Leone Coat Sew-Along 1: Choosing Fabric

Is this the single most intimidating part of starting a sewing project? Choosing the right fabric for a sewing pattern can be tricky and, as you all know, it can make or break your make.  This is where your final project will either appear as a triumphant make on your IG feed or fall under the "what was I thinking" hashtag.  The hesitation is real!

So, to help you in the fabric choosing process, I've raided my sewing stash to show you what can work for the Leone coat pattern and what should be left for another day.

 Let's start with the rejection pile.

fabric picture

Sure this first fabric appears to have all the "right" properties for a coat pattern... It's a lovely blend of virgin wool and cashmere with a touch of stretch.  Pretty perfect, right? Well, no.  In spite of it's coveted fiber content this is a lightweight fabric, and lightweight doesn't do well in unlined coats.  Save this one for another project like a dress or skirt.

 

coating fabric

Up next, a fabric created just for coats.  A lovely twill.  A fabric I recommend for this pattern.  It's a wool and nylon blend in a heavy coating weight.  And that's your problem right there... it's much too heavy for the welt and flap pocket.  You'll have too much bulk once you sew together the coat front with the pocket panel and add the coat facing to it.  Leave this one for your classic coat pattern with lining.

 

tweed fabric

Next, we have luscious tweed.  Why not tweed you say?  Although the weight is great tweeds tends to have a loose weave and I would not recommend it for any unlined projects.  Lining is the barrier you need to prevent this fabric from stretching apart at the seams. It also frays, a LOT, which is another reason to avoid unlined projects.

 

Your ideal fabric is a mid weight: in the 300g range.  You want it to be suitable for unlined pieces much like denim is, a heavier cotton or wool twill.  Even a sweater knit (if it's heavy and dense enough) holds up nicely for the Leone pattern. Below is the sweater knit I used for my second Leone coat with contrast sleeves and pocket panels.  Even though the pattern calls for a woven fabric, I was personally pleasantly surprised at how well the pattern worked in this fabric.

sweater knit

 

This is a cotton and acrylic twill.  Its' weight is equivalent to a non stretch denim pant. It's compact.  It won't fray and that is why I think it would work for an unlined coat pattern.

cotton twill

And here is a wool boucle... It would handle the pattern nicely giving your final look a cardi-coat feel.

wool boucle

I hope you've been inspired to raid your fabric stash for your Leone fabric.  Remember that this sew-along is interactive!  Visit my Facebook page to post any questions you may have regarding your fabric choices.

I'll see you next Wednesday where I will talk to you about prepping your cut out pattern just before you start sewing.  I'll also share my trick to cutting out fusing with little wastage and we'll start with the all important pockets! 

For tips on properly cutting out your coat, I have a Sewing 101 blog post that talks about the importance of pattern layout and grainlines.  

Till next week!

 

Joanna

 


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