Friday, March 12, 2010

floor length quilted coats

One of the designs I cut was a set of floor length coats for three different men, all with different quilting patterns. (the coats, not the men!)They had a bit of an early 19th century feel in some of the seam detailing as well as the shapes of the sleeves.
I wanted to get a nice flare in the skirt of the coat, and I achieved that by cutting a separate front skirt panel, and at the back, continuing below the curved back seams I put in an inverted box pleat. If I remember correctly, that pleat was seamed in behind so the rest of the back skirt panel provided even more flare.

The skirts needed to be divided into sections like this to keep the quilted square design matching. What I mean is, if I had cut the skirts in one piece as a large flared panel with pleats, matched the quilting design at the front, the pattern would look like it was dipping down as the skirt travelled around the body- does that make sense to you?

I cut the sleeves like period coat sleeves, with more arm shape than modern drafts will give. They have a shallow depth of crown which means they are a bit wider through the upper arm, and then I added a grown on gusset since I wasn't sure what the person wearing it would be doing. The cuff added a nice detail as well.
I finished these off with some of the drapery fabric made into "fur" that was sewn in behind the cuff and poked out beyond the edge and also was stitched onto the collar.

They turned out quite well, very striking really- but trying to sew the sleeves in with all that fabric in the skirts was a test of my patience at the sewing machine. The other two coats were sewn by Susy and Denise and they didn't seem to have as much of an issue with manipulating it but hey- I usually just make the patterns and cut- that's my excuse!

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