This fast and easy unlined coat with bias binding finishing doesn’t have a lining or shoulder pads. You can quickly make your own bias binding to finish the inside. Even with fast sewing we still want our garments to look structured and well made. Below are my favorite tips on where to use interfacing, and how to finish the inside with bias binding or with a serger using contrasting colored wooly nylon thread. I made my own bias binding—its so easy!

Some design details that you don’t want to miss:

  • I designed the sleeve with a raised sleeve cap and it’s meant to be set in from the tip of your shoulder a little bit, meaning that the shoulder seam is meant to be a little shorter. When you are tissue fitting don’t correct this!
  • This coat has a three-piece sleeve, because your arm doesn’t hang stick straight so why should your sleeve? It bends gently at the elbow and is shaped with darts and a curved over-arm seam. Make sure not to press it down too flat. Use pressing tools to press your seams open. Then to one side to do your top-stitching.
  • Top-stitching is optional, but suggested—it will keep the edges of your overcoat flat and make the seams stronger.
  • There is a slight curve on the front jacket closure; make sure to sew smoothly and slightly round and not pivot to a right angle.
  • There are side panels rather than a princess seam, so if you need to do a FBA (Full Bust Adjustment), you only have to do it on the front piece, not the side panel.
  • There are inseam pockets between the side panel and front!
  • The front is fully faced with self-fabric.

Tips for sewing outerwear:

  • Bias bind your inside exposed seam allowances. Try using a contrast cotton or silk fabric for a unique touch on the inside!! You can buy pre-made bias binding at the store or make your own by cutting strips on the bias. Also, most modern sewing machines come with a bias presser-foot that makes the application super easy! See this blog post for a how to:
  • Another creative option is to use variegated cotton crochet thread in the upper looper of the serger to finish seam edges, as was done on this unlined wool jacket.

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  • The coat design gives you the option of a snap closure. You can choose to sew the snaps to just one layer of fabric or through both layers. Sometimes tight bar tacks to secure the snap can be a nice design detail visible from the outside of the garment. Make sure to choose a large enough snap to match the heaviness of your fabric.
  • Use PerfectFuse Medium interfacing on the front and back facings and with bias strips in the hems. This will add some nice weight to the hems of the jacket to keep it looking new for years. Then use PerfectFuse Light in the jacket fronts. This will give you a little more warmth and structure to the front of the jacket and don’t worry, it will be hidden completely by the facing.


Many of the great techniques I used for this guide are from the “Jackets For Real People” book by Marta Alto, Sue Neall, and Pati Palmer. This book has great information and techniques for sewing jackets, blazers, and overcoats.

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Easy Bias Binding:

  1. Mark your bias line with a 45 degree fold by lining up the cross grain and the selvage of fabric. Bring the edges together and press along that fold.
  2. Decide how wide you want your binding to be. For my coat, I wanted the finished binding to be 1/2″, so times that by 4 = 2″ and draw parallel lines 2″ away from your bias fold line. I used a sharpie so I could see it on this bright colorful fabric.  IMG_2213
  3. Cut your 2″ strips out along the lines you just made. IMG_2218
  4. Use the bias tape maker and iron to press your strips into binding.


Mock Hong Kong seam finish sewing tips are in the Palmer/Pletsch Couture book on page 62. The author Roberta Carr passed her book on to couture instructor Marla Kazell who did the recent update of the book, for couture workshops, contact

That’s all! So easy! Would love to see your overcoat makes on social media! Just remember to hash tag #M7479 or @melissawatsondesign.

Thanks for reading!

X Melissa

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. NitaB

    Thanks for sharing!!!!

  2. Annie

    What an attractive coat, even without the pretty binding. Yes, I need this, thanks!

  3. Elizabeth

    Lovely coat, I am feeling very inspired to sew this for the fall. Putting it on my pattern wishlist! The Jackets for Real People is such a helpful resource and I used it this winter to guide my construction of a wool jacket.

    1. Melissa Watson

      Thanks so much Elizabeth! Cannot wait to see your version of the coat! I agree too JFRP is one of my faves!

  4. 33Raymundo

    I must say it was hard to find your website in google. You write awesome articles but you should rank your
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  5. Portia

    Dear Melissa, I finally got around to sewing the coat M7479. The result makes me totally happy. I can honestly say that I have never sewn from such a perfectly constructed pattern. I also used the HongKong hem technique for the very first time and I am thrilled! Thank you for this great pattern.

  6. Liz Selby

    How can I add a lining to an unlined blazer pattern?

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