Molly’s Coat

Some time ago, a lady on Etsy contacted us and asked, could we make a replica of the brown coat from the stories about Molly? We’d never made a garment from one of the American Girl books before, but we agreed to try it out. So, we checked out Molly’s Surprise from the library and pored over the sketches.

It was a simple coat — cut straight through the body, it had a charming little peaked hood and four toggle clasps down the front. Two large patch pockets completed the look. Our job: make it reality!

Finding the right color of wool was easy, thanks to the delightfully large selection at our local fabric shop. However, the toggles took a bit longer to find. Button manufacturers don’t often make many toggles — especially not tiny, doll-scale toggles!

We made sure that the hood kept the appropriate peaked shape; however, we added some piecing to the top that the original illustrations don’t show. It adds a bit of interest and is definitely in keeping with the feel of the original coat.

Then, for ease of wear, we put a vent in the back. We lined the whole coat with a luscious, butter-yellow silk charmeuse (it’s deliciously soft!) and also used it to make bias tubing for the toggle closures. We wrapped it into two loops, with a little knot in the middle — and voila, four little bows marching down the front of the coat!

When the coat was done, we all agreed — it’s a faithful reproduction of the coat in Molly’s Surprise, with a few of our own touches added. And, all in all, it made for a very successful, charming project!

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