A chef coat is the standard uniform of restaurant heads and sous chefs alike. The coat provides a way for the entire kitchen staff to recognize the chef and makes it easy to spot him in the kitchen if assistance is needed. An excellent chef coat is made of durable fabric, but is still light and breathable to accommodate for the hot kitchen atmosphere.
Items you will need
- Measuring tape
- Chef coat pattern
- Low-end interfacing
- Disappearing ink pen
- White high-end cotton fabric
- White thread
- Closure mechanisms, such as buttons, knots or hooks
Obtain your measurements. Most chef coats fall slightly below the waist and fit close to the body. With these characteristics precise measurements are important.
Select a pattern. Chef coats are a uniform that is not commonly in demand, so you will likely need to find a pattern online. Websites such as Rawfoodchef.com and Ebay.com are excellent places for purchasing a chef coat pattern. You may also find out-of-print patterns from major companies such as McCall's.
Read the instructions in your pattern from beginning to end, making note of anything that seems confusing or that you are unfamiliar with. Make a list of all notions as well as the necessary amount of fabric for the chef's coat.
Purchase your fabric. Cotton or bamboo fabrics are by far the best choices for chef coats because they are both breathable and washable. If desiring a coat that will last and not fade, consider using Egyptian, Turkish or organic cottons, as the fabric's threads are thicker and tend to retain dyes better.
Preshrink the fabric by washing it in hot water and drying it completely.
Open up the pattern pieces and place the interfacing on top of them. Trace the various pieces onto the interfacing, making sure to label each piece and trace all of the markings and notations as well. This will allow you to avoid cutting your actual purchased pattern, so that it can be used again.
Cut out the interfacing pattern pieces.
Pin the pieces onto the fabric.
Cut out the various pieces and use a disappearing ink pen to mark any notations onto the fabric.
Follow the instructions on the pattern and sew the coat.
Try on the coat and make note of any necessary alterations. If the coat fits perfectly, sew on the buttons and do any finishing stitch work around the edges of the coat. Chef coats traditionally use rope knots for buttons. These can be purchased at any sewing shop. Additional options include decorative buttons, hook and eyes, snaps or even a zipper.
Wash the coat again to remove the disappearing ink.
Re-enforce all seams with at least three runs at the beginning and end. This will ensure that the seams do not come undone. If you are a novice chef, you may want to consider using an organic white cotton for your first coat so that it can be bleached whenever necessary and will not yellow.