The Clare Coat – by Closet Case Patterns

I have been wanting to make this coat for a year and finally did it! My husband gave me this pattern last year for Christmas just months after I started sewing a MeMade Wardrobe and I was immediately intimidated. Originally I wanted to make View B after seeing a beautiful coat Bonnie from The Confident Stitch using an applique’ denim.

Confident Stitch owner, Kate, asked me around the holidays if I would be interested in participating in a Tailored to You program she was starting at the shop. Of course I said, yes and I knew exactly what I wanted to make…the Clare Coat.

I decided to make View A is cut to hit mid-thigh, but I decided to make mine a little longer hitting just above the knew. The face-framing collar, princess sleeves, exposed asymmetrical zipper and welt pockets give it a very classic city chic look. I started by choosing a designer wool melton blend with a dense but soft felted feel. I love that it didn’t unravel while I was working with it and here in Montana it’s perfect because it blocks the wind and sheds water.

For the lining, I decided to go with a rayon and chose one of my favorite Cotton + Steele Rifle Paper Company Paint Roses in black. Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co. was asked by Puffin Books to hand-illustrate the 150th anniversary edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and it is from this stack of roughly 80 original hand paintings that the fabric collection derives.

The first thing I did was meet with Kate to cut out the pattern and piece the main pattern pieces to make sure it fit. That was very helpful, because at 4′ 9″ I have a hard time finding things that fit me like a glove. This allowed us to decide where the pattern would need to be altered for my petite frame.

Then, quite honestly, I spent two full weeks swamped with stuff to do and terrified to begin sewing because the very first step was the welt pockets! I finally decided I couldn’t put it off any longer and decided to dive in. The first thing I did was read the pattern instructions in their entirety and then I looked up the Close Case Clare Coat Sewalong. I followed the sew along step-by-step and over the course of 2 days I had progressed all the way to the point of putting in the zipper when I realized Kate had ordered me a zipper and it was at the shop!

Bonnie helped me with great pointers for putting the zipper in but she also introduced me to a wooden clapper for pressing my coat. It made all the difference in the world in making the seams lay flat and putting the finishing touch on my coat as I pressed and set the seams.

For an added personal touch of elegance, I hand embroidered my initials into my coat.

Bagging the lining into the coat seemed tricky at first, but then it was much more simple than I expected. Once it was pressed the bottom hem of the coat was not quite laying down right but Bonnie showed me how to fix it. I had simply not left enough give in the lining.

The finished coat is lovely and a great addition to my wardrobe.

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