Coating Fabric Conundrum

After posting up my Shoutout to Gertie blogpost, I went on the hunt for some wool coating fabric from some online retailers.

I ordered 2 swatches from Fashion Fabrics Club:

Ordered 1 swatch from Gorgeous Fabrics:

And I ordered a whopping 8 fabric swatches from Mood:

What’s crazy is that Mood fabrics’ real color vs. monitor color varied the greatest.  Do you see the ‘black’ coating at the bottom left?  That is supposed to be a lovely, more vibrant shade of green.

I consulted my trusty fabric specialist, Felix (*insert sarcasm here*) and he listened patiently as I talked out which fabrics to narrow down my choice to.  Being a non-expert he did manage to help me think things through and I got my choices narrowed down to three fabrics:

These are all wool coatings.  The grass-green swatch is quite thick and it’s 100% wool, the teal one at is 95% wool and 5% rayon, so it has a pretty drape and the grey-lilac-black swatch is also quite thick but I love tweeds & it’s different. 

A few days later I received Gertie’s Coat pattern (B 5824) in the mail from Butterick, and to my surprise the fabric recommendation was for a light to mid-weight wool coating.  I guess this does make sense as the swing portion of the coat is well… swing.  With a thick wool coating, there wouldn’t be much swing.

So within my three favorites only one remains, the teal wool coating which is quite lovely and has some drape to it.

Now here comes the actual conundrum:  Do I actually buy fabric even though I have some in my stash?!

Major Note:  I’m not certain how much yardage I have in either of these two fabrics.  The Coat calls for a whopping 5 yards.  Now I’m short…. so I don’t think I’ll actually need 5.  (Have to lay out the pattern pieces to test it out.)

I bought this purple & black coating fabric on one of my trips to Washington DC at least one year ago. 


At the time I was really into purple (and still am for the most part), but after having it in my stash for so long, it’s lost it’s luster.  You know what I mean?!  Why use something you’ve had sitting around forever when there are new and pretty fabrics to be had.

The second fabric I have in my stash is a blue & white herringbone wool that I got at my local Vogue fabrics:

THis fabric is very light weight, and I feel would be better suited towards, well a suit.  But I prefer tweeds for suits so I’m not certain this would ever become a suit.  At any rate, I could use it for this coat.

I do realize this whole argument sounds very *consumerist* but I’m just not that thrilled anymore with these two fabrics.  And if I’m spending a lot of man-hours making a coat, I want to love it and not hate it the whole time.  I don’t want to think “if only I used that silky teal wool fabric instead.”

Reality: I doubt that I would hate the finished coat & I think I should use the wool coating in my stash just to get it out of my closet.  But I would rather have a bright fun color for the winter and not more black.  What’s a girl to do?!

How do you guys overcome this feeling that new = better and old = boring?  Do you guys just suck it up (like I know I should) and use the stash fabric or would you buy the new teal coating (since you would love it more)?

What should I do?
Would you do the same as what you’re telling me to do?  :)

In: Sewing

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

Comments (19)

  1. Wendy September 6, 2012 — 10:12 AM

    Surely there is some reader out there who has something in their stash they aren’t that thrilled about that you would love. What about a trade?

  2. Lauren September 6, 2012 — 10:15 AM

    If you’re going to pour all that time & money into an intense project like a coat – use fabric that you adore! If that means buying fabric, then buy fabric :) You can always use those stash pieces for something else (that herringbone would be really awesome in a fitted suit jacket, with some colorful embroidery. Ok I have a jacket exactly like that hahaha). But with a coat, you’re going to wear it over everyyyything all winter – not to mention you are going to be staring at it for weeks while you sew it. Better to choose something that makes you happy every time you look at it :) Plus, that teal coating you chose is just beautiful.

    Also, I’m pretty sure that textured teal fabric from Mood (on the top row of your swatches) is the same stuff I used to make my coat last year :) Love that fabric haha!

    1. Liz September 6, 2012 — 10:20 AM

      YES! Just hunted down your coat images from your site and it is the same fabric! Great minds thinks alike, no?! :)

      Thanks so much for your advice. I really want the purple and grey tweed one but its too thick. :(

    2. Clare S September 7, 2012 — 5:36 AM

      Lauren said exactly what I was planning to (except for the bits about the suit she made!). A project like this needs your excitement to keep you going on it and should be something you adore from the pattern to the fabric.

  3. Paloma September 6, 2012 — 10:19 AM

    I actually like the purple textured one the best. Even though teal is one of my all time favorite colors, I think the purple would look simply fab as a Gertie swing coat. That said, if you don’t have enough or have to get creative with cutting then you may have the perfect excuse to go with the teal. I also fall victim to no longer being as excited about fabric in my stash after a while, but once I find the perfect pattern to go with fabric that has been sitting around it is oh so satisfying.

  4. K-Line September 6, 2012 — 10:22 AM

    I would buy the teal coating. I think it will work best for the job and you’ll love it the most. Don’t spend all of that time making something in a fabric that doesn’t thrill simply to save a bit of money and space. If it makes you feel better, you can give away something of equivalent size in your stash and then it will all equal out :-)

  5. ListenMaudy September 6, 2012 — 11:20 AM

    I agree with the other commenters – you should buy the teal fabric. It’s the fabric you’re most excited about, so you’ll be happiest with the finished product. Plus, if you aren’t excited about the other fabrics now, think how you’ll feel when you’re halfway through the coat. I would buy the teal fabric if that’s the one that really excited me when starting a new project. :)

  6. A few days ago I came across some fabric that I had forgotten about (out of sight, out of mind), and I was so excited to see it :) I think that black and purple fabric is gorgeous, but if you can’t fall back in love with it, then move on and buy the fabric you really want. But, if I were you, I might spend some time with the black and purple fabric first, and see if you can’t rekindle the romance. Maybe imagine how it would look paired with different outfits and different shoes. If you can’t get excited about it as your future coat, then move on to the teal fabric, knowing that you made the best decision. That’s my two cents worth. Either way, can’t wait to see your future coat–it’s gonna be fabulous!!

  7. Janice September 6, 2012 — 12:37 PM

    I’m going through the same thing myself with Gertie’s coat + fabric choices. I would buy something that you’re in love with, despite the cost. If you’re going to invest that much time (and money) into making a huge project like a coat, I’d definitely buy what you love.

  8. Meg September 6, 2012 — 1:51 PM

    Now, if I were you, I would buy the teal loveliness. If I am making a coat, and spending a good amount of time on it, I want to make it in a fabric I love and that works with the sewing pattern. Yeah, I might like the coat if I made it in the herringbone or the other purple and black coating, but would I LOVE it? Would I want to wear it constantly? For as excited as you were about the pattern, I would pick a fabric you were as equally excited about. If that still hasn’t convinced you, remember that you look marvelous in shades of blue :)

  9. MacStabby J. September 6, 2012 — 1:59 PM

    I say go with the color you love- if it’s teal, so be it. I’ll buy the black and purple from you. It’d be a great excuse to drive down to Chicago. ;-)

  10. Tasha September 6, 2012 — 2:45 PM

    Of the fabric that will work with it, which is the coat you WANT? That’s the coat you should make. In the end, it’ll be the one you wear the most and are happiest with. Sewing it will be fun, because you love the fabric. Sounds like the teal to me!

    Sure, it’s a tad consumerist, but don’t be guilt tripped by your stash!! Then you’ll end up pouring hours into a coat you’re only meh about in the end.

    (And I would absolutely use the teal and not the stash, if it were me!)

  11. christy September 6, 2012 — 3:55 PM

    I’d buy the new fabric. If you are going to put a bunch of work into a new coat, then you need to love it. Just promise yourself that you’ll make something with one of the other pieces within 12 months too. Looking foward to seeing the coat. I love it, but have no need for winter warmth of that scale here in Australia.

  12. Rachel September 6, 2012 — 6:47 PM

    Normally I’d say go with the stash option, but not for something this time intensive – it really needs to be something you love, so my vote gore for the teal too

  13. Liz September 6, 2012 — 10:45 PM

    No point putting hours of work and energy into the make and getting the fit right if you are not going to wear it or feel happy in it. I say buy the teal. One day the perfect garment will come along for your stash, or alternately wait for a swap event and make someone’s day that way.

  14. Kat September 7, 2012 — 12:51 AM

    Make two coats! One from stash, one with the teal fabric :)

  15. Sarah September 7, 2012 — 8:52 AM

    I definitely vote for using whatever fabric you LOVE LOVE LOVE. If that means buying new fabric, so be it!

  16. Sue September 7, 2012 — 7:14 PM


    I have similar feelings about my fabric stash, and also my wardrobe. I just did an extremely thorough cleaning out of my closet – probably more than I’ve done in years and years, and had 5 trash bags full of STUFF. I got rid of so much clothing that I could wear but don’t, or haven’t in a long time. I just had to tell myself… if this doesn’t make me happy when I see it, then it doesn’t matter if it still fits – it’s OUT. Same stuff applies (I think) to the fabric stash. If it doesn’t make you excited, either tuck it away for later and hope to forget about it enough to be re-excited when you see it again or get rid of it! I vote for buying new things that you are excited about and really love (like that lovely teal fabric). Good luck deciding! I know whatEVER you end up with, it’ll turn out beautifully.:)

  17. PetitePear September 8, 2012 — 2:22 PM

    Personally I really love the purple and black fabric from your stash and think it would work really well with the pattern. But if you don’t love it, please don’t make it into something as labor intensive as a coat! Having a garment you spent all the time and effort working on and don’t love is much worse than having the piece of the fabric sitting around unused.

Leave a Comment