Pattern: the Clare Coat by Closet Case Patterns
Size made: 14
Fabric used: Wool Coating from Minerva Crafts
This is the project I have been looking forward to and dreading in equal measure. I still find coats quite intimidating even though I have made 2 duffles for my daughters, 2 asymmetrical zipper coats, and numerous lined hooded jackets. There is still a fear.
This is the first time I have used a Closet Case pattern, despite owning the Ginger jeans (I'm still building up to those) and I found the pattern a delight to use. The instructions are plentiful yet clear and I didn't struggle over any of the steps. I did follow the sewalong because it would have been silly not to use such a valuable resource.
The sewalong even has pre-sewing steps where you can read up on style inspiration and fabric choices before you decide or buy any supplies. That is brilliant information, and all in one place making it easy to flick back to.
So, my coat, as you see is the view B option. This is a shorter length, ending at the hip, double breasted with inseam pockets, full length sleeves and a deep funnel neck collar.
When prepping this pattern, it seems like there are a billion pieces to cut out. This is because the sleeve is divided into front and back pieces, then there are side panels, front pieces, inner front facings, lining, interfacing etc etc.....
It took me quite a while and I had to be quite thorough about labelling everything incase I forgot which piece was which.
The way the sleeve is cut though, is beautiful. It has great shaping and you have a little dart on the inner elbow. I don't mind plodding through lots of little preparation steps when you end up with something that feels as nice as this to wear at the end.
I love the collar! It is sturdy enough to stand up on its own around the back even when the collar is folded open at the front and it is so nice to keep that wind out.
I can't help feeling a bit 'Sherlock' with the collar framing my face.
I sourced the large sew in snaps on Ebay. I went for the 30mm size which are quite large, but look great. They click in with a solid audible snap, so I am confident this coat will stay put when worn.
The snaps are situated mid collar opening and just below the collar-body seam. It keeps the closure nice and tight around your neck. And, yes, as you can see below, it is good for hiding in!
My lining is a slippery acetate and it slides on and off beautifully. I am really happy with how it came together. In hindsight, I wish I had made one side of the pocket bags from the coating fabric because I would have preferred the feel of a softer, more solid fabric in there.
Another thing I need to note, for myself, is that the back piece should be fully interfaced next time, rather than just at the shoulders and hem. I am probably the only one who will notice, but I can tell that the finish is a little different on the surface of the fabric where the interfacing has bonded. Next time I will cut a whole piece out.
It may be Spring, but I think I will be wearing this coat for a while longer yet. As we say around these parts, I am a bit nesh and feel the cold. So it is staying on the peg for as long as possible!