Pink tartan Clare coat

I can hardly believe that in the last year I made 4 coats. 4… Two winter coats and one unlined spring coat for myself and one winter coat for the other half. I’ve sewn jackets before, but have only ever attempted one coat, which is still hanging in the closet without having been worn – the fit wasn’t right and I wasn’t happy with the execution, and the fabric wasn;t quite right for the pattern. Actually the pattern turned out not quite what I had in mind. I’m still keeping it around because I think I’ll be able to reuse the fabric at some point.

Anyway, back to Clare. I have fancied this pattern since it first came out, but since it was summer here in the Southern Hemisphere, I didn’t buy it for a few months. Clare Coat by Closet Case Files is a 60s inspired , a-line coat with raglan sleeves. From the moment I saw the pattern I knew I would make the zippered version, with the 60s collar. Just how cool is that zipper?!!!

Kristina's Style

(Must take advantage of sunshine, first in over a week… Ahhhh. Looks like this needs another pressing… Ups)

Looking at the sizing table, I decided to make a size 10, but I still measured the pattern itself, just to make sure, since I wasn’t going to make a muslin… I didn’t make any adjustments at all. Should have made one though… I decided on the long sleeves, because Wellington wind can get biting in the winter.

The fabric is a thick pink and purple tartan wool, it’s quite a spongy fabric, nice and warm, but sometimes a bit hard to sew. I interlined the wool with some cotton flannel and the lining is black and white silk gingham. It almost is as crisp as taffeta. The interlining and lining are from The Fabric Store, the wool from the annual Fabric Warehouse sale. I couldn’t find a long enough zipper in the shops here in Wellington, and didn’t want to wait for one to ship. I was just about to use the slightly shorter one I had (75cm) when I saw a cut off one (not unpicked yet – my laziness shows even more when I discard old creations, I just cut out the zippers instead of unpicking them) in my stash that looked quite long. I don’t even really remember what it was from, but it was even longer than needed and double ended. It took a moment to convince myself that I should use that instead of hanging on to it for a possible other opportunity… 😉 I cut it to size (actually a bit longer than I needed) removedsome teeth and secured the top with loops of thread.

Here’s a picture of the insides. As with all my other coats and because the fabric was so spongy, I not only pressed each seam allowance flat, but also stitched them down by hand. It does add a bit of time, but it looks so nice and they sit perfectly flat.

The prep for the fabric takes a bit of time, but it’s worth getting everything ready. And a nice opportunity to get some Netflix viewing in (in this case The Bletchley Circle, really interesting show with some nice 40s/50s fashion).

The instructions combined with the sew along were superb, as usual with Heather. The short side where the zipper is attached was a bit fiddly, but it worked out just fine.

Few things I would change next time around – and yes there will probably be a next time (I’d love to make one with the 3/4 sleeves out of a slightly lighter fabric for spring/fall): 

  • I would add 2cm to the long sleeves, even though I thought I had measure them, the sleeves are a tiny bit too shortfor me. My wrist bones don’t show, but it feels a bit short. We will see, if it bothers me too much may shorten them to the intended 3/4 sleeves and just wear some long gloves. So far so good though, this has been day 4 and it’s only 6 days old.

  • I’d also interline the pockets. We have a keen southerly coming up from Antarctica here, which gets under the coat and silk lining and pockets doesn’t do much for it. The rest of me is very toasty though 🙂

We had a new employee starting in our team today and over lunch we were asked to share a recent proud moment. The thing that came to my mind immediately was this Clare Coat 🙂 It’s awesome and I love it!! Looks at that matters matching (and let’s just overlook that the pockets are not quite even, no one but me and all of you who’ve read this now will ever notice – I did feel a bit gutted at first, I was so keen to get dug in that I didn’t check my pin placement well enough. But oh well, like I said, no one will notice). Have had many lovely compliments in the elevator and hallway already… 🙂 Success!

And one more pattern matching image from the sleeves

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