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.

Prepped Clare Coat Pieces

Prepped Clare Coat Pieces

A couple pieces of advice that I have discovered so far on this journey…

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
Our Handy Notcher and Weights

Our Handy Notcher and Weights

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.

Wool Blend Tweed Coating

Wool Blend Tweed Coating

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.

Abstract Plaid Rayon Challis

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.

Happy Sewing!

Michelle

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