Alright, folks, time for a little experiment. I'm going to start a column.
By column, I don't necessarily mean, content that will be posted consistently. I more mean, content that will have the same title and theme. I'd like to do it once a month, but a month seems to go by very quickly in blogland, so hey, ain't promising anything.
I love movies and TV shows, and I very much enjoy looking at the costumes, especially in period pieces. Sometimes I watch things just for the clothes and sets. That's one of the reasons I've always loved movies - they let you go places you can't go in real life.
I usually end up wanting to sew some of the things I see. But barring an unexpected exploration of cosplay, renaissance fairs or severe split personality disorders, I have no outlet for costumes in my life. So I thought it might be fun to sew things that aren't literal copies of cool movie wardrobe pieces, but are instead inspired by them. It's like wearing a secret costume only you know about.
I was tempted to call this column Sew Reel, thereby uniting my two least favorite puns of all time [with very limited exceptions] into one formiddably abhorrent entity. But I didn't trust myself to wield that sort of dark power responsibly, so instead I'm calling it The Silver Seam.
The Silver Seam posts will just be plan posts. They might be things I actually make, or they might be things I never make but just have fun planning. Maybe they'll provide inspiration for you, and you'll make them. That would be awesome! [If you do, please tell me!]
I am currently tearing through a book series called Outlander that takes place, at least initially, in mid-18th century Scotland. When I saw it was just made into a TV show for Starz, I promptly devoured it.
And now I want this coat, worn by main character Claire.
LOOK AT THAT HOOD.
So I started planning.
Claire's coat appears to be some kind of olivey-brown tweedy wool coating. The hood is fully lined with fur, and there are fur cuff accents, which I'm sure did not escape your attention.
I've narrowed the main fabric choices down to two that I swatched from Mood:
Neither one is exceptionally olive hued, but that was actually kind of difficult to find without going all the way to green, and I don't want it to be green. On the left is this chocolate herringbone coating. As the description says it is pretty heavy and substantial, with a nubby texture that makes it feel a bit rustic.
The one on the right is this brown herringbone coating. It's lighter weight and feels a bit more refined. I was initially leaning towards this one, but after seeing the pictures I think I'm actually going to go with the other one. Nubbies for the win! Thoughts?
For the fur, I ordered eight faux fur swatches from Fabric.com. And let me tell you, if you're feeling down and want to brighten your day, go order eight faux fur swatches. The ones I got are huge - like 6-7" squares - and they are all so fluffy. When I order the yardage I'm going to get one more swatch so I can make a furry patchwork throw pillow.
The one I decided on initially is Canadian Fox in Stone, although now it tragically seems to be unavailable. But there are lots of others...Russian husky? Norwegian husky? Siberian husky? All the huskies. I'll get one that's similar.
To start my pattern search, first I looked to see what the distinguishing characteristics of the coat were:
If you're wondering why that flounce is in such an extreme state of flouncing, it's because in the 18th century women wore undergarments that were essentially stuffed muslin innertubes tied around their waists to give them extremely exaggerated hips. This would explain the need for a giant pleat on the back:
This fullness was probably also for ease when riding a horse. Since I won't be wearing any 18th century undergarments nor, unfortunately, riding many horses while wearing this coat, I am going to keep the flounce to a minimum and possibly omit the back pleat.
So all things considered, I think I've decided on this Burda pattern, 12/2012 #104.
If you're thinking, "Ummmm what," just hear me out: it has the asymmetrical front, minimal collar action to contend with and it has waist seams so I can work on the bottom separately to add a flounce. I'd leave off the sleeve details, epaulettes and collar.
There are too many seams on the bottom half for my liking, but I'm thinking I can combine some of the pieces when I add the flounce...yes?
I'll admit, this does sound like a lot of work. Is this a terrible plan? I did think about the Jamie Christina Abbey Coat, which is really cute. But I'm not sure how I feel about the dropped waist flounce, I'd really like it to come from the natural waist. And it feels like that would be harder to adjust on that pattern. Thoughts?
For the hood, I'm thinking self drafted, since it's so big. I want to make the hood and cuffs removable in case I need to make a more understated appearance somewhere.
Outlander is also partially set in the 1940's, so you get a double dose of period wardrobe. The costume designer, Terry Dresbach, has a really interesting website with lots of photos and some behind the scenes stories about making the costumes. It's easy to forget that in a sweeping period piece like this, all the costumes are custom made. All of them. And the [very large] cast has multiples of everything. It makes me exhausted and overwhelmed just to think about.
Sidenote, there's also a lot of good knitwear eye candy in it too. Cowls for days.
And other kinds of eye candy.
And other kinds of eye candy.
I will leave you with this...
You're verra welcome.
So since is the first time I'm doing this, please comment if you have any feedback! Or on this project specifically...better ideas of how to make the coat? Pattern suggestions? Have you read Outlander? Is Jamie Fraser your phone wallpaper? Have you found a working stone circle yet?
[If your comment has spoilers, please warn! :) ]