Friday, December 11, 2015

Montreal and more formal wear

Oh, It has been quite a while between posts!
I have just returned from Montreal where the formal wear trend continued.
It must be in the air, or maybe the water, who knows?

First a lovely early morning view from my window. I admit to having a bit of culture shock coming home- where have all the buildings and the people gone now that I am home?

One of the costumes I made happened to cut was this frock coat in a lovely brocade.
It was a good learning experience I think, for the design student. She bought 4 metres of fabric, all that was available in fact, and then we worked it out. I did make a mock up, because I knew there would be no room for error or major changes.

It does not fit the stand quite like it fit the actor, I assure you! He has a much more erect posture hence the extra length showing in the front. The single low button doesn't give a lot of support either. He also wears a Farthingale over it as the Queen, which does complicate things a bit!

The big "collar" is used when the actor appears as "the Queen" and is removable.
It has an inner harness of sorts that stabilizes it on the body, then it snaps into the frock coat to make the two pieces act as one. I should have wired the edge but I didn't want to use hat wire as it can be too easily bent. What I would narmally use is heavy duty fishing line or whipper snipper cable zigged onto the outer edge. I hope it holds up for the run!

It all turned out well in the end, and I just squeaked it all out of 4m of fabric while keeping the patterns matched too!


  1. It's a fun coat, with traditional shaping and interesting non-traditional details. The pattern matching is fantastic!


  2. Just unbelievably gorgeous! And yes, the pattern matching is impressive, esp given that you had no wiggle room. I don't know about whipper snipper cable. What is it --sounds like a hardware store goodie? Would you zig it inside the seam edge, or at the back?
    Thanks, as always, for taking the time to post about your creations. Very inspirational!
    Nancy N

    1. We have spool of fishing line at work that you could use for really big fish! I don't know how many pound test. Other people have used whipper snipper filament from the hardware store. I would have zigged it around the edge before bagging the outer edge. Alternatively you could zig it in triangular patterns to support the whole piece. More later, maybe I will make a diagram.

    2. I am definitely going to experiment with this! I know at some point I am going to want one of those dramatic collars on something. And I love the pleated treatment in front -- I bet it helps control any flapping around?

    3. The benefit to using filament is that it is supportive and is less randomly bendable than wire.
      We have one weight of line that we apply with a domestic machine, maybe a Bernina? It has a foot with a small feeder hole in the base. You can then easily control zigging over it.
      It is useful for supporting the outer edges of decorative period cuffs that would have been starched in the day.
      It is worth trying out.
      The pleating on the collar does give it stability for sure!