the clare coat
Posted on 26 January 2017
My handmade wardrobe has come a long way since I first started making my own clothes. The first garment I ever made myself was a Scout Tee out of quilting cotton with foxes all over it. Yikes...
At the time, I worked at Anthropologie, so pattern mixing and crazy prints were part of who I was. I went through a minor identity crisis when I left - after working with the company for nearly seven years, I was positive that florals and over-the-top patterns were what I really loved. Turns out, that's not the case. Who would have thought?
Over the past two years, I've been refining my closet and my projects to reflect (and discover) my actual sense of style. I've come to accept that I couldn't live without grey and stripes, but I'm relatively neutral about everything else. I love a good pop of color, but my wardrobe is mostly neutrals.
The one thing I knew I was really missing in my closet was a good winter coat. I bought some olive wool from Pendleton during one of my fabric shopping trips down to Portland that had been sitting in my stash for ages...just waiting for the perfect coat pattern to come along. And then there she was! The Clare Coat. But I was too intimidated to cut into my precious Pendleton, so I waited until I had a few more projects under my belt.
Jaime from Fancy Tiger Crafts beat me to it! She whipped up my dream coat during one of their sew-alongs last year and it inspired me. It was time to get down to business and make my own version.
Of course, life got in the way and I finally got around to it in the three days before I left to meet Nate in London for a week. Last minute sewing is always more productive, right? Right. I stayed up way too late and sewed way too much (hand-sewing hems in the airport? Anyone?) but finished it just in time. I wore it every single day during our London trip and it's been my go-to coat this entire winter.
I made View B in a size 12 based on my bust measurements. My biggest challenge with most of my coats is that I can't wear sweaters underneath them without feeling like Chris Farley in Tommy Boy, so I knew I wanted at least a few inches of extra space. Since the fit is slightly a-line, I would definitely recommend basing your size off of your chest, as that's where it will be most fitted.
I sewed the pattern as written without any modifications. To be honest, I don't think there's anything I would change on the next version either! The only thing I left off was the very top snap at the neck. The collar is just too stiff for me to wear as a funnel neck without feeling like I'm choking and I knew I would never use it.
The outer fabric is a thick Pendleton wool and it's lined with rayon Bemberg from Fabric.com. It's the perfect winter coat for the Pacific Northwest, since the winters don't get that cold compared to other parts of the country. This year has been particularly chilly, so I think I'm going to find some kasha to line my next version and make it a little warmer.
I probably won't start another version this season, but I'd love to play with the proportions and see what I can do. I'm thinking cocoon coat with oversized collar? And herringbone for sure. Or maybe plaid? Maybe a mix with the Gerard coat by Republique du Chiffon. Here we go again...
cocobella / the wife via pinterest / luvocracy via pinterest / brooklyn blonde / death by elocution