Simplicity 1732, a ‘costume’ coat, in pseudo-Victorian style. Apparently, this is designer pattern: although I’d never heard of the designer, Arkivestry have apparently been making Goth gear since the 1980s. I’ve wanted to make the missus a coat since we got serious- she only has one ‘proper’ coat, pulled out for weddings and funerals etc, and it’s past its best. Also, as she is so short, it’s always irked me that whoever shortened it for her never bothered to move the back half belt up to her actual waist height…and she wouldn’t let me do it.
I’ve finally convinced her to retire it, and let me make one. This pattern choice surprised me, as she has always insisted on very plain tailoring, no fuss, no details. Here we have a huge dramatic collar, fancy cuffs, and a massive sweeping skirt. Yes, she wants to keep it all. Her only quibble was the pleated sleeve head, but I MAY have convinced her to keep it, for the illusion of a tinier waist. She’s starting to trust me, and I think that all these steampunk costumes are making the power of illusion very visible!
Straight after Xmas, I did a tissue fit…lo and behold, as usual, a straight-up packet size fits beautifully. I’m going for a size 18 in this, which gives a bout 3″ of ease over bust measurement, which should be fine. I’ve suggested a charcoal grey wool, which we’ll be hunting out at Fancy Silks/Barry’s before I go back to work in the New Year. Lining will be from the posh paisley shot fabrics which I snagged at FSS a few months ago. To our delight, the last remnant of that amazing ‘scratched’ velvet used in the T & L Platt top, is JUST big enough for collar and cuffs.
When I did the tissue fit, I found that the cuff ‘band’ is very oddly shaped. On the main image, it looks like a long, pointed full cuff…
However, on the line drawing, you can see an oddity at the back of the sleeve.
See it? There is a nicely shaped 2-piece sleeve, so far so good, but the cuff piece is a sort of single tapered piece, so the narrow end gets butted up against the long bit. Weird. Then you sew SIX decorative buttons on to highlight the mess. I don’t think so. I’ll be reshaping it to get a proper point at the back, lower at the front. If we go with the buttons, I’ll make fake buttonholes, like on the Edwardian dress.
It’s a weird shortcut, considering the facings and linings are well-tailored and drafted, and the instructions call for the entire coat front to be interfaced, the undercollar is drafted smaller, etc etc. I had toyed with the idea of using interliing for warmth, but despite some very careful experimentation with pattern layouits on my cutting board, I can’t get the yardage requirements down very much from the pattern quantities- very unusual!
The only place I can reduce the pattern is on the sleeves, which need to be 2″ or more shorter- I thought the whole coat would probably be shortened by 4-6″, but she’s decided she wants a mxi. Very glam!
So, this will be a pricey project, but a coat is always something of an investment piece isn’t it? More on this in the new year, once I clear that wonderful pile of cut-out goodies!