Republique du Chiffon Gerard Coat (finally!!)

When I saw Gerard, it was love at first sight.  I knew I had to have him in my life!  DSC_0040If you haven’t seen them yet, Republique du Chiffon is a French pattern company that is putting out some really amazing designs.  Most of the patterns are in French, but a few are translated into English, including this lovely coat- Gerard.  (Although, at least with Gerard, the instructions are in English but all of the diagrams and pattern pieces are still in French.  Google translate is your friend 😉 )  DSC_0077I spent a lot of time pondering this coat…what fabric to use, what kind of interfacing, which size, lining, hand sewn buttonhole?  Bound buttonhole?  Underlining?  And so on…DSC_0057Once I got all of my supplies together I needed some help with the construction.  I had never sewn a tailored jacket before, and had no clue as to how it would all come together!  The instructions in the pattern would be sufficient for anyone with prior experience, but for me I definitely needed more.  I watched a video, and read through a few tutorials on line before I got started.  In an effort to keep this post of reasonable length I will have another post tomorrow detailing all of the supplies I used, and links to all of the on line resources.DSC_0038This turned out to be more of a coat than a jacket, it is really warm!  The outer fabric is a mystery wool blend, which I underlined with silk organza.  The lining is silk charmeuse (heavenly!!). We took a trip to Rochester, NY last weekend and it was freeeeezing cold, and this was the only coat I brought.  Probably not the smartest decision as it was untested but it kept me reasonably warm even in 10 degree weather 🙂DSC_0110When we left for the trip I hadn’t sewn the buttonhole or button yet, and so there I was in a middle seat on the airplane, taking care of my 3 year old and trying not to stab the random guy next to me as I sewed my first ever corded buttonhole.  It will probably come as no surprise when I tell you I had to redo that buttonhole 😉  It turned out OK the second time, but I do think it is a smidge too close to the edge.DSC_0103DSC_0106I love the button, I was prepared to find a very nice expensive button for this jacket but the one I ended up liking the best cost less than 2 dollars.DSC_0096The patch pockets are perfect for keeping hands warm, and are also lined in silk charmeuse which feels so lovely when I put my hands in there.   The pattern offers no guidance as far as pocket or button placement…it would have been nice to have some help there, especially with the pockets.  I am happy with where they ended up but I did stress about it a bit as it is done right at the beginning before the rest is sewn up.  DSC_0085I think the fit turned out to be the perfect amount of oversized slouchiness.  I originally traced out a small, but when I made my muslin it was much more fitted than I was looking for.  So I went up to a medium and I am really happy with the fit.  The only change I made was to lengthen the sleeves by 1/2″.DSC_0079For me, this pattern was a good choice for my first tailored jacket.  There’s not much to do with the fit as it is so loose, and there’s really not much involved tailoring either.  A bit of fusible interfacing, nothing going on in the shoulders such as shoulder pads.  The bottom of the coat is finished with a facing instead of just folding up the hem, and it makes a nice sturdy edge.  How the collar and lapels come together has always been a mystery to me but in reality wasn’t that hard to sew.
DSC_0115DSC_0117This may be my favorite thing I have ever made!  At least for now, I tend to say that a lot 😉  I definitely want to make another one that is more lightweight for spring/fall weather, but this one will get lots of wear on those cold days.  If you are thinking of making Gerard, come back tomorrow for a detailed post about all of the supplies and on line help that made this jacket possible!

  • It really is so lovely!! Can’t wait for the details post tomorrow.

  • Looks awesome! I totally need an easy-wearing wool coat for next season. I kind of never got my act together this year.

  • I LOVe it! I can’t believe this is your first tailored item, you’ve done a great job! X

  • No wonder this is your favourite make, it’s gorgeous!! I’d love to make a coat someday & this is definitely the style I’d go for. Looking forward to hearing more about it.

  • it’s awesome! great wardrobe staple and i’d love to see it in a lighter fabric too. and i really want to hear more about how you made it happen – looking forward to the next post! any buttonhole except machine-sewn freaks me out.

    • Kelly

      The scariest thing about hand sewn buttonholes is you have to cut it first, then sew…it freaked me out to have a finished jacket in my hands and then slice into it!

  • Gorgeous slouchy coat. It looks really warm and cosy and I can’t wait to see your summery version. Great job!

  • Gah! Gerard is everything I thought he would be and more! Yours is splendiferous, I think you chose the perfect size. Your fabric is so Gerard worthy and you look lovely also. Will definitely be taking recommendations from you on coat making tips.

    • Kelly

      You have to make a Gerard for yourself, it would look great on you!

  • This is so fantastic! Very brave taking on a pattern marked in French even if instructions were in English.

    • Kelly

      Awww, thanks! The good thing is there are lots of tutorials out there for tailored jackets, so you really could do it without any instructions at all!

  • oh i love it! the RDC patterns are so cute but i’m a bit scared to try!

  • Jennifer

    Oh, how pretty! I have the pattern, have a fabric in mind but haven’t cut. I also traced the size small wonder if that’s wrong, I supose a muslin is the appropriate first step. How did your measurments compare to the chart? I’m closest to the small but about 2cm bigger in each and figured that could be made up at side seams if needed. I’d also lean toward the small since I’m only 5’1″. I’ll probably shorten slightly anyway but I wouldn’t want to be swimming in it in all directions. Clearly I need a muslin and this is why I haven’t started yet. Yours is perfect. I’m so impressed!

    • Kelly

      I measured between the small and medium- about the same as you. With my muslin for the small I wanted it to be wider in the shoulders, that is the main reason I sized up. There is not much of a difference in the length between the two sizes, and it is fairly long. I am 5′ 7″ and I like the length but at 5′ 1″ I think you’ll definitely want to shorten it. The muslin was quick, I am glad I took the time to do it as I was surprised by the fit of the small.

      • Jennifer

        Thanks, I was planning to shorten some and I will muslin. That’s helpfu, though as I think I’m fairly small in the shoulders so I’m feeling more confident the small will be the correct starting point.

  • Great job! Thank you for letting us all know about this pattern company too – I for one had never heard of them before. Rachel 🙂

  • This turned out really, really awesome!! I love it almost as much as your Minoru jacket, which is to say A LOT!! I also love the fabric you chose and the fit is pretty amazing!!!

    • Kelly

      Thanks so much!! I have been thinking about it for months so it is nice to finally have it made 🙂

  • I love this! I actually did not know about this pattern company!? Thanks for sharing. P.S. By any chance did you print the pattern on Letter paper? Or is this A4 exclusively? (The website is rather confusing, it’s not as easy to navigate as I hoped to find info) Thanks again!!

    • Kelly

      It is a bit difficult to navigate, if you are on Kollabora all of the patterns are on there as well. I printed on letter paper with no problems- my printer wanted to scale it down a bit so just make sure it prints at 100%

      • Thanks, Kelly! This is helpful 🙂

  • I Love how the fabric you chose drapes! Well done, looks fantastic on you! I am sure you will get a lot of use
    out of it! Wish I had made a facing for the hem also, that part of the instructions were a bit confusing for me.

    • Kelly

      Yes! I kept trying to figure out if I needed to add an extra hem allowance but finally figured out how those facing pieces worked 🙂

  • Gorgeous! I think the easy shape of this is perfect on you, and the fabric choice is spot-on. Well done!

    Also, for some reason it tickles me that you flew to Rochester, because I went to college near there and then lived in Buffalo, NY for three years, and I always feel like Western NY doesn’t get enough love! I hope you had a good time while you were there 🙂

    • Kelly

      Thank you! We had fun in Rochester, despite the cold…I’ve been to Buffalo too, but unfortunately all of my visits to Western NY have been in the dead of winter and all I remember is being SO COLD, ha. My favorite part of NY is the Adirondacks, we spent quite a bit of time there a few years back and it was gorgeous!

  • Looks great! You seriously couldn’t go wrong with that fabric!

  • Wow, wow, wow. This is gorgeous, it’s a really lovely coat and looks great on you. I’ve downloaded this pattern too (after reading about it on your blog) and agree the instructions are a tad confusing. I think I’ll put in on hold for the moment as we are heading out of winter now.

  • This turned out so great! I’ve admired that pattern, but am not sure I’m bold enough to take on my first tailoring project in French… You, however, win the Bold Sewist Award. Not only for the amazingness of this jacket, but also: buttonholing, flying, and three-year-old-caring simultaneously?! Impressive! 🙂

    • Kelly

      Haha, thanks!!

  • This is so fantastic!! This pattern is just so ‘on trend’ in the best of ways – that slouchy, masculine cut… sigh. And I think the fabric you paired it with here, and the light touch with tailoring is utter perfection and is totally the finishing touch to this style. Also, your pocket placement is dead. on. Good call!!

    • Kelly

      Thanks Sallie!!

  • Eek! I’ve been waiting for this post! The jacket looks AMAZING! Beautiful work! I took one look at the instructions and kind of freaked out- they’re pretty intimidating! I’m really desperate to have one of these in my wardrobe, though, so I’m excited for your next post, too! This really, really suits you, and looks fabulous!!!!!

    • Kelly

      Thanks so much! You can totally do it! You’ve made blazers before that were probably harder than this one! It’s pretty forgiving with such a loose fit I think.

  • Ooh, I’m excited for the details. This really is a beautiful piece. I’m considering abandoning my (already on-hold) winter coat pattern for this one – the slouchiness is really speaking to me.

    • Kelly

      I can see this being in line with your style, it would look great on you!

  • that is delicious!!! i love picturing you on the plane, nothing can stop a woman obsessed, not even a middle seat 🙂

    • Kelly

      haha, yes…I always tell my husband “Makers gonna make!”

  • What a beautiful jacket. It was fun & amazing hearing how you constructed it . Not being a sewer (only needlepoint), I really appreciate all the talent and effort that goes into each piece that you make. I loved your knitted pieces and can’t wait to see what is next!

    • Kelly

      Thanks Sally! 🙂

  • I love this so much. I think it’s too late in the season to start it up, but maybe next year for me.

  • Your Gerard is a stunner! Beautiful version of such a fab pattern and a great fabric choice. I can’t wait for details so I can duly bookmark them for (much) later. And I’m so pleased to hear that at least the instructions are in English. There’s only so much high school French/Google translate can help with.

  • i am completely in love with this coat! the fabric is perfect, and the silk lining sounds so heavenly. good call on making an over-sized coat for your first tailoring project. i so badly want to make this, but it will probably have to wait until next winter. oh, and nice job on the buttonhole. i did handworked buttonholes when i made a coat a year and a half ago. yikes! far more difficult than i had ever imagined!

  • Your coat turned out so beautifully! I think you made the right decision when you went up a size. This oversized, slouchy look is so great on you. I also love it that you’ve got on an entirely you-made outfit!

  • That Thick dress is look perfectly fit to the body and prevent most of winder touble, dont be worry if you get out of your place among the snow flak, thatwill make you feel cool !
    I also love to see the best patter and trend for women fashion, In Thailand no snow and winter here, but I think this dress can sale for people who want to go to the cold countries.
    my currently job working in analytic specialist need alots of brain energy, I also buld up website for my mom called "MOM-IDEA.COM" I ‘m looking for information to write about heathy food and heathy life. these days I getting fat, and many food go more expensive because about economic inflation increasing very high. We need to make good food in our home keep in friedge but it nice and fun. Is show the great idea, and I want to share your link to let my community in Thailand see this product and fahion thing.
    Thank for sharing the beautiful one 🙂

  • The Model also look cute and mature !
    you will go famous soon 🙂 LOL

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  • Carla

    Hi there!

    This looks great. Your version has definitely made me decide to buy this pattern 🙂

    Did you use a herringbone fabric for your coat? I’m trying to decide if I want to use a herringbone fabric to make it. I just don’t know how matching up the stripes would be? How did it go for your version?

    • Kelly

      Hi Carla! Yeah this fabric has a large herringbone pattern, and to be honest I didn’t bother trying to match any of it, except on the back center seam. If it were a more defined stripe, maybe I would but I don’t know- it’s a pretty casual style, I probably wouldn’t worry about it too much 🙂

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