Tuesday, May 6, 2014

And other Things: plotting a Transitional Frock Coat.

Historically Accurate?  No, not so much.  I do, however, need an outlet, where I do not have to worry about documenting nearly everything.  Steampunk(ish) things are that outlet as--even if there are no local events--I can wear the clothes daily without attracting stares (more or less, anyways).  In this case, while watching the 10th Kingdom, I noted one of the coats being worn by Wolf--a shortish (low thigh length) frock coat, in blue velvet or corduroy (no good screenshots available).  Of course, this immediately got my gears grinding, whether I wanted them to or not.  In addition, I ran across this image...

Wanderer above the Sea of Fog.  1818.
I just discovered this painting, and love it!

Which set a period for me--the time when frock coats were evolving from the justacorps, and waist seams were coming into being.

Of course, after figuring out what I wanted (a lighter weight walking coat, in navy blue corduroy), I had to figure out a pattern.  As when I drafted my Huntsman's Frockcoat, I figured my best bet was the Costumer's Manifesto, and either use the body from the Keeper's Suit (but not the skirts, which will be heavily modified) or the basic Frock coat pattern (at the moment, I am leaning towards the second)--again, modified in the skirts.

So, what I am looking at is a frock coat, with extra full skirts coming to high knee level, medium tight sleeves with normally sized cuffs (rather than the conspicuous consumption of the justacorps), and a not-extravagantly sized lapel/collar.  A waist seam is present. 
The skirts will be filled out with an extra (pleated), 90 degree angled, piece attached to the center back, much like that in a justacorps.

From Here.  You should be looking at the large piece on the left.
...minus the large center back pleat and excess.  And pieced for...reasons which I will go into later (other than the obvious of saving fabric).

My rough pattern and plan being decided, I set out to draft a new pattern.  It did not work--either the Victorian cutter who wrote the instructions was being extra cryptic, or my brain was not working correctly.  Giving up on that--especially after deciding to take a look at the basic frock coat pattern, as I should have in the beginning--and deciding that I wanted to skip my usual step of drafting a tiny, not-really-to-scale paper pattern, I got to iron 6-7 yards of corduroy...

...I detest ironing.  It would be so much easier with a board that could hold more than a few inches at a time (I may be exaggerating slightly).  At least the fabric is only 45".

Tomorrow (well, maybe)--drafting the frock body!

p.s.  In addition, I would like to share a stitch tutorial--for "le point a rabattre sous la main"--that I found whilst researching patterns.  It is used on bodices (mostly, I assume) in order to sew both the shell and (flat)lining in a single go, rather than basting, sewing, basting more, then sewing again and again...

© John Frey, 2014. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial private research or educational purposes provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.  Photographs of my work may not be duplicated.

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