Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Clare Coat Muslin...and Moving On...

I was VERY excited to sew my black and gold Clare coat.  I bought the pattern very soon after it was released and splurged on black wool coating.  

And then a long time passed without seeing any reviews. I don't mean tester versions...I mean reviews!! And THEN I sewed the Nettie. Twice. And that's when I started looking for an alternative pattern. The shoulders/armhole/sleeve fit on the Nettie was really bad on me. After version 2, I scrapped the pattern. 

But I really like this style so I decided I'd go forward. And here we are, approaching the very end of February, and this was my February outerwear project, and I hadn't done anything. I went back and looked at every version I found. I saw LOTS of sleeves that gave me pause. I read LOTS of comments about uncomfortable or tight sleeves that people felt that needed to size up or sew smaller seam allowances to fit. 

I knew deep down inside that this pattern wasn't going to be it.  I was hopeful though! I suspected it was not at all a size issue but a drafting issue. I buckled down and got the necessary pattern pieces cut out for muslining. I went to try it on and suspicions confirmed. 

I don't have photos on me because I *literally* could not lift my arm in any meaningful way to take a pic. 


I posted on IG and several people chimed in that it looks like it may need to be redrafted. Here is the complete armhole shape:

I am not a professional pattern drafter and don't even make attempts to draft my own patterns -- 
But man that is one weird set-up. 

And because I don't have that skillset, I wasn't about to try to redraft the front, side panel, back, front sleeve and back sleeve. That is the kind of thing that makes a pattern get the boot for me. I don't pay $18 for a pattern and expect to redraft it.

I immediately remembered my raglan-sleeved S2508 coat and of course, I sewed the Sewaholic Minoru which also has a raglan sleeve. In comparison, here are those garments:


But, I had already gone on the hunt for an alternative when I put this coat in queue for February.  I found and ordered a copy of the 9/2011 Burda magazine for this pattern:

ignore those sleeves...they used faux fur on the sample...so crazy.

There's also a version of it sewn as a duffle with a hood and it is ADORABLE. When I went back to plan out mods to #114...I stumbled on #103:



I really like the magazine version of this pattern! It just isn't what I want for *this* coat. So I thought I could draft the funnel collar onto this coat, leave off the flaps on front and possibly the sleeve tabs and of course sub a zipper for the snaps and welts for the patch pockets. Not much work actually.

This A-line shape more mimics what I liked about the Clare and the back vent is a bonus! 

Another thing...in making the muslin I realized I didn't actually like that the zipper was attached to the front raglan. I like the look of that side zipper but not the functionality of it. This style still works and this coat should also look just as good partially zipped or open as it does closed. 

So I was torn...overall style or possible slight improvement in fit with the set-in sleeve? Decisions, Decisions...

I posted a poll in my IG stories (that was fun!) #114 with the funnel drafted onto the neckline or #103 with the body flared a bit to be an A-line.

When I posted I was CERTAIN I was going to make #114. And it won the poll too! 71% for 114 and 29% for 103. But there's a vibe I'm getting from the raglan - very mod, 60s like - that I am digging!

I really LOVE the look of the Clare! I wish it had worked out for me!! But life is too short and sewing time too precious for me to exert that much energy. I'll just never be the person to work and rework and rework the actual technical aspects of a pattern. THAT'S WHY I BUY PROFESSIONALLY DRAFTED PATTERNS! I'm a sewer, not a pattern designer/drafter thankyouverymuch.

I don't know that I'll get the Burda done before February is out...stranger things HAVE happened :) But I'm going to get started on it tomorrow!

30 comments:

  1. I feel the same way about patterns. Moving on is essential. Otherwise I start avoiding my sewing room.

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    1. Exactly! No pattern is worth headaches.

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  2. I've not made the Clare coat although I was tempted by it when it came out. However I recently made the Closet Case Ebony dress and subsequently taught it at a class and every single person had to size up at least one size on the sleeve. I didn't when I made my class sample and the sleeves on mine are so tight as to be unwearable. I wonder if there's a general issue with the way their sleeve block is drafted?

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    1. Oh interesting!! I mean, I think the most obvious "issue" is that many bloggers turned designers generally draft for *their* body. I had to go look at the samples...they do look pretty snug. And not "this is knitwear so it's a close fit" snug...but not on Heather.

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  3. I love the honestly on your blog! No gushing and wishing here! I often think it is weird that people ooh and ahh over the pattern being drafted so well... isn't that what is supposed to happen??? I like the look of the Clare pattern too but would never pay that much for a pattern.

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    1. It will NOT happen here! LOL! If you provide products and/or services, I will critique those products/services as honestly and openly as needed.

      It's SUCH a cute pattern!!

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  4. I had success with the Clare coat. I could not move my arms in my first muslin so I did a not surprising for me petite adjustment between the shoulder and bust point. I added a small amount to the sleeve width which is surprising for me as I took 2" out of the sleeves of my Carolyn Pajamas. It took 3 muslins but I now have a very comfortable coat which i'm very happy with. It's not up on the blog yet, but I'm working on it.

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    1. I'm certain raising the armhole - as your petite adjustment did - would help some. I just don't like that shape of the whole area. I think the jacket "is trying" to be too fitted for a raglan and too fitted to be a piece of outerwear.

      I'm glad you got it to work for you! I personally would never do 3 muslins for any pattern. :/

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  5. I with you--I don't know how to redraft patterns and life is too short for that much work. That's also why I have so many professional patterns--options.

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    1. Yes! Options that will more than likely work out.

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  6. It is far too small and shallow - very poor draft. Like you, I get upset when I pay good money for a so called professional pattern to find it's a dud. Most of us don't have time to draft given we work too. Bin the thing...

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    1. I believe the Burda is going to work so much better!

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  7. Trust Burda to save the day! I don’t bother with poorly drafted patterns either anymore. If it doesn’t fit well enough after 1 muslin (minor fitting issues aside), it’s in the bin. Shame these patterns usually cost $25+!

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    1. This is why I normally smile and nod at Indie patterns I like and keep it moving :/ I have had some Burda and Big4 dogs for sure but it's much less of a risk financially!

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  8. What a major bummer. And a lot of money spent on a pattern that hasn't delivered! That picture of the armscye is just so sad... Looking forward to seeing your Burda coat!

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  9. It’s very disheartening when you spend money on a pattern and it’s poorly drafted.
    That’s one of the reasons why I’m so skeptical of ordering patterns from indie designers.
    Because some of these patterns are just horrible. And I know the big 4 many times have fitting issues or just poorly drafted patterns but on average 2.00 bucks a pattern I can’t complain, lol.
    I am seeing a rise in indie pattern makers and I sorta roll my eyes because pattern making isn’t easy

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    1. A lot of them are just not good. And yes, it's a gift and a curse. The internet and social media allows for entrepreneurs to more easily get started...but too many people who have no actual skills drafting patterns.

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  10. Aww! I haven't seen many Clare coats either, and was looking forward to yours. But I understand the fit issue and not wanting to put in extra effort to rework those details. I hate bad drafting regardless of the the pattern price, but especially more so when I pay more for a pattern. It is good to see you found a Burda substitute, and I hope it works out better for you.

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    1. I was looking forward to it but my Burda coat is going along very nicely!!

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  11. Aww man, this is really disappointing news for me because I love the look of the Clare and was hoping to make one later this year ... but I guess you've saved me some money and heartache. I like the look of the Burda one with the asymmetric front though.

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    1. It's SO cute. Some people said it worked for them...

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  12. SO annoying when a pattern doesn't work out, all the more when it is because of faulty drafting. I am also cautious about dropping money on indie designers because of they can be so variable and unpredictable.

    Hope your coat works out as you want it.

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  13. I was a 103 voter and was surprised more people didn't pick it. Following closely as I have fabric for a Clare and this Burda too.

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    1. I really like 114 too and will probably make it eventually! :)

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  14. So glad you were able to make this work! I never moved beyond "that is so cute but looks super uncomfortable"

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    1. Oh, I didn’t! I’m using an entirely different pattern! Just copying details/overall style!

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  15. Ah, I’m even more excited to see it now! It’s the best thing when you can use your Burda stash to save the day!

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  16. I know this post is old but I couldn’t help but comment! I made the CCF Kelly Anorak and swore I’d never make another one of her patterns. Then I bought the Morgan Boyfriend Jeans. Face palm! And the Clare Coat is so cute, that’s been on my maybe list. Now I know not to bother with it.

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