About the Dùn Èideann

This week’s feature pattern is my long, darted hem coat the Dùn Èideann, which is named after the Scottish Gaelic for Edinburgh city.

Did you catch my mood board for the Dùn Èideann when I was looking for testers? The overall design and feel I was going for was inspired by not only vintage Dior and Balenciaga cocoon coats but also Stella McCartney parkas from her Adidas collaborations (which I ADORE). This is a coat pattern I’ve been wanting for a long time and while I have certainly admired many patterns with a similar feel over the last couple of years, I opted to make my own knowing I could build in the particular features I was wanting. It was originally cut for a faux fur I picked up from Joel and Son’s sale but like the wax cotton parka version I’ve been dreaming of, I’ve not gotten around to making them up yet; rest assured they will be coming, the fabric is cut, it will just be a while until I get around to them!

First off I want to talk to you about the collar, it is massive. It is perfect for colder months or if you just like a large roll neck collar. You don’t need to interface the collar when you are sewing it up, however if you are using a particularly lightweight fabric or if your under collar is made with a slippier fabric then you may want to consider using a light to mid weight fusing. You can wear it a couple of ways, from fully closed, half closed to fully open; my favourite being half open with a scarf wrapped underneath it – warmth and comfort are everything to me.

Of course if you couldn’t make this coat without the collar it would be a pretty one dimensional pattern wouldn’t it?

This pattern makes up perfectly well without the collar for your spring/summer wardrobe. I made a point of making one up in a black cupro to see how the shape of the darted hem would handle such a lightweight drapey fabric – and there was no interfacing required! It has the look and feel of a duster in such a light fabric; team it up with a belt to add a bit of shape to the form without losing that hem and swisssh!

Next up, lets look at the sleeves; these are grown on to the coat side panels and have a generous cut which is in keeping with the overall exaggerated fit of the coat body. The sleeve cuffs are sewn on and designed to be turned up; with sleeve/cuff length sitting at just the right height for your deep coat pockets. The coat fastens all along the collar, and down the front to the pocket height – this is so you can still walk in it, if you fasten to the hemline then you can expect to walk like a penguin. My preferred notions for the coat fastenings are coat hook and eye fasteners or snap/magnetic fastenings on the inside placket. I wanted to keep the front line of the coat clean looking though it is perfectly acceptable to use buttons to fasten your coat, just watch out for those bulky layers when making your buttonholes.

Lets talk about the darted hem now; this is my favourite feature. I love the way that the darts give the hem 3D volume and shape! The body panels of the coat also sew together at the bottom as darts to keep that shape going all around the base of your coat. I’m not the biggest fan of a faced hem but I’ve added one to this coat for a number of reasons, number one being this was the best way to preserve the lines and details of my favourite feature.

This coat is a very quick sew overall, but the hem is a labour of love, why? Because one of the very last things that you will do on this coat is hand finish your hem facings with a blind hem or slip stitch, but don’t let that put you off, it is a very small amount of hand sewing and is intended to not only help you practice your couture sewing techniques but more importantly to not ruin your beautiful hem with a long machine stitch running through it.

So that’s your intro to the Dùn Èideann, next post will be a little more on what you need to get started, from sewing skills to fabrics.