Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Back in March, I was busting my butt to finish a paletot for a weekend at the Boone Home. It ended up being over 80 degrees that weekend, which was fine, because I wasn't able to finish the coat in time.

I did finish it finally and got to wear it two weekends ago when it was chilly and rainy, and I must say, I'm darned pleased with it.

Here's some photos and details.

Full views:

The pattern is from Homespun Patterns and is based on an original garment. The original was in black wool, with black velvet trim that was covered in bugle beads.

There were a few errors in the pattern, and one was significant:
  • On the minor level, the pattern said, "With right sides together, sew cape to jacket." It should have said "With right sides facing out, sew cape to jacket." I was tired and foolishly followed the directions.
  • On a moderate level, I have seen this coat made three times, and we all have little points at the hip. I think it was originally made to go over a very large hoop, and the seamstress should consider redrafting that angle.
  • The most significant error is in the layout instructions for the trim. If you follow the instructions, you will end up with two lefts. Be sure to account for both nap and a one-sided fabric before cutting. I did manage to catch that one before wrecking the little fabric I'd bought for the trim.

The fabric I chose was a blue cotton velveteen purchased at Fashion Fabrics Outlet for $1.00/yard. Of course, I ended up paying $17/yard for the brown from Jackman's (I only need 1 yard though) and an unbelievably obscene amount for the buttons.

But, oh, what buttons they are:

Gold and black glass buttons imported from Germany. I bought them at Jackman's, but they're discontinued. I hope I never, ever lose one. We will not mention the cost again.

And, moving on, here's a sleeve detail:

The sleeves are trimmed with some vintage silk ribbon I had in my stash. It's brown with gold flecks and goes amazingly well with the buttons. The trim placement is not marked on the pattern, but the design was on the original coat. I would recommend moving the placement line closer to the top of the sleeve rather than following the illustration.

The collar and cape:

I tend to be very conservative in my trim choices, but I had plenty of fabric and decided to go all out on this one. The coat could be made with or without the cape. I chose to add the cape.

I picked up the fur collar in a box lot at an antique store. I'm usually pretty good with furs, but have no idea on this one. It's definitely not mink, but I'm thinking sable based on how chocolaty brown it is.


Jenn said...

Wow! That is very impressive. I've seen some neat costumes at Rendevous and St. Genevieve and other places, but yours is by far the best. Do you do re-enactments?

Cindy said...

I am impressed. It's lovely. You did a fabulous job.