When it's cold, your coat matters!
Ever since the Kelly Anorak by Closet Case Patterns came out a year or so ago, it's been on my making list. Admittedly, its been fairly far down the list, because to be honest, it seemed like a big undertaking, and I just didn't think I had the time.
And then all of a sudden last Autumn it suddenly jumped a whole pile of projects and was at the top. I wanted to make it, and I wanted to make it now!
Part of the reason why is that I suddenly happened upon the perfect fabric combo. It started with the idea of this Melody Miller print as lining. A faux patchwork fabric? Hell yeh. Also, while we're at it, lets quilt it. I used a gorgeous bamboo wadding which has proved very cosy and warm. If you're going crazy on the inside, I like to keep it simple on the outside, so went for this almost black Milestone twill. It's not waterproof, but I'll spray it to make it showerproof.
The original pattern is an unlined coat, but I was determined that it should be a cosy winter coat. I didn't realise until half way through making it that Closet Case does offer an expansion pack for adding a lining, and I do recommend doing that rather than doing it the way I did it. My way worked, but its a lot easier being told how rather than working it out! I don't know if it says this in the instructions, but I cut each wadding piece slightly smaller than the lining pieces, so I wouldn't get the bulk of having wadding in the seams. That's my only tip, really.
As for how simple it was, I did check the Closet Case sew-along a couple of times, but it was mainly to just confirm that what I was doing was what I thought I was doing. The pattern, like everything I've made from Closet Case, was simple, easy to follow, and I didn't feel like I was making anything as scary as a coat.
The addition of proper hardware - the chunky zip, the eyelets, and the snaps - make you feel totally hardcore and like you know what you're doing. They're also the bit that when people find out you made it, they think you are insanely talented. It really just means you can wield a hammer with enough bravado to punch a hole in your almost-completed project, but thats all.
So far the coat has held up to the cold. I have worn it every day since I made it, and I'm out every day walking the dogs (and by the way, the pockets are a great size for dog walking!). I've been asked by people who know I made it if anyone has asked if I made it, and no, no one has. But I take that as a pretty high compliment. People don't think I made it, because it looks so professional, right?
My only real ability to get good daylight photos of my makes during the winter months is whilst walking the dogs in the morning. I add this because I want you to appreciate how hard it is to take good photos while walking naughty beagles. These dogs are too naughty to go off lead except under controlled circumstances (mainly because George will just run and run, and if we ever manage to catch up with him it'll be in Whitby, or some other place that's too far from here on the south coast to even think about how he got there).
Anyway. Coats! I'm now dreaming of all the other coats I want to make. There's so many awesome ones out there, and I've been hoarding this really expensive but pretty wool I bought at Raystitch a few years back, so next coat will be a wool one. I may practise on some of this first though.
But which coat? I'm fairly sure it might be the Grainline Studio Yates Coat.
This will work really well with the wool. I think this black Melton Wool may make a classic coat that I can wear for years.
The Clare coat by Closet Case is another contender. I'm not 100% sure I want a zip, but that may be the only thing holding me back.
Named Clothing came out with another contender for me - the Gaia Coat:
What do you think? Which one would you go for? I need some opinions to help me narrow it down.