Clare Coat: Mission Accomplished

Better late than never! My Clare Coat is finally complete and I am truly in love! 

I have been working on this coat off and on for a few weeks now. While I did want to take my time with this project, running a business and life in general made it take a bit longer than anticipated… I will say it was worth the wait!

The Clare Coat is my second Closet Case Files pattern and I am a huge fan. Heather really pushes my abilities as a seamstress and I love that I learn something new with every pattern. Much like my Carolyn Pajamas, I broke up the task of sewing my coat into more manageable steps- front and pockets, assembled shell, sleeves, etc.

Right out of the gate I had to make my first attempt at welt pockets. Yikes! But with the help of Heather’s clear instructions and the handy sewalong on her blog they went off without a hitch. I love how they blend right into the coat while also enhancing the design at the same time. Mark that off the “skills to learn” checklist!

Clare Coat Welt Pockets

Clare Coat Welt Pockets

My next big challenge came with the installation of the zipper.
It seems like zippers always get a bad reputation for being super difficult- maybe it’s just me, but I haven’t ever really had a problem (knock on wood). I think I probably approach installing a zipper fearing for the worst and am always pleasantly surprised when it isn’t that bad. My biggest rule of thumb… take your time!

Clare Coat Collar and Zipper (with a peak at the lining)

Clare Coat Collar and Zipper (with a peak at the lining!)

For my asymmetric Clare Coat I chose an extra large zipper to really show it off and I think it turned into my favorite part about this coat. All of Heather’s little tips about how to sew the ends of the zipper and the beautiful zipper guard really make this look like a designer coat.

Clare Coat Side Zipper

Clare Coat Side Zipper

I finished off the project with the magic that was attaching the lining, or as the pattern calls it “bagging the coat.” I have done a similar technique in the past with handbags but it was quite amazing to see it done with a fully lined coat, sleeves and all! You end up with this heap of fabric that magically turns the most stunning coat with just a couple areas left to hand stitch.

"Bagged" Clare Coat

“Bagged” Clare Coat

Overall, I am really proud of my results and can now say I have made my first fully lined coat, complete with welt pockets and zipper! I love my fabric choices- especially the lining, so striking! Even though Spring is just around the corner, the medium weight of the wool blend will still let me enjoy wearing it for a few more weeks before it it time to be stashed for Fall. I was so happy to have it on the day we took the pictures for the blog- it was one chilly morning here in the Pacific Northwest!

Check Out That Lining!

Check Out That Lining!

Well, that marks the end of my Fall/Winter sewing! Spring here we come! We have been planning for weeks and can’t wait to share all the amazing fabrics, projects and lots of other special surprises!

Michelle