Wow, it's been a year since I last posted a project. Sorry to leave you all hanging. I haven't really been doing much sewing over the past year; life has been getting in the way. But I'm now embarking on a project for Bob and myself: costumes for a Dickens-themed holiday party on New Year's Eve.
Bob and I spent several hours researching styles we wanted, finding reference pictures and talking about colors. Bob was interested in having a cape, but after a few discussions, he found a picture of the kind he wanted: an Inverness Cape Coat.
Pretty straight-forward, you would think. Little did I know how many different variations of this style existed. One of them is the Ulster Coat, which looks just like an Inverness from the front, but there are notable differences: The Ulster style is a coat with a cape over it. The Inverness, however, has no sleeves, and the cape does not extend across the back. Instead. the cape is actually a big open sleeve that attaches to the side back seam and drapes over the front of the coat. It's a bit more complicated to assemble, so, of course, I decided to give it a shot.
The very thin lines show the "sloper" -- or base garment -- while the shaded pieces are the patterns for the back, front, and cape. The little one at the bottom right gives an interior detail for the pockets in the lining.
I turned to my trusty drafting software, Wild Ginger's PatternMaster Tailor Made. I used the Blazer draft, as that shifts the side seam to the back. However, the program doesn't have an option for that wing sleeve, so I did some extensive editing in the included CAD program, Pattern Editor. Here's what I came up with.
Much easier! And it only took about a yard of muslin and about two hours of work (including some cursing, and ripping out of seams, and puzzling over how that cape had to be attached). To my astonishment, it worked! Here's the half-sized test coat, modeled by my "My Size Barbie", which happens to be pretty close to half-life-sized.
No, I didn't bother pressing anything, which is why the coat flare looks odd. But you can see how the cape drapes quite nicely over the shoulder and arms.
Here's the back view, showing the cape attached to the rear side seam.
It almost looks like normal sleeves, with the arms held down at the sides. Once it's done up in the finished fabric, it's going to drape beautifully.
Here's the view with the cape open, showing that the coat itself has no sleeves.
So what's the fabric going to be? Here are the swatches:
The outer shell for both the cape and coat will be the black wool (probably a wool blend), and the linings will be the red satin.
I have six weeks to finish the cape, along with the other elements of the outfit: pants, jacket and shirt for Bob, and an intricate outfit for me to complement them. The color scheme will be red and black with gold accents.
I won't be making much progress until after the Thanksgiving holidays, though. Watch for an update in about a week!