Yes, I made a coat!
It wasn’t my intention to make a coat, I had so many other items on my list, but when Guthrie and Ghani released their coat kit in October, with all the bits and pieces I would need and Lauren’s additional video tutoring , I jumped at the chance.
Yes, it was expensive and I could have sourced all the fabric etc a lot cheaper from the various wonderful dead stock and surplus fabric shops we are blessed with in West Yorkshire, but by buying the kit I knew that the fabric provided would be of exceptional quality and, more to the point, would be exactly perfect for the pattern.
However Lauren’s (from Guthrie and Ghani) Clare Coat looked completely different. I can totally see why she chose this for one of her kits. The raglan sleeve and slightly flared shape vastly reduces any potential fitting issues, so you can concentrate on the technical aspects of making the coat.
The Clare Coat comes with 2 options both featuring raglan sleeves and an unstructured A-line silhouette.
View A hits at mid-thigh, with a face-framing collar, princess sleeves, exposed asymmetrical zipper and welt pockets. View B, upon which the kit is based, is double-breasted ending at the hip with inseam pockets, full-length sleeves and a dramatic funnel collar.
Due to the A-line shape of the coat, Lauren advised that the whole of the fabric provided should be interfaced. So as advised I spot fused (fused on the interfacing in various spots so that the two layers would just hold together) . This meant that the interfacing and main fabric could be cut out at the same time, after which they are fused properly together. This alone took several hours!
Additional details to the coat, beyond the patterns instructions, were added by Lauren through her kit tuition videos including bound button holes and this pipping detail around the lining attaching seam.
I took my time and unpicked anything I wasn’t happy with. This was too much of an investment to waste by skipping steps or hurried slapdash work.
I didn’t want this coat to look poorly homemade. I’ve seen enough handmade coats where you can see the lining pulling underneath or that would have benefitted from a good pressing session.
To be honest I felt a bit non-plussed about the coat until the final pressing when it all came together and finally turned into this professional looking garment that I’m really proud of.
I went with the pattern size 10. On the chart I was in between sizes in the bust area so went up as I find I always need to size up on RTW coats and jackets for my slightly broad back and muscly shoulders.
Due to the style I didn’t make a toile. I didn’t think I would be able to replicate the fabric in a toile to give me an accurate mock coat. And I thought I could always move the buttons. It is perfect. I can get a good sweater underneath.
I changed the buttons that came with the kit. The kit’s beautiful wooden buttons were square and impossible to do up or undo quickly, without putting down your handbag etc.
These green ones came from Minerva. Their postage is super quick and I was impatient to get it finished.
I think the collar is designed to be worn as a funnel. Well for me, that would mean too long spent in the dry cleaners getting the makeup out of it! I much prefer it folded down as an enormous lapel.
The fabric is a Melton Wool. I don’t think I’ve ever owned (well not since school) a wool coat. I’m looking forward to wearing it and benefitting from the difference.
I love how the fabric pressed with use of a wooden clapper. I love the seam lines it creates.
In fact, I’m off to Fabworks in Dewsbury this afternoon. There’s snow on the ground so I might just give it it’s first outing!
Love, Lucie xx