don’t know him…or you…personally, but after reading his posts and seeing his exquisite work I feel as though I do ;-)….) made it himself.

    Kudos kiddo.

  11. The cassock, or soutane, is an item of Christian clerical clothing used by the clergy of Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and Reformed churches, among others. “Ankle-length garment” is the literal meaning of the corresponding Latin term, vestis talaris. It is related to habit traditionally worn by nuns, monks, and friars.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Ramesh. I am well aware of the background of the cassock, and the garments to which Paco Peralta referred in naming his pattern. I’ve made several pieces of liturgical costumes for the Roman Catholic Priest at my church. While I appreciate your input, I am afraid I don’t allow outside advertising on my blog, so I’m going to remove your links. But thanks for your input!

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