I've wanted to make a coat for a while, mostly to challenge myself, but also because I've got a couple of RTW coats which have seen better days! But this particular coat has been quite the undertaking - but then I knew it would be and the understanding was that I would take my time with it because there are so many techniques that I hadn't done before... but more of that later.
For my next project for the Samantha Claridge Design Studio I wanted to make the Closet Case Patterns Clare Coat since I'd had the pattern hanging around for about six months! I'd also been looking at the fuchsia wool mix coating on the website and thought that the pairing would work beautifully. And, of course, back in December it was the perfect time of year to make a wool coat! To make view B I needed 3m of the coating and 2m of a lining and chose this silver polyester lining from the website.
The wool is washable so the first thing I did was put that and the lining in a 30 degree wash. The wool came out totally uncreased but the lining needed a good press and I found throughout the project that the lining creased easily and regularly needed ironing. I was careful not to use too much heat on the wool just in case, which didn't help with the seams. It also took on an orange tinge when too hot but this faded with cooling.
Before I started I did some research on the coat and found a few references to it being tight across the back. The sizing put me in the 14 range but I decided to size up because of these concerns - and I'm glad I did. The size across the hip is fine but the shoulders would have been tight if I wanted to wear a thick jumper underneath.
I'm not one to trace the pattern pieces, I just go ahead and cut them out. And for this project I'm glad I did because there were 9 pieces of main coat to cut out, 6 pieces of lining and 12 pieces of interfacing, 27 in total... phew! That little lot took me long enough, but then I had another hour and a half standing at the ironing board fusing the interfacing to the shell pieces and I am generally NOT a person who irons! Had I not been so excited about my new coat I might have given up at the first hurdle! But on I went since the first few steps were relatively simple and this filled me with confidence.
As I said earlier, there were a few techniques in the construction of this coat that I'd never done before, and this was one of the reasons I wanted to make it, to try and challenge myself.
Never have I ever...
- worked with wool
- made a two piece sleeve
- lined a garment
- used the bagging out technique
I must admit, every time I put the coat to one side I found it increasingly hard to come back to. As it got further along I became more and more daunted at the prospect of finishing it. My brain was telling me that the next steps were difficult so I kept putting it off, when in fact all of it was a series of relatively simple tasks, it's just there was a lot of them! I found the sew along on the Closet Case website really useful, especially in the latter stages. With hindsight I think a tailors ham or clapper might have been useful for the sleeves but I made do.
But finish it, I did! And since the fabric was gifted I kinda had to!!! But I do really love it and the colour... oh boy, all the heart eyes!!! The thing that drew me to the pattern was the collar. It's a real statement piece and I'm looking forward to wearing it with pride!
The giant poppers were from Amazon, 12 for about £5, and are about 1" in diameter.
Thanks to my boy for, once again, being my expert photographer! And thank you so, so, sew much to Samantha for agreeing to this project and letting me have this beautiful fabric and the time to do it justice. Everyone should have a coat in this colour - it induces all the happy feels and makes the dreariest of days significantly brighter!