Wednesday, May 30, 2012

WWND - Frock Coat - L

What Would Nathan Do?  After claiming he had no interest in participating when we dressed up in our costumes and went to events, my SO finally caved in and said that IF I made him a frock coat he would wear it.
(He actually wanted to be Captain Malcolm Reynolds of "Firefly" (Nathan Fillion), thus the WWND - R  AND he wants a space gun...- L) But, of course he can't just wear a frock coat, can he?  I bought a shirt and pants from Wild West Mercantile, but made a vest, a frock coat and a cravat.  After watching Robin sweat thru the Laughing Moon men's pattern, I opted to try Simplicity Historic Pattern 2895.  It's got the coat, vest and shirt.  Sadly for him, I bear no resemblance to Inara in feature or figure.  So no cosplay for us!

I made muslins for the vest and the coat.  Very few people naturally fit patterns sizes.  The vest was fairly straight forward.  I needed to adjust for stomach, and shoulder angle.  My 'model' has shoulders that go straight across without any downward slant.  In addition, he has a tummy that is a bit bigger around than his chest.  This creates 'issues' around the armscye.  The vest was a GREAT trial run for modifying the frock coat.

Here it is with the usual cat ornament.  It was also a great chance to practice welt pockets.  I 'fixed' the chest-stomach problem by cutting the pattern for the chest size and then slanting the center front out, and adding to side seams.  Eliminate the front dart and voila!

The coat muslin was more of a challenge.  I had to modify torso length and sleeve length.  I also modified the front like I'd done for the vest.  The biggest problem was the shoulders.  The Victorian cut means the front goes over the shoulder and angles down toward the sleeve.  It's more difficult to modify shoulder height because changing that shape also changes the armscye.  I did my best when I cut the pattern, and then I just trimmed off extra or glued on where fabric was missing.  And I did all this while he had the muslin on.  The shoulders took 4 fittings, and I ended up shrinking the armscye to accommodate a larger range of motion without pulling.  Then the sleeves seemed wonky.  Luckily, Robin helped me fit the sleeves so any untoward changes I made worked out in the end.

I'd like to thank Lisa for actually using tailor's tacks.  Lisa is a bit of a "seat-of-the-pants" sewist and that sometimes creates problems for those trying to give her a hand. Those tailor tacks gave me a rough idea of where the original pattern said to put the sleeves and I fit them in according to the old fashioned inset sleeve method I learned as a kid.  I had to readjust several times to get it just right for Greg, but it worked. 

Here he is, all done (well, except for shoes and a good pressing)

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