Sewing a Coat: Fabric Choices and Cutting
A couple of weeks ago, I accepted a challenge to myself to sew my first fully-line coat. Since then I have been tackling all the prep work before I start sewing this week. One evening I pressed both of my fabrics, the next I cut out the lining pieces, then the exterior pieces and so on. You get the idea. I can now say that I have ALL the pieces cut, interfaced and ready to sew. Let’s just say that there are A LOT of pieces but it was definitely worth taking the time to cut them all out carefully and deliberately.
A couple pieces of advice that I have discovered so far on this journey…
- Read all the directions and pattern pieces carefully- Make sure you have the fabric or interfacing with the correct side up as directed in the pattern. I made that mistake once and quickly learned my lesson.
- A good pattern notcher is your best friend! On this heavier coating fabric my notcher cut like a dream and made making all those notches quick and easy.
- Use a pressing sheet- When working with a loosely woven fusible interfacing, like the weft interfacing called for on the Clare Coat, be sure to us a press cloth as some of the fusible material can slip through the weave and stick to your iron. It will save you lots of tedious iron cleaning later!
I thought I’d share a few notes about my fabric choices in this post as well. Living here in the Pacific Northwest, we don’t often have a need for a thick, wool coat so a molten or felted wool were out right away. I was tempted to use a more fashionable boucle but in the end decided to take the middle ground and use this wool blend tweed. It is the perfect weight for cool weather- not too thick and bulky but still warm. It is wonderfully soft and has a beautiful drape- I think it will make a amazing coat that I can enjoy from early Fall all the way through Spring.
For the lining, I am a firm believer in having a bit of fun! An amazing polka dot, a bright geometric or even a bold print- a statement lining is a surprise that will make you smile every time you put your coat on. In terms of fabric type, I debated between smooth cotton lawn, cotton voile and rayon challis– all of which have a great silky texture perfect for sleeves that won’t catch. I decided on this striking black and white abstract plaid rayon challis.
Paired with the black and white tweed, they make a great combination with just the right amount of flair. Here are a few of the other fabrics I considered… so much fun.
Well, wish me luck as I start sewing this week. I will post more of my progress soon, along with additional tips I pick up along the way.