Polka Dot Obsession Coat aka Robson Trench

It’s definitely no secret that I love a good polka dot fabric and when I found this fabric a couple of years ago in Walthamstow for only £2/m I just had to get some. To me, it was screaming TRENCH COAT!!! It’s some kind of polyester, thick-ish,  reversible and pretty much windproof.IMG_6288I actually made most of this at the Melbourne Sewaway in June last year, but I didn’t finish it as there were a couple of fit issues, the binding was taking FOREVER and I ran out of thread! I procrastinated for a while after I got home and eventually finished it late last year, just in time to not wear it all summer! Typical!!


So, now the weather has cooled sufficiently and this coat has now become a bit of a staple. I wear it every day to and from work, it is the perfect weight to shelter from the slightly cool mornings we have here in winter. A normal winter morning in Brisbane is about 12-15°C – yeah not much to complain about huh?


The pattern is Robson Trench by Sewaholic with only a couple of modifications. The most obvious being the 4-5″ I took off the length. I did this for a couple of reasons, one, I am only 5’2″ so I normally shorten everything anyway, additionally I felt a knee length polka dot jacket might be a bit much. I also question the proportions of a knee length jacket on my figure.


The other alteration I had to do was take a serious amount of width out of the hip area. I cut my pattern based on my shoulder and waist measurements and can only assume I disregarded the hip measurement (even at the time I couldn’t remember). I had tried it on during the construction process, but it was only upon belting that the size became really evident. My fabric is firm-ish so the additional fullness poofed out really weirdly.

Word to the wise, try this on for size with a belt, well before doing all the bias bound seams. Ask me how I know…grrr. Unpicking all that bias and re-attaching it = not fun!! I ended up taking it in about 5″ around the hips.


Another note (which I didn’t find obvious on the pattern envelope) was that this uses a lot of thread – I used nearly 3 spools! (another reason this went into hiatus was running out of thread and forgetting to get more)

My final recommendation is to use a lighter fabric for the lining of the storm flaps. I used a cotton, mostly because I forgot to cut the lining pieces, but I am glad I did as in the fashion fabric it would have been too thick.

This really is an interesting project to sew. I love all the top-stitching detail, the tabs, sleeve and pocket detail. I am not a big fan of all the piping though and when I make this again will likely line it instead as this was a bit of a tedious process – even if it does look really good, if I do say so myself 😉


All being told, I really love this jacket. It probably doesn’t go with everything in my wardrobe given the colour and print, but I figure being outer wear that isn’t too important. I had to giggle the other day though when I was wearing this coat over a polka dot dress – is there really such a thing as too many polka dots??

35 thoughts on “Polka Dot Obsession Coat aka Robson Trench

  1. You can never have too many polka dots!

    Gosh I love this coat. Perfect length, perfect fabric. Definitely does not look homemade!!

    Pfft 12-15 degrees minimums … 😉

  2. In your case, there is no such thing as too many polka dots! Whenever I see polka dots I think of you.
    So great to see this finally up on the blog. Huge effort. Gorgeous coat.
    And I personally LOVE outer coats that are dramatic & a big contrast the rest of the wardrobe. There is nothing more striking than a sensational jacket – you rock this one.

    1. I remember that dress and wondered at the time if it was the same fabric. I remember commenting at the time but it’s not there so I guess the Internet ate it. The fabric would make a wonderful dress, it holds structure so well – I love your flora, just divine

      1. Thanks Lizzie! Sorry your comment went astray. It doesn’t surprise me. There have been some strange happenings on my site. I’m trying to get to the bottom of it though 🙂

  3. Oh I love it!

    I’m in the midst of making a Robson too and I know what you’re talking about with the firm fabric & hips issue – I’m debating removing some width too… Haven’t decided yet.

    I love your shortened version – it looks really lovely.

  4. I was s happy to finally get to see this one on 😀 It is truly smashing and so glad you hemmed it up- it sits beautifully!

  5. Your Robson looks fantastic. Unpicking the bias, what a journey! I’ve just got the button holes to put on mine and I’m done! I’m with you though, if I make the pattern again I would line it rather than binding all the seams.

  6. Polka dots are a Lizzie staple! I don’t think you could ever have “too much” on the polka dot front. Amazing work on this jacket! I have only just ventured into jacket territory so I think it will be a fair while before I ever tackle something this intense.

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