I apologize for the lack of updates here, but I’ve been busy. I posted a little about Victoria’s Pelisse here. and a little about my own here. But I thought a bit more description/information is warranted. See I’ve some sewing experience, I consider myself an intermediate seamstress, but I’ve NO experience AT ALL when it comes to tailoring. Also, this is my first time using wool (nice thick fat warm wool). I sew on a Singer Merritt 4350 that was given to me in 1990 when I joined the military and moved away from home. So the idea of sewing outerwear was daunting to say the least. However, I needed to have two warm coats for a Regency era sailing trip in October in the SF Bay Area. So off I went to find fabric and I lucked into a great sale at Fabrics.com. I was able to obtain a couple of lovely wool blends at $2.95/yard! I also ordered a lovely cotton print to line the jacket with (alas the fabric for mine was out of stock).
I started by making mock-ups. I usually turn such things into linings and was lucky enough to (mostly) be able to do that here. They are made differently and each suits our personality I think. Victoria’s is a no nonsense kind of coat with a lined bodice and sleeves but an unlined skirt. Mine is a little more lively with a lined bodice and skirt, but because I will be wearing long sleeved dress I did not line the sleeves.
Vicki’s took a little more doing because she has scoliosis so we decided to avoid the collar and such and to fit the jacket to HER instead of just making the jacket and then altering it to work for her. We could have added a shoulder pad for the right shoulder to bring it more in line with the left, but I felt it was more period to follow her body’s shape than to create the illusion of another shape. Her left shoulder is 4cm (~1.5 inches) higher than her right and the apex of her left breast is higher too. Oddly enough her right breast “looks” larger than her left – but I think its an illusion based on the fact that her left breast stretches upwards I think they both have the same mass but that mass is distributed differently on her body. Think of her rib cage like a fan on the horizontal plane. The left side is spread open a bit and the right side is closed up just a little tighter to compensate. Just like you do when you stretch to reach something, but hers never relaxes back to normal. So while visually her pelisse looks “off” it really isn’t. It took a lot of patience and taking it apart and putting it back together to make it fit but it worked.
My pelisse has a fuller skirt to accommodate my hips (‘cuz well I got ’em). Also, I kind of like the swing. I added a blue lining to the skirt so that when it moves you get glimpses of blue… I used a print in the bodice that looks a bit 18th century. The collar was a little tough because the pattern has you cut out the top and bottom the same size and I later learned that you want to cut the bottom layer about a 1/4 inch smaller than the top to accommodate for the fold over when its on the jacket. I dealt with that by taking a tiny tuck along the bottom of the collar so that it lays prettier. I even got an overlap on the bust and was able to make it double breasted (with machined buttonholes and everything!) Also it looks a little like what I would expect a Hobbit’s winter coat to look like…
Both jackets seem to be wearable in modern clothing (with the correct support). Which is nice. All in all, I’m rather pleased that I managed to make up actual wearable garments!
<wiping sweat off forehead> Now to less stressful sewing! (I think I’ll make me a huswife)