Make a Spring Unlined Coat with Angela Pitcher Dowdell

Arrive November 22nd – 27th at Stiwdio 3, Cardigan
(Arrive Friday, tuition all day on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, leave Wednesday)
4 days tuition, lunch and evening meals £564
Maximum participants 6

Make your own perfectly fitting and stylish coat for the spring and autumn days when you need protection from the elements but don’t need extra warmth.

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What You’ll Make

Designer Angela Pitcher Dowdell is a fan of coats.  She believes a good coat is a key item in a successful wardrobe.  She also believes different coats do different jobs and that outfits can be made or betrayed by the choice of coat you pop on as you leave the house.  So this coat…

• Is perfect for those spring and autumn days when you need protection from the elements but you don’t need any extra warmth

• Looks great over jeans/trousers/dresses/skirts (Angela has test driven hers extensively!)

• Dare we say…. looks a bit more interesting and stylish than most other outer layers being worn by the people you see around you?!

This course is designed for those who have some sewing experience. i.e. you are comfortable using a sewing machine whether it is for making garments/curtains/quilting.  The course is fairly intensive so please expect fairly long days, you may have to return to your machines after supper so stamina is required! Probably the biggest challenge for most people will be working without pins!  The dry oilskin fabric will happily feed through a domestic sewing machine but you will need to learn a different set of skills for cutting and stitching this amazing fabric.

What is dry oilskin?  It is a ‘non-greasy’ version of the stuff you have probably seen in the form of a Barbour jacket.  It’s crisp, pretty light and so is perfect to make an unlined coat to keep the rain and dirt off your clothes.  Also it is a fabric that has the amazing quality of just looking better and better as it ages.

What’s Included

•Tuition from designer Angela Pitcher Dowdell (Maximum class size will be 6 participants)

•Paper pattern drafted by Angela using your personal measurements

•Dressmakers awl

•Sewing clips

•Hand creaser

•Bias tape maker


A four day sewing break is a brilliant opportunity to play with your own sewing machine and equipment.  This is not a beginners’ course so it is anticipated most participants will have reasonably well equipped personal sewing boxes.  Make it in Wales also have all this equipment available for loan if you are unable to bring your own – please just let us know if you would like to use it.  (We will always bring a couple of sewing machines as back up during a course but not one for every participant unless requested)

This is the equipment required as a minimum:

•Sewing machine (with size 90 needles) and all your machine accessories

•Tape measure

•Shears for cutting fabric

•Small scissors for cutting thread

•Seam gauge (small metal ruler with sliding guide)

•Pattern weights (these could be pebbles)

•Point turner (for GENTLY persuading corners to turn through)

Also useful if you happen to have them:

•30cm or 45cm ruler

•45 degree angle (could be a set square or quilters ruler)

•Quilting/patchwork ruler for marking parallel lines


The sample coat has been made using fabrics from Merchant and Mills.  You will need to buy

•3.9m of dry oilskin.  There are 10 colours available – ours is made using Grass.

•60cm of lightweight cotton to line the pockets, bolero and for bias bindings.  Our sample coat is made using Denim Blue Chambray also from Merchant and Mills.  You could use any light weight cotton fabric; plain, patterned, contrast or same colour. If the fabric width is less than 150cm then please purchase 80cm.

•10 buttons 23mm diameter.  These are the ones we used.

•300m Gutermann sewing thread to match your oilskin fabric.

 Since designing our sample coat, Merchant and Mills have added to their range of oilskin fabrics.  Please only purchase the PLAIN version of the DRY oilskin.  If you are unsure, please email us with your choice before purchasing.

Arrive Friday (any time from midday)

• Meet Angela and your fellow stitchers and have a good look at the sample coat.  You will try on one of the pre-made toiles so Angela can assess any alterations to be made to the pattern which has been drafted to your measurements.

• Angela will fine tune the patterns ready for a start on Saturday


• We will start making! During this first session you will cut your fabrics, make your belt and detachable bolero.



• Make your sleeves.

• Construct and attach your pockets.

• Assemble the main body of your coat.



•Construct your collar.

•Make and bind your facings.

•Attach your collar.

•Set in your sleeves.



•Buttonholes and buttons.

•Finish inside armhole edges.

•Have your Tah Dah moment!

 Leave after breakfast on Wednesday if you have travelled from afar


If you need somewhere to stay then please take a look at our recommendations for accommodation in Cardigan here. Get in touch with any questions and we’ll be happy to help!


At lunchtime and we will eat lunch from the Stiwdio 3 café. In the evening Debbie will serve two courses of fresh and delicious food made from local produce. Lunches and evening meals are included in your course ticket price.

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