Frock Coat Muslin

Coat muslin, finished

Once again, I’m not allowed to photograph Mr. Isis in the muslin—heck, I’m barely allowed to PUT him in the muslin, and then it’s off before I have a chance to really check the fit. Argh. Anyway, I shall attempt to write down some notes of the fit so I don’t forget.

So, the good:

  • shoulder breadth is spot on
  • waist length Β is good (I shortened 3.5 cm after comparing his neck-waist back measurement to that of the pattern)
  • sleeve length (I lengthened 3 cm in the pattern). I need to remember to add the flap for sleeve vents!
  • overall length is good, although I have to nail him down on that issue (see below).
  • collar fits nicely
  • a nicely small amount of ease in the sleeve-cap.
The bad:
  • Too TIGHT! in select areas. Β My well-muscled hubs needs, at minimum, a broad-back adjustment
  • Full biceps adjustment

    and a wide biceps adjustment. The shoulders are really binding—I’m hoping that the broad biceps adjustment, which shortens the sleeve-cap as well as widening the arm, will help with the shoulder binding as well. I may actually just widen the entire sleeve a bit, too—really narrow sleeves is a problem I’ve run into in Lekala patterns before, in Tyo’s coat.

New Inspiration---the Prophecy

The annoying:

  • Christopher Walken in The Prophecy

    the other night hubs comes up with another source of inspiration: the coat worn by Christopher Walken as Gabriel in the movie the Prophecy. Fortunately for my blood pressure, it turns out on research that aside from the buttons and length (Walken’s coat is above the knee, a bit shorter than this one) it’s for all intents and purposes the same coat. However, hubs does need to decide whether he wants a single buttonhole or a bunch down the front. I HATE it when people I’m sewing for try to change the design midway through the process.

Things I still have to check because I don’t have photographs to reference:
  • side-seam (is it straight?)
  • rear vent (does it gape—do I need to add more room in the bottom half?)
  • sleeve length (double-check)
  • how MUCH extra space across the back does he need?
What’s particularly amusing to me is that some of these changes, in particular the shortening of the body and lengthening of the sleeves, are ones that I typically do as well. Which means that our children are probably doomed in this department. Sorry, kids.
And now the ten-million-dollar question—second muslin or not? >_<


Filed under Sewing

29 responses to “Frock Coat Muslin

  1. I think the Prophecy coat length is more wearable on a day-to-day basis, ditto with the buttons so….I’d do a second muslin since you have to add fabric in, and it’s easy to add too much or too little. Particularly with the sleeves — you’ll need to have him try on the second muslin to make sure the back/sleeve changes allow enough room. Guys won’t wear anything that pulls.

    • I do like the shorter length (yay, less fabric required!) but I don’t know that it’ll impact him for wearability—he’s perfectly willing to go out in a long coat most of the time, and has the Gothic resistance to altering his clothing to suit the weather (though he’s much better now than when he was 20).

      Curse you for being so right about the second muslin. I want to be LAZY.

      But I also don’t want to make a jacket he won’t freakin’ wear. So done with that… πŸ˜‰

  2. I will be making the same coat for my son shortly (or trying to anyway) and I definitely can feel your pain – I expect to make at least two muslins before I even LOOK at the fabric he chose for the finished product. (a very fussy and ‘Goth’ looking silver on black tapestry that could very well end up making him look like a walking couch if I am not careful)

    We had narrowed it down to this pattern… or this one…. and when I saw that you were doing the Matrix one I knew I would at least be able to see how many tears would be involved in my own attempt (thank you for that btw – this is quite a bit different than making my daughter’s dresses when she was little so anything I learn in the process you will be getting all the credit for)

    Thank you for letting us see all the steps – it really is very helpful.

    Be well,

    • Good luck with your project, too! I quite like that second pattern (and my husband would, too)—the “skirt” is a lot more full than we’re going to be going for here, if only because of fabric limitations ;).

      My biggest tip for those costume patterns would be that once it’s fitted, go over the pattern following the RTW sewalong tutorials (link on sidebar) to make sure your facings and whatnot are all a good size and shape. My main problem with “costume” patterns is they tend to be pretty dumbed-down in the drafting department, which can contribute to a costume-grade, as oposed to a fabulous, result.

      • *small nod*
        I wanted a more serious take on the ‘Goth’ look and after pouring over web sites for a few nights (with my Son behind me saying “ya like that – only…”) the costume type patterns won by default.

        Where DO young Goths find there patterns? (Oh – and don’t google ‘goth patterns’ unless you are really bored and want to be depressed – it’s five miles of doom/gloom and Edgar Allan Poe)

        I will check out the sidebar now – thanks again.


        • Epic spelling error – please excuse the ‘dumb’ and replace ‘their’ for ‘there’ ?


          • LOL—finding the right gear for the next Goth Night was a major impetus for my teenage sewing… Patterns I’ve seen used include ones intended for priests’ cassocks (the inspiration of the Neo-type Matrix coat, anyway), costume patterns, and Victorian-reproduction type patterns. There were always a few people around who specialized in “real” sewing, or had moms that were willing to sew for them. Of course when I was that age the whole world of “order it off the internet” was in its infancy, so while a few people had really spectacular things (especially boots) ordered online, most of us didn’t. We made do with what we could scrounge, re-make, re-fashion, and imagine. Sometimes a LOT of imagination (thank god for dimly-lit clubs πŸ˜‰ ).

  3. You know, I’ve been contemplating doing MPB’s boxer sew along for my Mr and the whole changing-direction-mid-project thing is one reason why I haven’t committed yet. It’s a problem.

    I’m a multiple muslin person in general, especially when it comes to something that could effect how comfy it would be on – like back and upper sleeve fit.

    • Tyo fell in love with boxers over the summer and I’ve been trying to nudge her into making some of her own—I figure it could help her with simple, independent sewing, reading practice, and all kinds of good things, plus we’ve got at least four patterns that could work. Somehow she is not overly intrigued…

  4. I would want to be lazy too, but given the fussiness of your husband, I think a second muslin is in order. I like the Christopher Walkin coat, very nice choice for inspiration (if a little late in the process).

  5. omg R!! Do you want the flippin coat to be *awesome* or not??


    You T have way more patience than I do. I'd tell him to order a coat off the internets and let me get back to making *awesome* dresses, tops, coats, and jeans for myself and the kids. πŸ™‚

    • That would be my man, /sigh ;).

      The problem is that he’s sufficiently picky that he never WILL find the perfect coat off the internet (or if he did, it would be in the hundreds of dollars…) and then when he did get it it wouldn’t fit and he’d want me to alter it, which is way worse than making from scratch ;).

  6. I once tried to skip the second muslin, and ended up paying for it in frustration and new fabric. I second everyone else, on this one. Also, is there any chance you can prop up a video camera while he’s trying it on? then he doesn’t have to pose and you get a record of how it fits and moves.

    • I love that video camera suggestion—although I have a sinking feeling it would only work if I concealed the camera first :P. I think his basic objection is to being recorded in any way looking less than his best. (Yes, he’s one of those photo-shy people, the only thing that keeps him from systematically deleting 90% of the photos I take of him is laziness)

      And you, like everyone else, are totally right about the second muslin. /sigh. πŸ˜›

  7. Bri

    This project sounds amazing, wish I could see a photo of the frock coat on but believe me I understand where you are coming from! In my last semester at college this past spring I took a Men’s Victorian Tailoring class and voluntold my beau to be my model, this proved interesting! Can’t wait to see more of your project!

    • “voluntold”… I think that is my new favourite word! πŸ™‚

      With any luck I’ll get pictures of the final project, at least (probably not in a timely fashion, however πŸ˜›

  8. Joy

    I’d recommend another muslin, too, even though I never make muslins myself, hehe. Last time I made a coat, I decided that if I ever made a coat for myself again, I’d muslin it for sure. Of course, I’m in the middle of a jacket, unmuslined, shame on me, but it has cut on sleeves which will hopefully be roomy enough. Next time: muslin for sure!

    Anyway, this will be a really cool coat when it’s done. Long, black, lots of buttons: very sophisticated.

  9. Scruffybadger

    That’s going to be awesome. How great that your hubby is interested in dressing like Christopher walken. Hope he’s better at not spilling his dinner on his White shirt! I do like the buttons and stand up collar!

  10. Ah… I’m reliving my coat-making experience for the mancub with whom I live. I had the WORST time during fittings – he could not articulate, for the love of all that’s holy, how things were fitting. I know for myself that the shoulders can feel a bit tight, but look fine, and I think that might be the case with his coat, but it was like we were speaking different languages! And I thought the arms were tight, but he said they were good. Sigh.

    When he’s posed, he’s super resistant. I generally get him to pose and tell him to do different things. First silly – drive a bus, run a marathon. It makes him relax. Then I tell him to think about fun things and that usually gets a decent facial expression. Then I remind him that I still possess the series of photos from when he was goofing around, ‘modeling’ in his underpants like a body builder and not realized the camera was on it’s timer. It’s all about judicious blackmail…. he manages to pull it together πŸ™‚

  11. BTW – I LOVE all those buttons down the front… But holy cow. Would you make them functioning?? That seems like a buttonhole nightmare!

  12. oh god. design change. have you killed hubs yet?

    however…. you get to look at pics of christopher walken. YUMMMMMMMM. i met him once. he’s like 12 feet tall. he said, hi, i’m chris. i was all, i KNOW.

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