Like I need a hole in the head…

Victorian Lady's jacket with awesome pleated detail

… I need another project to obsess over. I’ve said I don’t much care for vintage fashions. This is not strictly true… I just generally can’t see myself wearing (or looking good) in most of them (without serious corsetry, which I’m not into. Not that I can’t rock a boned bodice, I have several, but I’m not thrilled with the feel of tight-lacing when I have tried it, and my broad ribcage and short waist don’t  reduce particularly well anyway), and the whole point of this current push is to get me sewing STUFF I WILL WEAR as opposed to my usual costume indulgences.

But I certainly like *looking* at the older patterns, especially the really old. And yesterday I stumbled upon this jacket. Now, I’m not really interested in the pattern itself (see remarks about corsetry above), but look at at: round, stand-up collar, princess-seam jacket with narrow sleeves and just a bit of puff at the top. Where have we seen that before, folks? HERE of course! Now wouldn’t this hip-length version of the coat be awesome with that kind of bottom pleat-detailing added? I still can’t really see myself actually wearing this fabric, but it would be perfect for trying out the look. Things I love about the bottom of this jacket:

  • the dropped-waist detail
  • the pleats/visual interest
  • the angle of the dropped waist (higher at the back, lower at the front)
  • the larger pleats in the back

So… I would need to figure out:

  • the line of the dropped waist on my pattern
  • draft a pattern for the pleated insert
  • figure out a way to inset the centre-back pleat, since my coat doesn’t have a centre-back seam EDIT: it does too have a back seam… obviously I’m an idiot.
  • draft pattern for the “belt” detail (on the diagonal, maybe? or of a contrast fabric that could also be used for the collar?)
  • how the lining should reflect the detailing. I’m thinking of treating the lining of the pleated part almost like underlining… hmm. Probably there’s guidelines out there on how you’re supposed to line pleats.  My oldest daughter’s jacket basically had the same pleat detailing on the inside as the outside in the back, but not in the front where it appears the lining is just more angled so the hem is the same width). I can think of lots of possibilities, but which one would be best?

Probably this kind of pleating would be better in a lighter fabric (like a canvas or suiting) rather than my wool, but whatever. I can topstitch the pleats if necessary (assuming I even have enough fabric left over for the pleated section). Anyway, what fun. 🙂 (On a side note, on re-trying my coat muslin, I think I want to shorten the bodice above the bust (so in the armscye) about an inch. This will raise that droopy bust-line, put the waist in a better spot (I really am short-waisted, aren’t I?), and reduce the droopy armpit the pattern has. All in all, I like).


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Filed under Sewing, Winter Coat Sewing

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