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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Big Black Tailored Overcoat

One of the classes this year was Tailoring, and I am making a coat. The class is over, but my coat isn't quite finished yet. I gave my pattern a very big collar and lapels.
The mockup.
Since it's such a long and involved process, I'm not going to go through every single step of making it.
The sleeve being sewn.
 My fabric is wool melton, and my lining is rayon bemberg with blue & burgundy threads.
The back lining.
This is the canvas interfacing I used for the front. The assignment only required fusible interfacing, but I wanted to use canvas, much to the delight of my teacher. The black line is a bit of cotton zig zagged over the hole where the dart is, and the grey stuff is wool, which is also zigged to the canvas.
 Here's my under collar.

 And here it is with some of the pad stitching finished.
 Pocket flaps. They're lined in the same black cotton as the pocket bags are made of.

I did a prick-stitch around the edge of the pocket flaps.
The dart in the front stops just above the pocket.
Attaching the welt and pocket flap.
 After sewing the pocket bag on I had to attach the canvas to the front piece.
 I cut a rectangular hole through the canvas so the pocket could sit on the other side of it.
Cross stitching the pocket allowances to the canvas.

The top of the pocket bag, with the allowances nicely secured.
 Lots of temporary basting.
 The lapels with lots of pad stitching.
 Tailor's tape on the roll line.
The allowances of the canvas trimmed back to the stitch line, and fusible tape put all around the edge.

 Putting the shoulder pad in.
The cross stitched edge is the front one. The back edge hangs free.
 The shoulder pad basted in.
From the back.
And from the front.
Prick stitching the seam where the lining is sewn to the facing.
Here's the front with the facing sewn on.
 It's been pressed, but still looks a little baggy because the edge hasn't been prick-stitched, and the lining isn't all attached.
 This is what the coat looks like at the moment.
 The collar isn't together yet, but the sleeves are.

I can't proceed further without instructions from my tailoring teacher, so I'll finish this when I get back to school. I'm really looking forward to wearing it.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Blue- Green Watch Fobs

I've finally made a pair of watch fobs! I love watch fobs and have wanted to make some ever since I read this post.
Here is my Pinterest board of extant watch fobs, all of which are from the Met because I can't find any anywhere else.
I made a couple of braided cords out of silk yarn. I didn't take any pictures of that, or the book where I got the braiding instructions. I will cover that more thoroughly in the next watch fob post.
My two braids. One flat, one round.
Since the measurements the Met gives shows the average length to be 40 cm, I made my braids 80 cm and doubled them.
 I folded the middle of them over a little copper ring.
The end before I trimmed the loose threads.
I finished off the ends by poking the loose threads back into the end of the braid with a darning needle and trimming them off.
I stitched the two ends together and decorated them.
The one on the left has a glass bead I found on the sidewalk ten years ago, the one on the right has a fake stone thing I got at Michaels, and an old metal button. They both have sparkly flower jewellery bits (also from Michaels) and 3 little tassels each, which I made out of metallic thread.

I'm slightly annoyed at how the little tassels behave. They are very easy to knock out of place, and stick up at weird angles.
I have a piece of wool in my sash that matches these beautifully! I intend to use it in my line for a waistcoat, with the model wearing these fobs, and piece together a waistcoat for myself out of the scraps.


The Challenge: #23- Modern History (Because of course I'm going to wear them for everyday once I have breeches.)
Fabric: Nope
Pattern: None
Year: Late 1770's to 1790's
Notions: Silk yarn, one glass bead, 3 rhinestone thingies, one metal shank button, two small copper rings, metallic thread, light grey thread, green thread
How historically accurate is it? Not all that great. The extant watch fobs are much more detailed and use better materials. I'll try to do better next time.
Hours to complete: No idea.
First worn: Not yet! I just finished these yesterday, but I need watch pockets to wear them and haven't made proper breeches yet.
Total cost: Maybe about 3 dollars?
I like them, but I'm not thrilled. I'm going to be making a lot more watch fobs because they are a lot of fun. It's difficult to find appropriate baubles for them though. I've gathered together all the potentially watch fob-able shiny things I have, and there's not much. Next time I'm definitely going to put more effort into my tassels.

Update: It's been a day since I finished them and I already hate them. I'll have to disassemble and re- make them.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Silver Grey Waistcoat

I finally finished that waistcoat I started in January. I'm afraid I don't have any more construction photos. I did take some, but the computer on which I keep my photos is almost dead, and I won't be able to retrieve anything from it until it has been replaced.
There isn't really that much to say about the rest of the construction. I sewed most of the big seams by machine, basted hair canvas interfacing down the fronts, stab stitched the back hem closed and put a running stitch along the front edge & pockets. The buttons are dimes covered in little circles of silk and the buttonholes are hand worked keyholes.
Dimes, besides being a nice silvery colour, are the perfect size!
The pocket flaps are whipstitched on and the pocket bags are machine sewn in the same way as the coat pockets.

It fits quite nicely, though I'm going to straighten out the bottom half of the front pattern piece. The curved edge makes the bottom buttons wrinkle.





The Challenge: #21- Re-Do
This could have qualified for 4 of the previous challenges:
#1- Make Do & Mend- Because the lining, pocket bags and back are all made out of recycled material, and the back is pieced.
#5- Bodice- Waistcoats aren't normally referred to as bodices, but it still fits the theme.
#8-  UFOs & PHDs- It sat in a drawer for 10 months before I finished it.
#13- Under $ 10- I don't know the exact cost of this but it was definitely less than $ 10.
Fabric: Silk dupioni, cotton ticking, grey linen.
Pattern: Drafted by me.
Year: Approximately 1770's- 90's
Notions: Hair canvas interfacing, 10 dimes.
How historically accurate is it? Only accurate from a distance. The construction is mostly okay, but has a few inaccuracies. The materials are also mostly okay, but the slubby texture of the silk dupioni is the worst inaccuracy of them all.
Hours to complete: No idea.
First worn: Saturday November 15th, 2014
Total cost: Eight or nine dollars maybe?

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Punk Frock Coat Construction Finished

The denim frock coat is finally wearable! It's far from finished though. I have many more patches to paint and sew on.
Edit: I've changed my mind since writing this. I like it the way it is and will make a different one to add more patches to.
My hair is a little different now.
I hadn't made the pocket bag pattern yet in the last post because I wanted it to hang at the correct angle.
The pocket bag pattern piece pinned into place.
The pocket bags are made of tightly woven cotton.
I sewed half the pocket onto the outside, cut out the holes, turned them to the inside and topstitched around the holes. Once that was done I sewed the other half of the pocket bag on and topstitched only the top edge of the pocket hole, through all three layers, so that it wouldn't sag.
The finished pocket, without the flap.

The pocket flap being sewed shut along the top edge.
I whipstitched the pocket flap over top of this opening, stopping about 1 cm down the sides so that it sits flat against the side of the coat.
The pocket flap attached.

The coat without lining or collar.
I hand stitched hair canvas to the inside of the collar and the front edges of the lining.
The inside piece of the collar.

The lining, with fronts interfaced.
I sewed the collar by machine, turned it, and edge-stitched it by hand. I did the same with the lining & coat body, sewing only the front edges and around the neck hole.
I turned in the edges on the hem and vent and stab stitched them shut by hand. I tacked the pleats and the top edges of the vent securely to the inside of the coat, making sure the raw edges were all tucked in.
The hem pinned and ready to be sewn shut.
After setting the sleeves, I had to bind the seam allowances with linen bias tape, which irritated me greatly. I do not think I will be flat lining my sleeves again.
The irksome armhole being bound.
The cuffs were a bit of a puzzle. I looked at pictures of extant coats, and this was the best method I could come up with.
I sewed around the cuff opening and around where I wanted the slit to be, cut open the slit and inserted a little rectangle of fabric, which was made the same way as the pocket flaps.
A cuff with the rectangle, and the other rectangle on the table beside it.

The cuff rectangle from the inside. It is held with two different lines of stitching. 

I then cut a piece of denim big enough to cover the entire bottom of the sleeve, and hand stitched it on with all the edges tucked in. I stitched the openings securely closed, and added buttons. (Decorative buttons, the cuffs don't actually open.)
The fake cuff sewn on, as seen from the inside.
A finished cuff is visible on the right.
Having run out of wooden buttons to cover, I made the buttons for this coat out of a chair part that I sliced up with a hacksaw. I shaved down the edges with a knife, sanded them, and covered them with little circles of denim. The chair was a very dense hardwood, so these are really sturdy buttons.
Wooden circles in the process of being carved down and sanded.
This gave me such awful hand cramps.
This coat has 13 buttons; 7 down the front, 2 on the back, and 2 on each cuff, yet only one is functional.
Buttons all covered, ready to be sewn on.
I sewed the buttons on (with the help of needle nose pliers) and put one 2" buttonhole across from the third one down. In place of the other buttonholes (which would have been left uncut anyway) I put great big safety pins.

Now, I forgot to mention this in my previous coat post, but the reason I made this coat out of denim is that it is a punk frock coat. Actually, it's more deathrock inspired, so it could just as well be called a "deathfrock".
A design sketch I made many months ago.
So far I only have one patch, but there will be more.
I painted this on the wrong side of a piece of denim using speedball fabric printing ink. It's based off this posthumous painting of Mozart. The font I used for his name is Metal Macabre.

I printed off some higher contrast black and white versions for reference, and transferred the outlines on by poking little holes in one of the pictures and dropping chalk dust through them. I then spent many hours dry brushing the ink on.
All in all I am quite pleased with this coat, though linen wasn't a vey wise lining choice.
Apologies for the weird perspective in these pictures. My 6' 3" brother took them and he somehow managed to make me look short.
The patch is sewn on with a running stitch, and then a blanket stitch to keep the edges from fraying.

I didn't start this coat with the Alternative Universe challenge in mind, but it fits the theme perfectly. My thinking was that the French Revolution and Punk would have worked very well together. (I know Mozart isn't really connected with either, but I like his music, so he gets the back of the coat.)


Fabric: Black denim, cotton ticking, black linen, dark grey linen.
Pattern: Drafted by me.
Year: C. 1790.
Notions: Thread, hair canvas, screen printing ink, 13 hardwood chair slices.
How historically accurate is it? The pattern is accurate, the construction is partly accurate, and the materials are not.
Hours to complete: I don't know.
First worn: Saturday Oct 25th, 2014.
Total cost: I think it's about $ 30.00


The silver waistcoat isn't quite finished yet. It has no buttons, so it's just pinned shut.
I realize now that I forgot to get any closeups of the construction details. Once the coat is more thoroughly decorated I will make another post on it with better pictures.
I'm thinking of changing the name on all my internet accounts. Mouse Borg was a name hastily chosen so I could start a blog and participate in the HSF challenge, and I don't think it suits me at all.
I'm also considering moving to Wordpress so I can make more pages. Blogger isn't letting me make pages within pages and it's frustrating.
Update: On second thought, I'll probably just change the name of this blog and not worry about more pages.