Fabric Files, Sewalongs


In addition to the coating fabrics and lining we discussed yesterday, you’ll need to gather a few additional supplies to make your Clare Coat. I’m hoping most of this will be available at your local shop, but I’m also providing as many online resources as possible.


While Clare doesn’t demand the kind of elabourate interfacing applications of more tailored jackets (think roll lines, pad stitching etc) it is imperative that you stabilize key areas, especially around the shoulders, seams and hems. Interfacing adds a little body to your fabric, and prevents fabric from stretching over time. Do not skip this step!

Weft interfacing + horsehair canvas // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files


Weft fusible is my preferred interfacing for Clare; it is a classic tailor’s supply, and adds fluid drape and structure to coating fabrics. If you are making Clare with a fabric that can’t be pressed (I’m thinking about velvet or faux fur) you may also substitute it for sew-in fabric interfacing. It is woven, not the solid sheets you might be used to, and has a little stretch or give to it, but not quite so much as interfacing designed specifically for knits. It generally comes in wide widths, but I also include quantities for the narrower 20″ kind if that’s what you’re using. Unless you’re sewing a very light coloured fabric, black should be fine; I find it is more commonly available. You should be able to find this in the interfacing section of your fabric store.

If you’re lucky, your fabric will come pre-interfaced. This is generally more common with end lots from manufacturers, but it will save you some prep time. If your fabric is not as beefy as you’d like, you can also block fuse all of your fabric to add a little body everywhere. Both of my Clare samples are completely interfaced and it creates a nice crisp coat, especially with wools.

Pre-interfaced wool coating // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files

Online sources: I’ve heard great things about the Pro-Weft at Fashion Sewing Supplies. You can also get the Pellon brand at Fabric.com. Also: Vogue Fabrics.


Horsehair canvas on collar // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files

If you’re making View A, I also suggest you pick up a 1/2″ yard of horsehair interfacing. In a pinch you can use a sturdy fabric like regular cotton canvas, but horsehair provides strong but flexible structure to your collar. You can buy sew-in or fusible. I used regular sew-in but I think the fusible would be a better choice if you’re not going to pad-stitch it into place.

Online Sources: Fashion sewing supplyFabric.comNancy’s Notions


You’ll also need to pick up around 3 yards of cotton twill stay tape. We’ll be sewing this along our raglan and collar seams to prevent them from stretching out. You should be able to find it at your local fabric store by the yard, but you can also buy it in readymade packs like this.


Interlining coats for warmth // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files

Is it colder than a withering glare from Judy Dench where you live? Consider adding a layer of interlining for warmth. Not to be confused with underlining (which means adding a layer of fabric for additional structure/body), interlining simply means sewing a double layer of something like cotton flannel or lambswool to your body fabric. You would cut all of your main pieces (sleeves, front, back and sides) from the same pattern pieces, baste them together and then treat the whole thing as one layer. For even more warmth, you can use something like 3M thinsulate, which is what commercial manufacturers often use in wool coats. Rather than sewing it to your fashion fabric, you baste it to your lining pieces to help reduce bulk. You can get it at Vogue Fabrics. I think Seattle Fabrics carries it as well but their website is a little confusing; you may have to call and ask.


Riri separating zippers // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files

Depending on what version of Clare you make, you’ll need to source either zippers or button closures. I’ve called for zippers that are 30-32″ long in length; you should be able to find them at your local big box sewing store, or anywhere that has a decent selection of notions. Just make sure you get the separating kind;  I custom ordered a Riri zipper, sewed it into an early sample and realized it didn’t open at the bottom. Major bummer.

You can also trim your zippers if you find one you like that is too long. My main piece of advice is to go with a metal zipper if you can find them; they look better exposed and are less likely to melt on you during the pressing stage. If you want to splurge, I absolutely LOVE fancy schmancy Riri zippers. You can get them in any length, in every colour of the rainbow, along with gold, silver, bronze or rose coloured teeth, and your chance of zipper pulls. The only place I know of to get them is Pacific Trimming; make sure you specify the 6mm teeth. You can try Zipperstop for YKK zippers; they have a huge selection and will trim your zipper to the correct length. Wawak also has a decent selection of zippers in multiple colors, but you’ll need to trim them yourself.

If you’re making View B, you’ll need buttons or concealed snaps. Again, I got my giant snap buttons from Pacific Trimming – they take some time to sew in but I love them.


Supplies for coat making // Clare Coat Sewalong // Closet Case Files

The key to coat-making is thorough pressing; it’s worth it to spring for a tailor’s ham or seam roll if you can afford it  since you’ll end up using it all the time anyway (you can always DIY them following this tutorial on Tilly & the Buttons). Finally, a sharp pair of shears or a rotary cutter, matching thread and a marking pen, and a clapper for those crisps seams I was raving about yesterday (any piece of hardwood will do the trick).

And that’s it! Tomorrow I’ll be covering some common alterations, and we’ll get started on constructed on Monday. Questions? I’ll answer below!


  • Jen l

    Thank you for the interfacing source tips. I like YKK Excella zippers also. They are the smoothest zipper I’ve ever used and more easily found online than Riri. Zipperstop is supposed to be one reliable place that sells them online. Just beware that there are zipper fakes out there. Sounds weird but I’ve even seen some at least one popular trim shop in NYC in the past and read about others bought online.

  • patsijean

    For a practical, and absolutely cool, addition to pressing supplies, I recommend the pressing hams and sleeve rolls from Stitch Nerd. I have the regular sized ham, the large, and a sleeve roll, each made in a custom fabric choice. My choice was a cotton sugar skull print paired with a hot pink plaid. There is a photo in the slide show. The prices and good, the construction is excellent, and the “fun factor” is there too. No affiliation, just a really pleased customer. http://www.stitchnerdcustomshop.com/

  • Catherine Edwards

    Could you explain more about what fusible weft interfacing is? I asked at my local fabric store and they had no idea. They thought maybe you meant something like fusi-knit stretchy interfacing? I am making my coat out of melton. Could I just use regular medium-weight non-stretchy fusible interfacing?–Catherine

    • Weft means it’s woven, as opposed to the solid/non woven sheets you might be used to working with. Look for something that appears to be woven with fibers. If they don’t have it, you can use regular interfacing but it won’t have the same sort of drapey yet solid body the weft provides.

      • Catherine Edwards

        Ok, thanks for that. I’ll look around in Vancouver (I live in a small town north of there and the local sewing shop has pretty limited supplies).

  • I am so happy you are doing a sew-a-long with this pattern. Coat making is so intimidating and I know nothing about it. I feel like I’m learning so much already, I can’t wait for more. I mean interlining? Who knew? ;P

    • I wish I had interlined one of my babies with thinsulate. Next time!

  • Kathryn

    I am a lucky, lucky girl and scored a couple metres of lambswool interlining from work. Do you know any other sources of lambswool interlining?

  • Michelle Rose

    I want to make another shoutout for Zipperstop and YKK zippers. YKK’s are more durable than the Coats & Clark zippers that you typically find at your big box stores. They’re pricier than C&C but less expensive than Riri. (I spent around ~$10 on the one that I used for my Clare Coat.) Bonus: Zipperstop will custom shorten your zipper for you to whatever length you need.

    • I addded it to the post! Thanks Michelle!

  • Esther

    I live in Montreal and I’d like a coat for wheather like right now (0 to 10 deg roughly). If I buy a medium weight wool and line it with Kasha, would you suggest also interlining the coat, or could the Kasha be enough?

    • I find wool+kasha is good till December, but when its minus 30 you’ll want an interlining, unless you also wear a big thick wool coat! My beige Clare is warm but I’ll need an extra layer in January I think….

  • I second what Jen has said! Thank you for those interfacing types and thank you to Jen for the tips on “fake” zips! Who would have known?

  • Nane

    Hi, I have a question regarding the interlining. How would sewing it to the lining reduce the bulk ? I mean, where you sew the lining to the fashion fabric, isn’t there as much bulk whether you attached the interlining to the lining as if you attached the interlining to the fashion fabric ? As I type my question I guess the bulk reduction happens at the places where the lining and the fashion fabric are not stitched together. I would love to hear (well read) your thoughts on that. I find it so hard to gather good technical information mad tips. Your posts on the Clare coat are so far really interesting! Thanks !!

    • Hi Nane. Thanks so much for the kind feedback. I believe thinsulate has areal thickness, so if you were basting it a thick wool coat fabric, you would get some absolutely massive seams, especially around the armscye and shoulder seams. The lining fabric is generally quite thin so you would have much thinner seams where it was basted. It would still get a little thick where the lining is sewn to the coat, but overall it makes sense to me to do it that way. Hope that helps!

      • Nane

        Great ! It makes sense. Thanks for your reply.

  • Is there a reason that the horsehair canvas is not suggested for the funnel collar for View B?

    • You could install it but I found I liked the look of it with out a lot of structure. Totally up to you. View A needs it in order to hold its shape and stand upright.

  • Daphne

    I live in Montréal too, and I’m desperately looking for Thinsulate. Vogue and Seattle fabric charge +$44 for international delivery and I’m crying over my keyboard. Do you have any idea where I could find Thinsulate here (or on a Canadian website)?

    • Have you called Tonitex? If they don’t have any they would know where to get it.

    • I was able to get the 3M Thinsulate at Fabricland in Ottawa. I think there’s one in Cornwall as well?

  • Genevieve

    I’m still collecting my supplies and all along I was thinking that view A was the tall collar that needed the horse hair canvas, but no realize it’s the short collar …right? Does the funnel collar in view B require additional structure as well?

    • Nope! if it’ a sturdy fabric just interfacing each side with your fusible will be enough.

  • Nancy Karpen

    I only use interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply. Aside from being wide it’s really high quality. I love Riri zippers and buy them from Pacific Trimming. They have the biggest selection and if you are in NYC they have a whole room, or at least it seems that way, dedicated to the brand. Bottani buttons has a beautiful zipper as well but there is a $25 minimum for shipping.. I really like the coat. The high neck looks perfect for cold weather.

  • Heather Lou, does weft interfacing have different weights? I found weft interfacing at Fabricland in Ottawa, and it *is* woven…but it seems SO light. It doesn’t seem like it will add much body to my fabric. I chose a beautiful red felted wool blend. The felted wool blend is not overly heavy… so I’ll be adding Thinsulate to the lining for warmth. Do you think the weft interfacing will be sufficiently heavy? If not, can I double-interface it? Or should I use something else? Thanks so much!

    • I’ve never seen it in different weights. It is pretty lightweight on its own but it does add body to the fabric; you basically just want to reinforce the fabric so it doesn’t stretch out. If it’s a really lightweight wool you’ll need to interline it as well but it *sounds* like that isn’t necessary.

      • Awesome. I did buy the weft interfacing I found, so now I’ll start cutting! 🙂 Thanks so much.

  • Jo Dec

    I found the horsehair canvas at “L’atelier de mademoiselle Julie” on St-Hubert street in Montreal. They have to kind, one is horse hair and cotton (sturdier), the other one is a mix of fiber with some horse hair in it. Great service, very nice ownner.