Prepping for my Clare coat project

I have a lot of creative things floating around both in my head and in my hands lately. Behind-the-scenes, I’m working on my next knitting pattern release. Not-behind-the-scenes, I have lots of things on my list. Too many. Ugh! But right now, one of the main ones is the Closet Case Patterns Clare coat!

Prepping for my Clare coat project

I went gaga for it the second Heather released it around this time last year. For Christmas, my mom and step-dad bought me the supplies for it, but then I got distracted by other shiny new sewing projects, so I knew it wasn’t going to happen until this fall. And here we are, and here I am totally jazzed to start this project! Yay!

I’m going to sew View A, on the top of the technical illustration below:

Clare coat technical illustration, copyright Closet Case Patterns

Source: Closet Case Patterns

To me, it has a fantastic early 1960s vibe, with an A-line body shape and funnel neck. Reminiscent of those chic early stewardess uniforms. The asymmetrical front with exposed zipper is a really cool feature, too. It goes from the collar all the way to the hem, I love that detail! And it really makes this view unique.

Clare Coat, copyright Close Case Patterns

Source: Closet Case Patterns

It basically took me no time to plan what I wanted: a black bouclé version. And warm. As warm as I could reasonably make it. I ordered some swatches from Mood and settled on one… and a year later, I’m not sure which, sorry! But it’s wiry and pretty thick, and absolutely luscious looking. It’ll make a killer version with a vintage vibe.

boucle fabric

I plan to use fusible weft interfacing to interface all the pieces, which is an option that Heather mentions. The bouclé is thick and feels stable, but you pretty much can’t get too crisp in a coat for my taste, so I think it’s a good idea. I may try to block fuse it, but I don’t really have an easy way to do that, so I may try it like Jenny did here and roughly cut out the pieces and interfacing first so they’re more manageable (but I’ll use her tip and remember to mark the grain somehow before I cut!).

Going for plain on the outside (well, black is plain, anyway), I knew the inside had to pop. My mind was screaming “leopard print!” So I found some leopard print silk charmeuse to line it (sorry, sold out on Mood!), since I figured silk would add a bit of extra warmth that a poly or rayon lining wouldn’t. I mean, every teensy tiny bit counts for those of us who live with brutal winters, right?

leopard silk lining fabric

And then keeping with the warm theme, I investigated the idea of Thinsulate lining last year. My warmest modern RTW wool coat has a Thinsulate lining (though quilted to the lining), and it’s quite warm. So I ordered Thinsulate lining from Vogue Fabrics. This stuff is so odd, it looks like quilt batting! It’s been sitting in a big puff in my sewing area since last year. 🙂 This will act as interlining, so it’ll be sewn to my lining pieces, before assembly. I haven’t delved into coat making in awhile but I remember from my tailoring books that’ it’s preferable to do that instead of underlining your jacket fabric, as those seams would get mighty bulky unless your jacket fabric is thin (Heather recommends this in the sew along, too). Although I imagine silk with Thinsulate underlining it is going to cause some foul language when I work with it!

My only concern is about the sizing. Heather says to pick by your bust since there’s plenty of ease at the hips, but I’m not sure how well a muslin is going to represent fit for a thick wool and Thinsulate lining, even if I try it on over a thick sweater. I think I may try the 6 with a full bust adjustment for the muslin. I often find picking by my overbust is better (so that would land me closer to a 2) but I know I’m talking thick here, and some people have said there isn’t a ton of built in ease for layers. It’s sooo tempting to not do a muslin, especially when you know it’s not going to be all that similar to the real fashion fabric, but for coat you just can’t skimp. Plus I may find out I need to change the sleeve length or width, move the shoulder seam, or something else like that.

Last but not least, I have a custom cut separating Riri zipper with gold teeth and a ring pull. It’s from Pacific Trimming, and of course I don’t remember the details now that I’ve had it a year… but I wanted a zipper with a bit of pizazz!

Riri zipper

I love how Heather’s pink version has a tassel on the pull, so last year I had the idea to add one or two small gold pom poms. I may buy a cone of this Plymouth Gold Rush yarn although I’m concerned about how much it’ll fray, since pom poms are basically entirely raw cut edges. But I really want it truly glitzy gold, not yellow with a hint of metallic, like most “metallic” yarns look like to me.

And… I admit, I also started planning outerwear accessories last year! I made myself a leopard print faux fur pillbox hat that I wore last Christmas:

handmade faux fur pillbox hat

I’m not sure how much wear I’ll get out of that as even though I lined it with flannel, it’s not all that warm, and it’s a touch big (but I did sew in carrier loops for bobby pins, which helps). But it sure is cute! And I have enough fabric to make a matching scarf from Jane’s tutorial, which was initially what I bought the faux fur for, anyway!

I also started some elbow length black gloves last winter, which I’ve been in desperate need of anyway, since a couple of my vintage coats have three quarter sleeves and Clare will too, and I don’t have truly warm long gloves! Fashionable long gloves yes, but not ones that work when it’s bitter outside. So last year, I got one completed using the Classy Cable Gloves pattern, but lengthening the arm significantly (and adding one stitch between each cable rep, reducing that as my forearm got smaller), and making a hem facing for a polished touch. This year, I’ve picked up the pattern again so that I can finish them. They’re hard knitting… black, worsted weight yarn on really small needles to get a tight, dense gauge. The yarn is Valley Yarns Stockbridge, a 50/50 alpaca/wool blend, but I see it’s been discontinued. These will go right up to my elbow!

cabled gloves

So there you have it, all the plans for my vintage-inspired bouclé Clare coat, with gold and leopard print trimmings, and leopard print or wool accessories. Mostly planned last year, but I’m finally going to see it all come to fruition this year!

Ummm… think I’m someone who likes the minor details much?!! Wait—don’t answer that. 😉

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Golly, 16 Comments!

  • If it helps anyone, I pulled up the Mood order confirmation, and this it says:

    Black Solid Boucle FW12002

    Rag & Bone Leopard Printed Silk Charmeuse 307232

    Reply

  • I know see fearless did her clare coat muslin in craft felt to get something cheap by heavy

    Reply

  • I bought that pattern last winter. Will be watching your progress.

    Reply

  • I will be following along with your coat progress! I have just started putting together the supplies for my winter coat (I went with kasha/sunback lining instead of thinsulate, hope it works out) and had a similar concern about the thickness of the fabric impacting the fit when I finished my first muslin. I think I’m going to have a play around with measuring the turn of cloth and adjusting the seam allowance. I also had a thought that I might machine baste some of the key seams, like the sides, then fit as I go. Tedious, but it overcomes the problem that in a situation like this, the muslin might not tell me everything I need to know.

    Looking forward to more coat posts!

    Reply

    • I have some kasha/sunback lining for a swing coat I have yet to start *cough cough probably next year now*, but now I’m kind of wishing I’d gotten thinsulate for it. Good luck with your winter coat project too!

      Reply

  • Bouclé is going to be lovely!
    The Artyologist

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  • I love all the different elements of this coat Tasha, it’s going to be wonderful! I’m just getting together supplies for a winter coat myself. The main coat will be red (naturally) and I was undecided on lining, but after reading your post I’m now obsessed with the thought of leopard print! x

    Reply

  • I’m obsessed with this and now I’ve been sucked into Mood’s website! How amazing would it look in this embossed faux fur??

    http://www.moodfabrics.com/teal-and-black-printed-and-embossed-stretch-faux-fur-312769.html

    Reply

  • I really love this closet case pattern,you look adorable

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  • Hi Tasha! I’m leaving a reply here about your most recent post, because I could not figure out how to do it on the appropriate post. Anyway I wanted to let you know you are so spot on. It has been so frightening since the election. So many people think it is because my candidate lost. But that is not the case. It is because the candidate that won expresses ideas that are very scary. And people I thought I knew are expressing similar opinions. I can’t believe it! Take care.

    Reply

  • Hi, just read you’re later post, can’t comment on it….. no option to, have no idea why 🙁
    I’m in the UK, thought you’re words very true and eloquent, so saddened by the results.
    Really and truly hope it doesn’t get as bad as it could

    Reply

    • Lea, I’m glad to know you could not find a way to respond too. I guess it wasn’t just me!

      Reply

      • The comments are closed on that post. In part so that if people want to reply on that subject in a private manner, they can email me instead, instead of inviting trolls to harass them. Thanks for your support!

        Reply

  • […] in December, I did a muslin for the Clare coat I was planning to sew. I was so excited, but it was a big fail. Ugh! I’ve seen many lovely versions, and the muslin […]

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