How to Make a Blanket Coat

Written by colette mccormick
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How to Make a Blanket Coat
The blanket coat was the winter garment of the Plains Indian. ( Images)

A blanket coat is a basic garment that can easily be made in just a few hours. Originally, it would have been made and worn by trappers and hunters that lived in the mountain regions of America. It is also the traditional winter coat of the Plains Indian. Although the coat is easy to make and very basic, you can adapt the one you make by adding buttons and belts.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Double blanket
  • Tape measure
  • Paper for the pattern
  • Dressmaker's chalk
  • Dressmaker's pins
  • Dressmaker's scissors

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  1. 1

    Take the measurements of the person you're making the coat for. Measure around the thickest part of his body, which is usually the shoulders but could be the stomach or the chest, and make a note of this measurement as the "girth." Add 6 inches to the girth if you'll be using buttons, or add 14 inches if you're going to overlap the coat. Measure straight down from the middle of the shoulders to the midcalf area and record that as the "length." Measure from the centre of one armpit around the back to the centre of the other armpit to give you the "armpit span," and finally, measure the distance between the centre of the neck at the back to the wrist to give you the "sleeve" length.

  2. 2

    Transfer the measurements onto paper to make the pattern. If you have experience in making your own clothes, you'll probably feel confident enough to draw the pattern straight onto the blanket using dressmaker's chalk, but the novice should draw the pattern on paper first.

  3. 3

    Lay the blanket on a flat surface and transfer the pattern onto it. Lay the "girth" near the top of the fabric so that it's parallel to the bottom. Pin it into place and draw around it with dressmaker's chalk. Carefully cut around the area that you've marked out.

  4. 4

    Take the body piece of the coat that you have just cut out and fold it to find the centre line (backbone). To make the armholes, you need to measure a distance that's equal to armpit span + 2 inches for small sizes, 3 inches for medium sizes and 4 inches for large sizes. Cut slits approximately 7 inches deep, which will be slightly short, but can be deepened later when sleeves are sewn on.

  5. 5

    Place the pattern for the sleeves onto the blanket and pin, chalk and cut out like you did with the main body part.

  6. 6

    Sew along the length of the sleeve using a blanket stitch. A blanket stitch is formed by pushing the needle through the material, then inserting the needle through the loop of thread and pulling the thread until it's taut. Attach the sleeve to the main body of the coat by sewing it into the hole that you created at the shoulder. Increase the size of the hole if you need to.

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