I’ve got a #sewingdare coming up…

… and I need you to hold me to it!

While I was chatting with Helen and Caroline on the Love to Sew Podcast, I started dishing out sewing dares… which of course means I have to accept one in return!

(If you haven’t followed me for YEARS, you might be wondering what a sewing dare is! It all started in 2013, when I started giving out sewing-related dares on Twitter… then I brought it back in 2015 and 2016! The idea was that people ask for a dare, and I comb through their blog/social media to figure out just the right personalised challenge for them. As you can imagine, it’s hugely time consuming, so I’m not officially bringing it back right now… but do feel free to dare each other in the comments if you chose!) 

What’s my dare? MAKE A COAT!!!!!!!

clare_coat_sewing_pattern-2_60d2394a-43a0-4ce8-a213-11fbbfb1fa3d_1280x1280

I bought the materials for a Closet Case Files Clare Coat back in 2015, when one of my Top 5 Goals for the year was outerwear. I think it’s a great beginner pattern, because nothing has to fit except the shoulders. I’m going to do the version with the big snap closures, so that should be even easier. And since it snowed for the first time already this fall, I should really get started.

And yet… it still seems totally terrifying and complex! I’m trying to shift my thinking, though: What a fun opportunity! Who cares if it works out? I’ll learn so much! I’m also going to reread Heather Lou’s amazing inspiration post from last winter, “Just make it already!”

Basically, here’s my point: I’m scared, but this is finally happening! Don’t let me wiggle out of my sewing dare, please! 


50 thoughts on “I’ve got a #sewingdare coming up…

  1. Come on now! It’s just a coat! I made my first ever one back in the mid 80s, WAY before I had the sewing clout I have now [and that you already have]. I knew nothing about fitting, less than nothing about tailoring, and not a clue that any of that mattered. I just bought a pattern and got on with it. Far, far from perfect, the coat was worn to DEATH including a change of length and new buttons several years in. I still mourn it.
    Just get cracking- you don’t need to get fancy, it will still be wearable. Think of all the RTW coats you have worn over the years- I bet most of them had no fancy tailoring aspects to them at all, and you never even knew. Don’t set unrealistic barriers for yourself, just start, and improve over time. Isn’t that the journey we’re all permanently on?
    Looking forward to it [although tbh, that high neckline and little girl shape doesn’t look like the most flattering option…just my ten pennorth as we say]

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    1. Hehehe – hopefully you’ll like my version more, in teal melton with full length sleeves! Should be a little more grown up, and perfect with all the swingy dresses and minis I like to wear in winter.
      You are so right about just needed to jump in! I’ve been trying to think all day about why I find it intimidating, and a big part of it is that I fear I won’t enjoy the process. It feels like work more than making a quick tee, you know? I’ve never really found my stride in slow, detailed sewing… but I am going to get cracking on it anyway and see how I like it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Slow and detailed? Only if you make it that way. That much loved purple wool coat I made the first time took no longer than anything else I made back then-even though the fabric was a bit of a splash for me. I used bog standard iron-on interfacing, no tailoring, blah blah. YEARS of wear. Go on, go for it x

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  2. Coats are really not that hard. Get good fabric that doesn’t ravel, and good lining that will hold up. You may need a walking foot for your machine if it struggles with thick. Fabric.

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      1. Oh yeah , it will help you deal with thick fabric. Also for sizing, do your measurements according to his you’re going to wear the coat. If you tend to wear blazers or bulky sweaters you need to factor that in.

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  3. I will jump in on this dare and make a coat with you. I have umpteen coat patterns (#patternaddict) and even wool, yet I just let it sit there because I am slightly intimidated. Are you going to muslin? What fabric will you use?

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    1. #COATDARE! I think Caroline is going to try making a coat too – let’s do this!
      Sew Brooke always suggests muslining coats in craft felt, so I guess I’ll try that?

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  4. Ooh, fun! Actually, I think if you don’t chose a pattern that’s difficult to fit, sewing a coat might be a bit involved but it’s not a miracle! Kinda like sewing jeans, yes? Lots of little steps, but definitely do-able!
    I’ve pretty much despaired finishing the coat I started last year. Actually, those big plans of finishing my handful of UFOs during my 3.5 months of pre-baby maternity leave that I thought I was going to rock have all gone down the drain. 😉 I think I managed to get the fit okay, but I still haven’t even finished cutting out the fabric proper. Ah well. Maybe next year. I’ll be happy if I manage the cloth diapers (mostly cut out) and a couple of nursing-friendly tops/dresses/nighties. At least it looks like I’ll actually be able to finish my thesis (by the skin of my teeth)… 😀
    Anyways, have fun with the coat and tell us of your progress!
    And then I imagine next year’s sewing dare will be that pesky bathing suit? 😉

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  5. I have total faith your coat will be just lovely, completed in RECORD time and uniquely yours. It will undoubtedly start you down of the path of making a SLEW of coats 🙂 I have a bunch of coat patterns too (the Sapporo Coat by Papercut patterns just arrived this week) but have yet to get to it. I was thinking about making this Sapporo out of a nice denim I’ve had a around for a while…still pondering…and pondering…

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    1. That sounds fun! I imagine a denim coat would be perfect forVancouver! We had frost today, so I clearly need to skip straight to melton wool!

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  6. You can totally do it! I think the toughest part about making a coat is having to cut it out like 4 times between lining, interlining outer fabric and interfacing. This coat doesn’t have a huge number of pieces and jumbo snaps look awesome on coats. Do you already have fabric?

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  7. I am in the process of making my first coat. Instagram (I’m breakdownhat there) says I started cutting it out on August 26, and I don’t think I’ll be done before December. (I’ve also made two Halloween costumes since then.) It’s a slow, methodical project but at every step I’ve shocked and delighted about that it actually looks like a coat (it has a vent in the back! there are pockets!). I’m always surprised when people who seem so much more advanced at sewing than I am are afraid of projects I’ve tackled. You can definitely make a coat. All you need to do is start.

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    1. “Advanced” is such a funny term, eh? 90% of what I make are basically beginner projects, plus 10% bras and jeans. How can we measure expertise? I”m glad to hear your coat is coming along slowly but steadily!

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  8. You can do it!!! I totally psyched myself out about jackets, but then made a fairly complicated one early this year and it was not so bad at all. Of course, now that a few months have gone by I find myself thinking jackets are too hard for me again… I need to dare myself too!

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  9. Yessss!! This coat is on my list, too! I too have the pattern and the fabric! I need a lining but probably have all the rest of the supplies! And I still haven’t fulfilled the sewing dare you gave me like at least a year ago…it was to make an outfit based around a pair of my shoes! Time to get to it!!!

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    1. Oh also you can totally do this. I have actually made a coat-the Colette Albion which was also a good beginner pattern. But it’s honestly not really my style at this point and I’d like to up my game a little.

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    2. Same! I bought the Clare Coat pattern and supplies a year and a half ago, and I still haven’t tackled it! It’s absurd, especially considering I just finished a Deer & Doe Luzerne trench, which is definitely the most complicated thing I’ve ever sewn. The weirdness of the FBA on the Clare Coat has stressed me out a little (though I’m not sure I’ll need one) and I let that be my excuse to just not do it. But the Luzerne is already almost too light here in Minnesota, and I need something warmer!

      You (plural: Gillian included!) do yours and I’ll do mine?

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    3. DOn’t worry – sewing dares can expire anytime, unless you actually want to try that project! 😉 Are you planning on making your Clare this winter?

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    1. I’m in Guelph – but I work an hour north of the country, and we got two minutes of random snow one day! Hopefully real snow won’t happen for a while yet.

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  10. Go for it! The cutting out is the worst bit, after that it’s just like doing several items back to back. You’re such a speedy sewist, you’ll be done in no time!

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    1. Thinking of the cutting out as the worst parts helps – then hopefully it will be smooth from there! (Famous last words, right?)

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      1. I always find it scary cutting into a large quantity of expensive fabric, so once that’s over it gets easier. Looking forward to seeing how yours shapes up 🙂

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  11. You’ve got this! Sewing is sewing, you will do great, just think of it as a dress with a different kind of fabric:) When you are finished I bet you say “I can’t believe I waited so long to make a coat!”. I heard you on the Podcast and I really enjoyed it!

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  12. Oh please go for it! I have fabric for a coat too. My issue is in trying to decide WHICH one to make. I want something not too dressy, not too long but long enough in winter. Clare is on my radar but I’m not sure about the FBA and raglan sleeves don’t always look the best on me so I’m worried to spend so much time, effort and lets face it money on something I’m not sure of. I have a RTW one the has the asymmetrical zip that I love but its too small and it has set in sleeves… I don’t want a parka nor a dress coat. I want a bomber I think… Or the Clare as I said… but I’m not sure how either will look on me. I really want to make a jean jacket but as you said here in Ontario the season is kind of over for that at this point… Make that coat!!! Maybe I’ll do it too!

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  13. What’s your timeframe, so we can hold you to it? XP

    I need to sewing dare myself to – make a proper jacket/blazer – make a coat – finish my sloper – make a dressinggown. But going into summer might not be the best timing for some of those… maybe you’ll inspire me!

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