For my pattern reviews lately, I’ve been trying to fill in gaps that we’re missing or have few of in our pattern review directory, which leads to my review of the Decades of Style 1940’s Claremont Coat. A wool coat has been on my sewing list for a long time and I was so happy to finally sew one. This was my first coat, although I’ve made both a trenchcoat and a hooded raincoat. Sewing this coat is one of the most fulfilling experiences that I’ve ever had and adding the little retro details that set it apart made the experience even more exciting.
Pattern Name: Decades of Style #4009 1940’s Claremont Coat
Size Range: Bust sizes 30″ – 46″
What size did you make? Re-sized to 50″ bust, grading up one size more at the hip.
What are your…..
Body Shape: Pear-ish/Spoon
Bra size: 44D
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
I was informed by Decades of Style that this pattern was close-fitting and advised to go up a size to account for the slim fit and as I used thick fabric. Aside from grading up the pattern, the only other fitting alteration that I made was to enlarge the sleeves doing a full bicep adjustment, which is a pretty quick process for me as I do it on all of my sleeve patterns. I added bound buttonholes which weren’t featured in the pattern and bagged lining, which is a different technique than the one used in the pattern’s instructions.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
It may look intimidating, but the construction process is not that difficult and the instructions are easy to follow. I used a heavier coating than is advised and it worked well for this pattern. I pressed it a lot as I went along and made use of my clapper. The only fault I have with the pattern is that the yardage listed for the 60″ wide lining is inaccurate as it’s listed at 1 yard as opposed to the 3 1/3 yards listed for the 45″ width.
How did you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think that the design works well for your body shape?
I think my coat fits very well and it’s very comfortable to wear. I probably could have taken a small wedge out of the back, but I’m happy with this piece. It goes so well with my retro dresses and it doesn’t add bulk where I don’t need it.
Will you make this pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
I’m not certain that I’ll make this pattern again, at least not in wool. I don’t really have a need for coats like this where I live in California and I already have a few other wool coats in my closet. However, it would be nice to have a lighter weight version for spring/fall, so I might make another in the future. My only alteration might be the small wedge taken out of the back pieces that I mentioned before.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources or materials that helped you sew this piece up?
You may want to make a muslin before sewing this coat in your fashion fabric. I did not make a muslin before cutting into and sewing my fabric, but I’ve made many Decades of Style patterns and am aware of how the patterns fit my body. I used this method to re-size the pattern and this method to enlarge the sleeves. I also gained a lot of useful advice and inspiration from the coats that both Manju (Sew Manju) and Beth (Sunnygal Studio) have made.
Pattern Rating (1-5):
Size range: 4
Construction process: 5
Final fit: 5
Overall rating: 4.75
I am really very proud of my coat. I learned some new skills and was able to add some vintage details to create the coat that I had envisioned. It seems daunting sometimes to sew something new that might be out of our perceived comfort zones, but it’s really worth it to take that step and try something new.
For more info/photos, check out my blog post.
Note: I received the pattern as a gift from Decades of Style. I received the coating as part of the blog team at Cali Fabrics. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.