a great white driving coat and hat

And the costuming begins again! The Historical Society will shortly be celebrating its 100th anniversary and as a result of the new obsession with all things 1911, I started a sewing club to focus on making some reproduction clothing. We’ll use the clothing/costumes for events and a grand-scale fashion show.  This is advance planning in a big way… I’m hoping by the time April 2011 rolls around we’ll have a slew of costumes already made and fitted to particular individuals – all ready to wear out on the town for old-fashioned picnics, outdoor dances, and Easter Parade and the works!

Big picture aside, I haven’t taken much time for drafting patterns from the scale diagrams in Waugh or Janet Arnold. So I cheated and perused the Simplicity pattern catalog while they were having a 99-cent pattern sale a few weeks ago. And voila! The fabulous driving coats and hats pattern that includes all sizes for all garments featured on the cover. Doesn’t get much better!

It did take until yesterday to pick up some fabric – a really nice creamy white cotton twill from Joann’s that has some drape but still enough body to work for a coat. And they had a the perfect 3/8″ soutache braid in sand color that will allow me to more or less duplicate the coat as pictured. (Apparently I’m not feeling creative at all… I do think if I make the men’s coat down the road, it will be more of a pale grey color. Isn’t that more practical?)

Matching thread was all I really needed since I had all the notions and extra supplies to make both the coat and hat. Well, except for buttons. But I haven’t gone through the stash yet to see what options might be there!

At tonight’s sewing club meeting (which was a blast despite having a cold & sore throat, thanks to the great company!) I managed to get all the pattern pieces traced to the fabric for the coat and hat. The coat body sleeve pieces were all lengthened about 3/4.”  Obviously not an exact science as I was just adding a touch more length to be on the safe side.

Since there are so many sizes available, I wanted to preserve the original pieces. Having no tracing paper, I just manipulated the pattern on the fabric and traced everything out with light pencil marks. This is a fun costume-y coat rather than a strict historical project, so I don’t mind the lax attitude this time around!

All told it took about 2 hours to get the pattern traced and cut out. Clearly this could have been done more quickly but I had fun with the group while I took my time and it’s now ready to sew, so I’m happy ;o)

Total so far is about $40. I have a receipt around here somewhere…

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