Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Frock Coat 2: The Guts

 When I last left you, I had finished the collar of the frock coat. I won't come back to the collar for a long time, so I really did it out of order, but that's all right. The next thing I did was baste the finished canvas to the coat fronts, and pad stitch the revers (also known as the lapel).
Here you can see (and you can click for larger images)  the pad stitching which lends the revers its shape. I haven't ironed it, but it maintains a fairly sharp crease, and also curls back toward the point of the revers. Underneath you can see the dart that gives the chest some shape, and a few dimples where the pad stitching is.

Underneath the armscye I've added a little padding. This is batting covered by thin linen which I've pad stitched to the fabric. This will fill out the little hollow under the arm.

 A final picture of the completed interior of the front of the coat.

Now I've attached the back and skirts, and added a strip of linen at the bottom hem to help keep the coat draping properly.

In addition to the linen strip, I've also added a few lead weights. This is a very soft linen coat fabric, and the weights will help it hang properly.

I've begun turning in the fronts in anticipation of adding the facings. You can see here an additional piece of linen added to help support the buttons along the front edge.

Now to add some pockets. There are no side or front pockets on this coat, to maintain the proper form, but instead it has two pockets hidden in the tails. I've cut the lining for the tails in two pieces, and made pocket shapes.

In retrospect, I should have cut the pockets to be shaped within the red dotted lines - this would have helped them hang straight, since they would have been supported by the waist seam.

The finished pocket. It may be hard to see, but I've added reinforcement at the corners of the pocket opening so it doesn't rip open.

A closer look at the pocket.

Completed skirt lining. On this side the pocket is at the top left of the lining, by the top of the back vent opening.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Frock Coat 1: Drafting and Canvas

Sorry I haven't posted very much recently. I haven't been idle, but I was working on a few Christmas gifts (including a kilt for my two year-old nephew) that didn't pertain to this blog.
Anyway, next on the lineup is a frock coat. Once again, I drafted my own pattern, based this time on a combination of drafts from R.I. Davis' Men's Garments, 1830-1900.The collar is my own design, so we'll see how it works out. I just haven't been able to successfully draft a collar based on any system I've seen yet, but the second version I made for my muslin version of the coat seemed to work out well.
The first step for the frock coat (now basically following Maclochlainn's hasty jacket directions at the end of his book) is to prepare the canvas. This is especially important for me, since I'm not making my frock coat from heavy wool, but from a very nice herringbone linen I found. It is very soft and drapey, and I need to make sure that it's well-supported. There are a series of diagrams and pictures in both Davies and Maclochlainn that describe the setup of coat canvasing, but I mainly used this diagram from Davies:

As you can see, there are three pieces - the main canvas, and then two additional pieces which reinforce the shoulder and chest. I cut the main pieces and one of the additional pieces on the straight grain, and the second shoulder canvas on the bias. Here are the main pieces and the collar canvas pieces.

I could just go from there, but the next step is to shape the canvas so that it is more three-dimensional, and not just a flat piece. In order to do that, I took the dart out of the neck gore/lapel that you can see drawn in above, and then opened up several V's (what's the opposite of a dart? That's what these are) as you can see below, and inserted fabric to keep them open. As you can see, the lines start to flow and the canvas no longer lies flat on the table.

Now, after I've added the two shoulder/chest pieces (which have similar V's inserted into them) I pad stitched them all together. The vertical white lines are chalk lines to keep it all neat, and the chevrons are the pad stitching.

Next, I laid out my pattern pieces on the fabric. You can't see it in this photo, but the next couple will show off the true pattern and colour of the linen.

I've seen many different methods of pad stitching or otherwise attaching the canvas to the undercollar. I went with Maclochlainn on this one, which has you pad stitch the collar part, and side stitch the stand. You can't really see the side stitching in this photo because the stitches are small, but it does add body to the stand. Here I haven't ironed the fall line yet - just pressed it with my fingers - but it gives a good idea of how the collar will fall.

This was a lucky break - I didn't even plan it because I completely forgot to think about it, but the herringbones lined up perfectly where the undercollar seam is, to form a chevron. Actually, now that I look at it again you can see that the grains are reversed. Ah well, you'll never see this part of the collar anyway. Even though you can't see any of the thread from the pad stitching.