And we’re back….with my Velvet Bow Clare Coat.
Hi everyone. I hope you’ve all had an awesome long weekend…or is it only my Canadian peeps that enjoyed an extra day of leisure? Wot, you ask? Well officially, we celebrated Queen Victoria’s birthday. Unofficially, we…along with eleventy million other Canadians…traveled. That is what you do on the May long weekend. You go. Somewhere. Anywhere. In our case, we transported ourselves across the waters to Vancouver Island for a visit with family that included a birthday celebration of our own. It was busy. It was fun. I’m tired.
G and I started the weekend with another kind of celebration. A very long time together. It was a great excuse to dine at Chambar and wear my Velvet Bow Clare Coat. I know I could just let the photos do the talking. I mean. Raspberry. Velvet. Bows. All sewn up in another delicious Clare Coat. But. It wouldn’t be like me not to ramble at least a bit. This fabric has been in my stash for two years, maybe more. I found it in the upholstery section of my local Fabricland and I knew that one day it would be a fabulous spring coat. After making my Polka Dot Clare Coat….I knew I had the perfect pattern. The silhouette is almost identical to my previous make….but with ruffled sleeve cuffs. The cuffs are fun, but for me it’s the velvet ribbon trim that steals the show. The inspiration came from the fabric itself. It’s flocked, similar to velvet. I loved the idea of adding trim and a Kate Spade inspired bow. Easy peasy? Well…as it turns out…not so much. It was a major challenge finding ribbon to match. Every store…and I went to every store…failed me. Oh sure..there was ribbon…but the pinks were too pink. The reds were too red. And. The longer I looked, the greater my obsession grew. Do you ever get like that? The harder something is to find, the more you want it? I tried to reason with myself; I mean the fabric really is pretty enough without embellishment. But I couldn’t let go and I ended up where all obsessed makers go….the Internet. That’s how I found M & J Trimming and a nearly perfect match to my fabric. I made tiny bows for the welt pockets and cuffs and a bolder bow for the collar. I did my best to pattern match; the centre front is awesome…pats me on the back…and the sleeves not so very bad. After round one of sewing the sleeves together, I realized that it was going to be a bit of a tricky exercise to get a perfect pattern match. I gave myself a maximum of two goes before calling it good enough. Bound buttonholes and gold and raspberry buttons finish off my Velvet Bow Coat.
My online shopping experience with M & J Trims went with nary a hiccup. The colour on my monitor was true to the product purchased and the service prompt. {These are my personal observations.}
And to wrap’s location and a bit of a side story. Gabrielle of Up Sew Late left a lovely comment on my Polka Dot Clare Coat post. She said, Ooh, it’s GORGEOUS! I absolutely love it – best Clare coat I’ve seen to date. It does have a 60s feel, also looks like an opera coat – you could definitely hide a very special dress under there without any crushing.’ After reading, I was all ‘Oooooh, an Opera Coat. Me likes the sound of that‘, never mind that I’ve never been to the opera. Should I ever go, I’ll be sure to wear one of my  Velvet Bow Clare Coat. Photos snapped in Queen Elizabeth Plaza with the Queen Elizabeth Theatre as dramatic backdrop.


My Other Clare Coat Makes:




  • Reply idaaidasewing May 23, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    I love this version of yours Sue and it looks great on you with all the details you added it!

  • Reply Lori May 23, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    This is a stunning coat.

  • Reply Louisa May 23, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    You (and your coat) are so danged cute, Sue! Congrats on your anniversary – even if you aren't mentioning numbers. Love that I always recognize where you are…

  • Reply Sheila May 23, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    Fabulous, Sue! Happy Victoria Day, and I hope you enjoyed Chambar (L and I went there last time we were in Van) and a very happy “long time” to you! Uh-May-Zing coat. I goggle at your skills in matching the pattern (I noticed right away). Brava!

  • Reply Shybiker May 24, 2016 at 6:58 am

    So pretty! This coat is amazing.

  • Reply Shirl May 24, 2016 at 9:54 am

    How fun! You had better be careful. You are going to be chosen by some Parisian photographers. You will be offered a job at some design store in Gai Paree………just sayin'


  • Reply Vix May 24, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Happy Anniversary to you both!! That coat is sublime and its called Clare (my middle name). What's not to love? xxx

  • Reply Melanie May 24, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Wow – your little touches with the bows and the ruffled sleeves are incredible. The coat alone in this fabric would have been enough, but you've brought it to a whole new level. And the lining. I adore this!! The theatre is a perfect backdrop. You're such a star in this!

  • Reply Kezzie May 24, 2016 at 11:41 am

    That coat is just sensational! If I still did TARDIS Tuesday I'd say come and link up as BOWTIES ARE COOL!

  • Reply elena russo May 24, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Very nice

  • Reply Emalina May 24, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Hello dear Sue! Sorry it's taken so long to visit you but wow have I chosen a good time to visit, that bow coat is amazing! Did you really make it yourself? You are just so talented! I hope you had a wonderful anniversary, you looked absolutely stunning xx

  • Reply Connie May 24, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    Oh that fabric!! It must have been literally buzzing to be let out of the closet after waiting for so long. I just LOVE this. So pretty. You really do look like you're ready for some big event. The bow search was totally worth it. There is just not enough trim going on these days if you ask me.

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion May 25, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Suzanne is right. I read one time that she thinks you have the largest and loviest collection of coats. I so agree. This one is perfect too. I immediately spotted the pattern matching at the front. My eyes are trained to spot that. The bow(s) add such a special element to what was indeed already a perfect coat. The lining is fun! You did a swell job.
    And yes I know what you were talking about when you chased for the ribbon. We always want what we cannot have. That is why bad boys are so in demand.

  • Reply Flo May 26, 2016 at 4:28 am

    Such a fun coat! And yes, I frequently get something stuck in my head and it seems like the longer it takes to find, the more obsessed I become. You are not alone…

  • Reply Sew, Jean Margaret May 26, 2016 at 5:10 am

    A very special coat indeed. Well worth the effort of finding the perfect trim.

  • Reply Hana Velvet Ribbon May 26, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Happy Anniversary to you both! Gorgeous coat, love the bow, the lining and those ruffles. Beautiful photos 🙂

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 26, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Thank you so much! It was fun adding the details, especially since I felt already comfortable with sewing the pattern.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 26, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks so much Lori!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 26, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Thanks Louisa! And thanks for the congrats…first date, not wedding…so I didn't give it the press that a wedding anniversary might warrant, LOL. See you soon!!!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 26, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    OMG…we love Chambar and have been fortunate to have always had a fantastic meal and time there. Hope you and L enjoyed it too! We always share a steamer of mussels, but never share the frites!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 26, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Thanks Ally! It does indeed feel special, but not so special that I won't wear it with jeans!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 26, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Thanks Shirl! You've got me imagining wearing this coat in Paris. Now wouldn't that be special!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 26, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    Thanks so much Vix! Okay…now you've got me thinking…is Vix the shortened version of your given name? Hmmmmm….no need to answer….but I'll have fun mulling this one over.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 26, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Thanks Melanie. Side story on the side story….the fountain in the plaza is under complete renovation, as in it's not even there, just a fence around a hole. After my initial disappointment, we found a different angle that worked just as well.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 26, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Big thanks Kezzie! I admit…I don't even know what TARDIS Tuesday means, but it must be super cool!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 26, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Thank you Elena!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 26, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Emalina!!! So lovely that you've stopped by to say hello! Yes, I did make my coat…my blog has shifted towards almost all handmade clothing since when you were last able to visit! Hope to see you posting when you've got some precious time…xoxo

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 26, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Sew ME! Sew ME! Trust me, I had it on the cutting table a few times but it was never quite the right moment…'til now!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 26, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Thanks Greetje! LOLOLOL…I love your analogy.

    Opening my coat closet does make me smile, I admit that!!!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 26, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Thanks Flo! Still love the paisley though, don't you?

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 26, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    Thanks so much Jean. No regrets when I think back to my search, LOL.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 26, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    Thank you so much Hana!

  • Reply Suzanne Carillo May 27, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Wow! What a coat! I think you have truly outdone yourself on this one Sue! It is your added details that make it special so hooray for sticking with your obsession to find the perfect velvet ribbon.

    Your pattern matching skills are top notch.

    I also thought I would like the opera. They had a special deal to buy tickets for $25 and figured, why not? It was some German opera I'd never heard of. When we got there they asked us for ID. I thought, what the heck? That is weird. I didn't know there was an age limit to see the opera LOL. But no…it's because the tickets I bought were apparently student tickets! LOL The shame! We paid the extra $200 and it was without a doubt the worst thing I had to sit through. Robert slept almost immediately. Our seats were in the nose bleed section. The seats were hard. There were no fancy costumes or sets. It was all in German with subtitles that read at one point, and I'm not paraphrasing here, “It is because she is just a stupid, stupid old woman. No one can expect more from a stupid old woman.” Needless to say at the intermission we left and haven't returned to the opera since. I'm sure they have great ones, but my experience turned me off the whole thing.


    Happy Anniversary too!

  • Reply Heather Gibson May 27, 2016 at 9:32 am

    Sue this is amazing!! All that searching was definitely worth it and I am totally someone who wants something even more when I can't find it. I love those ruffles!
    I'm glad you hear you had a nice long weekend and Happy Anniversary!

  • Reply Flo May 27, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Oh yes, that is still my favorite!!!

  • Reply Jessica Cangiano May 28, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Oh Sue, this is such a deeply pretty coat. It marries elegance and fun, glamorous and femininity and so, so immensely lovely on you. Plus, bow necklines for the win always! 🙂

    Many hugs & happy weekend wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* I hope you're having more sunshine than we are at the moment. So very oddly for the Okanagan, it's raining buckets worth here again this weekend.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 28, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Thanks Suzanne! Your evening at the opera sounds all kinds of wrong. I always imagine going to the opera as being exactly like Vivian from Pretty Woman's magical experience, LOL.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 28, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    Thanks Heather. Hey, I hope you had a great long weekend too!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 28, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Thank you so much Jessica!

    The weather outside has been frightful, LOL. But seriously, we've had the same rain as you. We can handle it here, but I hope my beloved vineyards and orchards are coping with the wet! xo

  • Reply Bernadette May 30, 2016 at 8:02 am

    The pattern matching in the front must have taken you some time !! It is wonderfully done. I love your use of colour – so many people just dress in black, frey and dark brown. So boring……… I really appreciate your blog, it has given me some great ideas.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas May 30, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Thank you so much Bernadette! It's a big reason why I blog and also why I read blogs….the sharing of ideas!

  • Reply Rebecca May 31, 2016 at 11:28 am

    I do wish every weekend was a long weekend! LOL! Glad you could enjoy it by visiting and having a good time! I just love this coat you created! You are so right your pattern match in the front is outstanding! Every detail is perfect!


  • Reply Emma Peach June 8, 2016 at 6:27 am

    What a beautiful coat! The quest for perfection was well worth it! I love the ruffles on the sleeve and the bow, such delightful details!

    Emma xxx

  • Reply Margo Bergman June 14, 2016 at 1:55 am

    Eeeeeeeeekk!! How did I miss this post!?? ugh, there are a few blogs that are not showing up in my feed. (Bloglovin..what's up with this?)

    This is GORGEOUS!!! Love it Sue! A truly special coat that should be out for every occasion…how does that saying go? Life is too short to wear boring clothes!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 14, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Especially in the summertime! Hope Winnipeg is turning on the heat for you Rebecca!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 14, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Thank you so much Emma! Yes…it was a quest with a happy ending!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 14, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Thank you so much Margo! I was working on this coat when you posted your lovely ruffled collar coat. Again…great minds think alike!

  • Reply Trina Grandinetti June 16, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    I know I probably sound like a robot but with each new item you create, it truly becomes my new favorite. This has me completely speachless and gaga! Every.Single.Thing. about this coat is to die for! The pattern is fabulous, the colors are perfect, the buttons-WOW, the bow-splended, and the sleeves, well you are amazing!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 26, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Thanks Trina! You always leave me the sweetest comments! You are amazing too my friend! xo

  • Reply dan June 30, 2016 at 4:17 am

    The ruffles and the velvet bow make the coat extremely feminine!
    You look wonderful and your smile is catching … well done dear!

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion December 10, 2017 at 12:48 am

    How did I miss this lovely coat? It is wonderful. I am very curious to see how it works out without the frilly sleeves. I agree with you, they look cute.

    • Reply Sue December 10, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Thanks Greetje. I think what was annoying me most about the cuffs was the show through of the lining to be honest. I thought I’d like that pop of pattern, but NO. And it seemed easiest, or best just to try and tame the cuff rather than remove the lining and re-do. It was unfortunate that I didn’t have enough leftover fabric to refashion a new one.

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