I could not be more excited to share my most recent make with you all! It’s the star of this season’s indie pattern releases (IMHO), the Closet Case Files Clare Coat. I was waiting for this pattern as soon as Heather announced she was working on a coat design. All of her patterns that I have made so far fit me really well and they are all effortlessly chic, so I knew this one would be no exception. It was also exciting to purchase one of her first paper pattern releases, and the physical pattern is absolutely gorgeous, with lovely watercolour illustrations by Sallie from Sallie Oh! Ok, I’ll stop gushing about it and get into the details of my make now 🙂
I was immediately drawn to view A of the coat, with it’s a-line shape, welt pockets, and unique side zipper. My usual coat style typically involves a much more fitted silhouette, but the Clare Coat strikes the perfect balance between the oversized coats that are so popular these days and the chic, streamlined silhouette of a classic 60’s look.
I opted to make view A as-is, with the princess sleeves. I was sceptical about this aspect of the design at first for obvious reasons (cold arms) and I was afraid it might look like the coat was too small in the arms, instead of looking like an intentional design detail. It looks so nice in Heather’s sample though, so I decided to go for it. I’m very happy I did because it really completes the look of this coat. I especially like that I can put my hands in the pockets without any bunching up in the arms.
Now, let’s talk fabric! This fabric has been calling to me from the wool isle of my local fabric store for months. I was doing that thing where you go in to grab some needles or a zipper and stop by your favorite fabric just to say hi, feel it’s loveliness and then remind yourself that you have fabric at home! I finally got my Clare coat pattern in the mail and decided to go for it. It was definitely a splurge at $23.99 a meter CAD, and I was relieved that the coat only required 3 meters. I actually have a good .75 meters left over, which I am stumped about what to do with…any ideas? For you fellow Vancouverites, this fabric is available at Dressew Supply in three colours. Grey and black lace (mine), royal blue and black lace, and yellow-gold and black lace. I cannot find it online. It is a ‘Marletto Bolito’, the bottom layer feels similar to a boiled wool and is 40% wool and 60% viscose. The top lace layer is 60% cotton and 45% nylon. I cut and pre-shrunk an 8” by 8” square in the dryer with a damp towel. The lace and wool did not separate at all and it only shrunk about ⅕” one direction. It does not fray which is ideal for my serger-less self, and it was a great weight for this coat, maybe even a bit too thick but I bent it to my will.
I finished this coat over a week ago, but I really wanted to wait for the perfect photo opportunity. It has been raining and dreary here in Vancouver this past week, but luckily Sam and I had a trip up to Kamloops, BC planned and I was hoping for the perfect winter wonderland kind of photo shoot. We were lucky enough to have clear skies the whole weekend and so we got to enjoy this gorgeous Canadian landscape and play with the Canada Geese! I nearly froze to death taking the pictures with the wind blowing as strong as it was, but I insisted on taking off my toque and gloves to capture the coat’s beauty – #worthit.
When the coat is all done up it is really nice and cozy, I find that the high collar does irritate my neck a little bit, but my skin does not play nice with wool. I can get away with wearing wool, but when it rubs up against my skin it can leave a red mark for a few hours. The coat is perfect with a thin silk scarf underneath though, so that’s how I rock it :). There is definitely room for a sweater under the coat, nothing too bulky, but a reasonable weight does fit. The close fit collar keeps the cold wind from getting in too, which is really nice on days like the one in these photos.
The Clare coat has several lovely details that make it super special. The side zipper on view A is pretty freaking cool, people are actually a little mystified by it, and I like to confuse folks with my wardrobe :P. It also has fabulous welt pockets, which are at the perfect height and are a great size and shape inside. I also love the sleeve dart, which allows the sleeve to follow the natural bend in your arm.
I had a great experience sewing the Clare Coat, especially with the added assistance of the sewalong. I got excited and went ahead of the sewalong for the last few steps (the lining) and I should have waited. I got so confused when bagging my lining because I did not properly understand the excess lining fabric at the bottom corners. When I turned my coat rightside out, I had all this excess lining and even after reviewing the sewalong I am not quite sure what I did wrong. I ended up trimming it off before hand sewing and then the lining fit just right. I’m glad it worked out but I am still a bit mystified. I’ll have to make View B and figure out where I went wrong.
The lining fabric I chose is a mystery! I am still working on my fabric identification skills, so I can’t say for sure what it is. I got it at an Our Social Fabric sale here in Vancouver, and they don’t label all the fabrics. It feels very much like silk, and is very soft and breathes well, so whatever it is, I am happy with the results! I didn’t want to disappoint you all by not showing the inside, so here are some shots of me freezing my little butt off.
One thing I didn’t consider when making my Clare was that view A does not lend itself to being worn open. I often overheat in winter cloths and like to open my jackets to cool down. This is not impossible with view A, but it definitely looks a bit funny and it is super heavy to have the whole front draped on one side It looks alright open a bit at the top though, so I can vent my neck at least 🙂 View B would be the way to go if you typically wear your coats open in the front, but don’t disregard view A for that reason either, I am still super pleased with my choice and it makes a great cold weather jacket.
We had a blast taking these photos on the river in Kamloops, and we got to hang out with about 6 different kinds of birds! I made friends with some big geese, which I like to pretend are swans, because it’s more romantic that way, right? Happy Holidays to you all and if you can, go play in the snow!
Pattern: Closet Case Files Clare Coat
Fabric: It is a ‘Marletto Bolito’, the bottom layer feels similar to a boiled wool and is 40% wool and 60% viscose. The top lace layer is 60% cotton and 45% nylon. Lining is silk.
Alterations: None! I made a muslin and was thrilled that it fit perfectly. I made a straight size 16 and my measurements are B: 43″ W:33″ H:45″.