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Shirley Adam's Coats4Kids Projects have inspired thousands around the country to get on the ball and help out needy children. Just print out the instructions and talk to your local retailers about donations, find volunteers and start sewing.
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Here's an old and new combination: the 4000 year old Bog Coat. Use Polar Fleece (available almost anywhere) because it is exceptionally warm, inexpensive considering its use, and super easy to handle. The time involved is an hour or so depending on what embellishments and features you employ. Cost is $5 to $35 depending on size and embellishments. For whom do you make this? In schools and homeless shelters there are children who are cold and need your help. Reach out to these little people. This is one group of people who do not contribute to their predicament, but are so often overlooked. Everyone thinks someone else will help - you and I ARE the someones! So many different groups can direct you to those in need: Kiwanas Club, The Salvation Army, the Red Cross, YWCA, boys and girls' clubs and your local church. coatdiagram
This is a patternless coat. All you need are a few body measurements.

diagram
With arms down, measure from a wrist up to the shoulder, across to the other shoulder and down to the other wrist. This is the width of fabric needed.

For fold-up cuffs, add 4" to 6" more. Incorporate this great feature if your little person might not have gloves. It also allows for growth for longer duration.
diagram
Measure from front chest at underarm level, over the shoulder, down to cover torso. Buy this length of fabric. My sample coat for a size 4 to 6 child took 2/3 yard of 60" fabric. Add extra inches depending on how long you want this coat.
This is all there is to the coat: Cut a flat fabric from both sides about half way to the center.

Remove a teardrop from the center top. Fold the top down 6" (this is one-half the 12" top mark length), the body sides (the other 12" under the arm cut line) around, and you have a warm coat.

Complete with a little stitching, collar, pockets, and fasteners. Make as simple or elaborate as you wish

This is the left 40" of the above pattern layout.
Cutting Diagram sizes 4 to 6 Change dimensions as needed.
patternless coat layout
Step 1: Lay out fabric as diagrammed and sketch cut lines. Separate 60" panel into 40" body and 20" collar. Cut out separate pieces as marked for collar, pockets, chest strips, and teardrop neck hole. {short description of image}
This is the 40" body panel without the chest strips cut.
Step 2:Serge right side of collar edge to wrong side of neckline. Trim off excess collar at end. attach collar
Step 3: Turn sleeves right sides together and serge. Press all three serged areas. Turn sleeves right side out.
Step 4: Fold pocket pieces down 1 1/2" at top and topstitch in place.
Step 5: Turn under 2" of each center front edge. Stitch in place for facings. turn under 2" of each center front edge
Step 6:Fold coat sides around to front. Butt edges together, and wide zigzag to connect upper and lower coat areas. This joining will slightly extend into collar. Cover this zigzagged area with chest strips and topstitch in place both above and below joining for strength. Trim off excess.
Step 7: Stitch patch pockets in place.

Step 8:Construct buttonholes and sew on buttons or clamp on gripper snaps.
The basic Bog Coat or Patternless Coat from Series 1, 9, 12, now give it some style.
Option 1: Cut bottom edges, pockets and collar edges with pinking shears or a pinking rotary blade.
Option 2: Step 1: Cut collar 7" high. After coat is finished, slash 3" deep for fringe.
Option 3: Step 1: Cut collar 10" high, higher at lower ends. Sew top edges together for hood.
Option 4: Step 7: Before final assembly: Decoratively stitch or machine embroidery pictures, patches, just about anything on the pockets or center fronts.
Option 5: Step 6: From the excess fabric in the 20" panel area labelled "scrap," cut 4" wide strips to cover joinings and stitch in place. Slash up to stitching line for fringes.
Option 6: Step 8: Make these toggle buttons by folding a strip of polar fleece in half lengthwise, stitching a scant 1/4" from fold, trim off close to stitching line.

Topstitch folds of these strips on the coat front leaving edge loop large enough for your buttons.
Option 7: Step 8: My toggle buttons had large holes. Rather than sewing on with thread, I made (as the loops above) stitched strips. Push the ends through to the front side leaving a loop on the backside to allow them to loosely dangle. The knot tied on front side has several hand stitches going back and forth so it can't come untied. Cut strips ends off short.
toggle buttons
You could make the lower edge more fitted. Add a tab and button on each side to hold a fold in place. Lower edges could be laced, flat locked, etc.

There is endless opportunity here for embellishing if you are so inclined. Embroider, appliqué, add all manner of fun as you wish. The pretty fabric colors will carry the whole project if you opt to add nothing extra.
Where there's a sewer there shouldn't be a cold child.
This coat has machine embroidery trains on the pockets, cuffs and a hood. You could do a circus parade with your machine embroidered animals.
This is a little western style with attached fringe at chest line and collared fringe as top, add cuffs with no fringe.
This has decorative flowers embellished along the collars, chest band and pockets.

You can make all of these styles plain for even longer wearability.
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