This is the third Republique Du Chiffon garment I’ve made lately. A couple of months ago I made two versions of the Barbara Jacket pattern which can be seen here and here. I also attempted the Julia jacket which was a disaster! I ended up throwing out the pattern and jacket as it didn’t fit me at all. I wish I had taken the advice from other bloggers and had stayed well away from the pattern.
Léonard is a long oversized coat, with wide sleeves to accommodate thick winter sweaters, and has a tight tailored collar to keep you warm. Inspired by workshop coats, its slightly loose cut will give you a cool yet chic figure, whether worn with trainers or a smart outfit. Use wool fabric to make a winter coat, or a more drapey fabric for mid-season.
There aren’t many reviews of this pattern online and it was tricky to figure out what size to make so I thought it was important to review it. This pattern doesn’t have finished garment measurements which made it difficult to figure out how much inbuilt ease is built into the pattern. My measurement are Bust 100 and Hips 102 so I went with a size 44. It was far too big! I should have made a size 40 as I had to remove 3 cm from center back and 3 cm from each side seam and arm seam. It was a relatively easy pattern to fit though.
I’m thrilled with how my Leonard coat turned out in the end. If I was going to make this jacket again I would make a size 40 and then fit appropriately. My friend Ruby is making this coat at the moment and has also found that sizing down two sizes from her measurements to be a good fit.
The sizing of the pattern, the lack of seam allowances, and the fact this rather large pattern to tape together is a big black mark against Republique Du Chiffon if I am comparing their patterns with other designers. They offer an A0 version of this pattern but the pattern pieces are layered meaning you have to trace the pieces. I dislike spending my precious sewing time tracing or putting together a 90 page PDF pattern then adding seam allowances! I ended up eyeballing a 1 cm seam allowance when cutting out this garment.
I’m glad I bit the bullet and made this jacket though. It feels very chic and can be dressed up or down. I used a very thick wool from The Fabric Store which I picked up in my post-lockdown fabric shopping spree. I chose the wool as its lovely and thick and mottled with shades of blues, navy and plum – some of my favourite colours to wear! I used a rayon/poly lining from Jones and Taylor. The buttons are vintage and the cactus is a antique silver shank button. The fabric has a larger weave so I sewed the buttons on the front of the coat and sewed a plain button on the inside of the coat. The force of the wear on the fabric is lessened due to the force counteracted by the internal button. It’s a tip I picked up from Heather Lou a few years ago.
I left the pockets unlined but wish I had lined them and added interfacing to the top of the pockets to help with wear. I was surprised there was no stay tape included in the shoulder seams — I always add this into a coat as it helps prevent the back neckline from stretching out.
I really love this coat and would recommend it but would consider sizing down one to two sizes. It has been very cold lately and this coat has been keeping me nice and snug!