Bonjour, Gerard!

C'est fini! My coat-along coat is finished, and on time too!

This is of course the Gerard Coat pattern from Republique du Chiffon. It's a "boyfriend-style" coat described as a good introduction to coat-sewing. Because it has kind of a boxy silhouette there's not a lot of fitting and tailoring involved.

This was my first time making a coat, so I'm sure there are bits I didn't do properly. Like I probably should have used some nicer interfacing rather than the stuff from Joanns. And the lapel could have probably used some extra something... whatever it is you do to lapels to make them roll at the roll line and stay put. But for my first coat I'm pretty proud of it! Especially considering how sparse and questionably translated the instructions were.

I didn't make a muslin (I'm bad, I know) so I was a little worried about the fit... just not worried enough to make a muslin, haha. Since the coat was supposed to have a slouchy, over-sized fit I figured there wouldn't really be any changes to make. And luckily I was right! So this is the pattern straight out of the envelope, as it were. My measurements match RDC's size small pretty exactly so that's what I made.

During the sewing process I kept trying the coat on, trying to decide whether or not I actually liked the silhouette on me. It wasn't until I'd completely finished it and put it on over winter clothes that I could tell I liked it. Loved it, more like. Which was a huge relief, because I spent a lot of time on this coat!

This was my first time sewing with an RDC pattern and there were both pros and cons:

First and most importantly, the fit is great. I also really love the style both of this pattern and of a lot of RDC's other patterns. And it was pretty cheap at ~$8. The downside, which I didn't realize until after I'd bought the pattern, is that the pattern pieces are nested and don't include seam allowances. So you have no choice but to trace the pieces (of which there are quite a few) and then add seam allowances to all of them. This + cutting was definitely the most time-consuming part of the whole process. Oh, and the pattern pieces are labeled in French, so make sure you print out the the sheet with translations when you're tracing your pieces. I also thought it was odd that the pattern pieces were hand-drawn and scanned rather than drafted in Illustrator. I think that was the cause of the small inaccuracies I noticed when matching up the pieces. It should also be noted that the instructions are pretty sparse and the diagrams, when labeled, haven't been translated into English.

With that being said, I still definitely recommend the pattern! It was just more like using a BurdaStyle pattern than using a pattern from a typical indie company, which is kind of what I was expecting. There's definitely no hand-holding here! But if you're an intermediate level sewist and can use google then you should be fine. Definitely check out Kelly's Gerard detail post for some good tips and tutorial links.

Since Texas winters are usually fairly mild I wanted to keep this coat pretty lightweight so I'd actually get some use out of it. I already have one heavyweight wool coat from when I lived in DC, and it doesn't get worn too often anymore. So I didn't use any interlining, flannel, thinsulate, etc.

Both fabrics are from Mood. The outer fabric is a gray herringbone wool blend by Theory, and the lining is a terracotta rayon bemberg. The wool was really easy to work with and sewed up beautifully. The rayon bemberg... not so much. But I love rayon bemberg, so I'll deal with its annoying shiftiness.

So overall, I'm very happy with my new coat! It's one of the more ambitious projects I've taken on lately, and I'm really pleased with how well it turned out. Thanks to Bella for creating the coat-along with me, and to the other ladies who joined in! Having a deadline definitely motivated me to finish. I'll do a round-up of everyone's coats next week, so if you'd like to be included please leave me a link in the comments!

<3 Lindsay

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