This month, we welcome Heather Lou of Closet Case Files to the Sew News blog for the Clare Coat sew along! You may recognize this coat from the cover of our new issue…we kind of love it! And everything Heather makes for that matter. The coat is figure-friendly and a great starting place if you’re new to sewing coats.
Take it away, Heather!
The best thing about making coats, besides the whole “I made a gorgeous thing that prevents me from dying of exposure” thing is getting to work with wool. I. LOVE. WOOL. It basically purrs when you apply heat and steam; it wants to become things. Sheep are like, “Yo, humans. You’re welcome.” It’s naturally insulative, water resistant, breathable, wrinkle resistant, easy to sew and shape, and finally, it takes dye incredibly well, so you can drape your bod in the most beautifully saturated colors.
Because the Clare Coat doesn’t have a lot of internal structure, it’s important that your fabric have enough body to create a clean, crisp silhouette. I highly suggest working with medium and heavy weight wools only; suiting weight is too drapey for this pattern. I learned this the hard way when I feel in love with a lightweight melton; even when I interlined it with cotton flannel it failed to have the body I was after and hung a little limply in the sleeves and across the back.
Most fabric stores will have a wool coating section. Wool can come from sheep (merino & shetland), alpaca, goats (mohair & cashmere), rabbits (angora) and even camel. If you’re allergic to wool, try experimenting with a sample of a wool alternative to see if you have the same reaction.