Earlier this year – in April, I think – I decided it was time to sew a coat. I ordered the Closet Case Files Clare Coat from Fabric Godmother and started to search for fabrics. I came across a Chanel-style denim melange from Fabworks, which is a viscose/cotton/linen mix (which is sadly no longer available), and chose a butter-coloured cotton lawn to line it with. It appears to have been used as a summer weight tweed fabric in tailored garments by Strenesse, if my internet searching is correct. As a warmer lining for the back, I picked this spotty cotton flannel print by Amy Butler out of my stash. I had bought it a couple of years ago and am pleased to see that it’s still available from the same source. The background colour matches the cotton lawn beautifully.
I started to cut out the pattern pieces and fabric in late April, just before major building work started in May, and while our dining table was still accessible. Making slowed down somewhat during the next few months, and I re-started this project a few weeks ago when we had returned to normal function, had all our furniture back from storage and the girls were back at school.
Once I had all the pieces ready for sewing – quite a lengthy process as I took it slowly and undertook one task at a time, when I had an hour or two free – the sewing was surprisingly quick. I started sewing on a Monday and finished on Wednesday of the same week! The instructions are excellent and the online sewalong (although the event took place a year ago, the detailed posts are all still available) made the more complex aspects much clearer. Inevitably, I hit a few challenges along the way, partly because I had chosen a fabric that frayed horribly, and had to unpick and re-insert one side of the zip and the placket. Despite the hurdles, and a night of awful sewing dreams after identifying the zip problem, it was a very satisfying sew and in many ways less complex than I expected.
Here you can see the shell and lining, ready to join, which was the most exciting stage:
The completed coat, photographed in today’s lovely Autumn sunshine: