Zebra print Spearmint! Lolita in the house!

Have you seen it? The new Lolita Patterns coat?

click on the image to go to the Lolita Patterns shop

I made this coat up as a wearable muslin and once it was done making it, I started wearing it all the time in Autumnal Indiana and now that I’m visiting my family in California, I’m wearing it every day!

I had this zebra print sateen in my stash from Fabric Mart but I intended this fabric to become pants. I got disinterested in the pants idea and grabbed it for testing Spearmint. Who knew I’d wear a zebra print coat every day!! I’d continue to joke that “I don’t know who I am” but I’m okay with this new/discovered side of me that gets stared at walking through a grocery store in an animal print coat!

collar flounceback shot  collar cute sleeve shotfull coat proper

And here’s an often unused pic of me and my 7yo. She dances around a lot, especially now that she’s in a school production of The Nutcracker! Oh, that girl.

Spearmint dancing childthree quarters

And because I love this coat so much, here are some photos taken back home in Indiana that I wanted to share. (Overdose of pictures means I likes it!)

Spearmint porchspearmint closeup flounce

I used crinoline instead of hair canvas for my collar so it’s really stiff…all the better to get a Cruella DeVil look!! Isn’t that collar cool! spearmint collar up

The thing to know with the collar is that, in order to get the flounce to fold the way mine is, you need to put on a movie and just press, press, press! You can leave it open but this way you get more chest coverage. I also wear a scarf with my Spearmint for more warmth.

Why do I need warmth in CA, you ask? Yeah, I brought a cold spell. Sorry.

I love the length on this coat, too. Next one (I already have fabric and lining picked out!) will be the shorter one. I have this idea to muslin it to make sure it would go over this poufy petticoat I just made this week. How adorable would that be?! I’ll detail whatever I do. Swearsies.

spearmint full coat

Fit and Alterations

The Spearmint packaging calls it “fashionable outerwear” and it’s more of a California coat. You know what I mean. It’s a coat but you could only really use it in colder climate Autumn.

I cut a 12- one size larger than my measurements called for and got the fit you see above! I wear a cami, a top, a wool ballet sweater and a cardigan and the coat fits nicely. However, if you want to fit more under your coat, you’ll want to either go up 2 sizes from your measurements and maybe add some sleeve room. I found I had enough room in the body but not enough in the sleeves to get a thicker sweater on.

I also did a forward neck alteration (and no forward shoulder…interesting). I did this on my third working with a Truly Victorian pattern and got such a nice fit I thought I’d just do it right on the pattern. Below you can see how I raised the back just at the neck. That accounted for how my head likes to projectile forward. Yeah, nice image. I know!


You’re going to temporarily think me insane…but I didn’t do an FBA!!

Are you okay? Did you survive the shock?


As you can see above, I cheated and added one size to the side seam of the side front piece and eyeballed adding to the front of the side front piece. Most of my bust is from apex (don’t want to get spam for saying the “n” word) to the underarm so that’s where I added room.

Where you add to your princess pieces will depend on how your bust tissue is shaped. I also didn’t want to fiddle so much with the lining pieces and adding to the sides of the side front piece were going to give me bewb room and make the alterations easy to transfer to the lining.

As you can (sorta) see below, I put my altered fashion pattern piece (the pieces of the outer coat fabric are different than the lining) over the lining piece and added the same amount to the side.

For the amount I added to the front of the side front piece, I actually added it to the front of the lining piece, rather than slashing and spreading it.


I don’t know what I did wrong on my right hand pocket but it gapes! The left one doesn’t so I know it’s me. The pockets do gape if you have a ton of stuff in them- y’know, besides your hands. I’ll figure it out for the next one.

I haven’t mentioned construction yet! This coat uses tie interfacing to prep the sleeve head for putting into the coat and it makes such a difference. Also, it’s just drafted so well. The only thing people might have issue with is that you might want to size up, but as long as you know, you’ll be fine.

The instructions also have you lining everything on a sewing machine. The only thing you do by hand is tack the bound buttonhole front to the facing! Here are some photos of the lining. Wrinkled, yes, because it’s getting worn and I made it weeks ago.

Next time…

  • I’ll lower the bust apex (it’s way too high as it is but it’s hidden by both the print and the collar so as far as a wearable muslin, I’m fine with it.)
  • Make view A- the shorter one
  • I’ll use hair canvas
  • Use wool
  • Not sure how I want to wear this next coat I’m making. I think I’ll just make it as another transitional coat.

What do you think of Spearmint? Would you make it? Do you think I could draft a different collar? I love the fit of Spearmint (except for the high bust apex) and once you get through cutting everything, the construction flies by! I’m kinda thinking of playing with Spearmint to make this coat:

Head on over to the Lolita Pattern site to pick up your copy of Spearmint! We’re also doing a pattern bundle, if you’d like to get a deep discount on the 3 recent patterns!

And for a short time only, you can get 15% off Spearmint, since it’s in pre-sale mode right now! Check out the Spearmint release post Amity put up, too! I’m gonna go enjoy me some more coat making!


28 thoughts on “Zebra print Spearmint! Lolita in the house!

  1. CGCouture says:

    Awesome coat! Love the zebra print, and I think it’s definitely better used here than on pants, though the pants might have been pretty cool too. 😉

    I’m intrigued by your FBA method–I’m going to have to try it because I have similar issues (is that the right word?) with the way I need the FBA to fit. The slash/spread and pivot method both seem to make things too wide for me just above the bust. Is this similar to you? And considering how much weight I’ve lost with this pregnancy, I’m hoping I won’t need the full abdomen adjustment once the little guy gets here, which I used to fudge with the excess from the FBA.

    • Leila says:

      Yeah sometimes I think just adding a bit here and there works better for me, especially on a coat that doesn’t have a bust level closure. I’d probably do a real FBA on a coat that closed all the way up.

  2. mrsmole says:

    I see you have a center back seam, and using a forward shoulder adjustment might just be easier to use a slash and spread for a rounded back which allows the neck edge to sit higher on the body and feel more comfortable. 99% of my clients need this adjustment on their patterns. Front princess seams should always sit on the apex and if you know your measurement it should carry from one pattern to another and never wander off towards the side seam unless the bulk under a coat needs it. I made a similar coat in black and white zebra for a client and she wanted black homemade piping in every seam and edge…it took 15 yards but looked fabulous! The longer length looks way better than the shorter version!

    • Leila says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed comment! This is very helpful. The bit about the princess seam especially. I can’t imagine doing piping on all the seams but I can imagine it was quite spectacular.

  3. Laurie says:

    Oohhh- YOU brought the freaking cold spell! I am tired of shivering in my bed every night. Take it back!!! …Great coat. I LOVE the frills and the cut. This is totally my style. I am adding the pattern to my Christmas list. (I better nag my kids now!) 😀

  4. velosewer says:

    Oh wow. Now that’s a coat! I love the big zebra print you’re used. I can see why you wear it all the time.
    I think I’ll be planning the next Speamint in my head until autumn arrives here.

    • Leila says:

      Thank you! I love yours, too! And this coat works so well as a transitional outer layer. It’s been perfect for California winter, which is not the winter I’m used to. 🙂

  5. Brooke says:

    Love your zebra version! And the photo of you and your daughter. =)

    And oh. my. GOSH! I want to make that last photo! We can totally change the collar on the Spearmint pattern to make it match that! I was thinking I wanted to change the collar (because I don’t need two with ruffles) but I couldn’t decide what to do that was special enough for the flare at the bottom. That is definitely IT! And I’ve already narrowed my neckline a bit… okay, now I need some fabric (because I don’t think I have what I want in my head).

    • Leila says:

      Thanks Brooke! Yeah, that girl is something. She’s pretty cute. I know what you mean about the flare! I’m now thinking I want to shorten the body of the coat by 5″ so that I get the bottom sweep but also the nice shaped waist…since now I have this awesome ginormous petticoat that needs a coat to go with it! 🙂

      • Brooke says:

        Taking off the 5″ is probably putting your coat around the length my Spearmint is (I did the test version A which was shorter than I think her final pattern ended up being) and it would be a great length with your petticoat!

      • Leila says:

        The thing I need to muslin is the waist. As it is right now, the coat squishes the petticoat! And that’s no good. That’s why I thought bringing it up at the waist would do the trick. Muslining first.

  6. Gjeometry says:

    Yesss! Zebra print was totally the right choice for this coat, it’s so dramatic, I love it! I find the neckline a bit too open for my taste (and warmth requirements), but I do love the ruffles.

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