Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Silver Seam: Outlander Coat

Outlander Coat

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!]

THE INSPIRATION

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.

outlandercoatplan5

LOOK AT THAT HOOD.

outlander3

So I started planning.

THE FABRIC

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:

outlandercoatplan2

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.

outlandercoatplan3

THE PATTERN

To start my pattern search, first I looked to see what the distinguishing characteristics of the coat were:

outlanderdiagram-01

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:

outlanderdiagram2pleat-01

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.

burda pattern

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

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.

I will leave you with this...

outlandercoatplan4

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! :) ]

44 comments:

  1. 18th century badonkadonk pleat = bwa ha ha ha!
    The dude from that show is insanely hot.

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  2. Read this last Xmas for book club, love what they've done with the show, looking forward to the rest of season 1. It got me knitting again after a 10 yr break! Have you checked out terry dresbach's blog? Looking forward to seeing your coat.

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    1. yes i love all the pictures she posts! there is so much detail, some of it that you never even see when watching the show.

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  3. What a great idea! I still haven't seen that show and everyone is raving about it. I looked for it on itunes but no love there. :(

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    1. you can watch the first episode for free on the Starz website.

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  4. Great idea! I do love movie and tv show costumes and often find myself at lost when trying to copy these. This new column will be a great way to learn. (I agree with Meg, the dude in the front is incredibly good-looking, face and knees!)

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    1. thanks! and yes there was a reason i included that last pictures. :]

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  5. THAT HOOD. Oh man, I can't wait to see the finished product!

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    1. i knoooowwwwww i could take a nap inside of it.

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  6. Thank you for putting down the terrible pun and backing away; you have saved us all from a painful death by violent eye rolling. :-) I love the column idea and look forward to more. I hope you'll note whether the TV/movie is something you enjoyed for the story or just the costumes--I also love the costumes of period or genre works, but can't suffer through a bad story just for them. Which means it will be nice to see you pull inspiration from works I might not actually watch. I'm not familiar with Outlander and I can't offer any suggestions on this project, but I feel it must be noted that a man's knees have never been so provocative as in that final photo.

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    1. LOL provocative knees...they are quite provocative. as for the show, it's hard to be objective because i really liked the books and was just excited to see them come to life. of course like anything, the show can't possible have as much as the books, so there's a lot of stuff missing, though i think they did pretty well considering. the only thing I don't like is that there is SO MUCH VOICEOVER. everything is over explained and it's really distracting. it seemed to get less as the season went on so hopefully they'll do less of it in the future.

      but yes it would be good to include some sort of mini review of the movie/show!

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  7. Such a great idea! I'll very much look forward to these posts. I am truly enjoying the outlander series as well...though when I read the books I forced myself to read only one every year or so...I needed them to last! The TV series is super awesome to watch! Well done!!!!

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    1. haha i'm also pacing myself now that i realized there are 7 books :[ i don't want them to be over

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  8. How fun! I love it. I just watched Troop Beverly Hills the other day for the first time in, oh, 20 years... It left me feeling very inspired to make an long khaki cape. Movie costumes are really my favorite source of inspiration.

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  9. Love the column! My friend just recommended these books, so the universe must be directing me to read them or something! Think the burda pattern could work really well!!

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  10. Oh! I read Outlander. I had a huuuuge crush on Jamie. And I will never ever watch the series, because I usually hate the movie oder tv versions of books (twilight... just sayin).

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    1. yeah, i hear ya...i hate when you have a mental image of what a character looks like, and then the actor they cast isn't the same, but then the actor replaces your mental image anyway and you can't remember how you originally imagined them.

      for outlander they stay pretty true to the story, which is nice, except that there is totally unnecessary Claire voiceover over almost everything.

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  11. What a great idea!! I'm actually watching this show for work (I work in TV marketing...) - and all I can think about are Claire's costumes! The coat is beautiful (and I love the materials you chose)!

    I also get major Colette Dahlia vibes from the "shift" she wears when she "falls back through time." It doesn't have the same waist detailing, but the gathers at the bust and waist are super similar.

    I think I'll have to read this series soon too...

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    1. ummm you get to watch this show for work?? sounds like a pretty awesome job :] that shift is something I also want to try to make, it's so pretty.

      like everything, the books are better just because there is so much more in a book than in a tv show or movie. but the show actually sticks by the book pretty well.

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  12. Fun idea. I can see you in this coat already. I think you definitely picked the right fabrics and pattern.

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  13. I love that show and their accents! I suggest you to use chocolate herringbone coating. For the hood, I recently used the hood part of Fairy Tale Cape Pattern and it's a huge hood! You can find it here: http://thisblogisnotforyou.com/patterns-2/

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    1. ooooh thanks so much for the recommendation! i was thinking it might be good to find some kind of cape pattern for the hood.

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  14. This is a great idea! I get a lot of inspiration from tv shows and movies, and even without finished garments, it's a fun exercise to plan new things! I think you might find "The Cut of Women's Clothes: 1600-1930" by Norah Waugh a great resource. There are quite a few short riding style jackets in the book, with technical drawings (not patterns, but they give you a really clear idea of the shape of the pieces). It's pretty much a text book, so you might be able to find it at a local library. As for Outlander - I did read the books, but so long ago that the details are hazy, which makes for very enjoyable viewing.

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  15. Awesome idea, I am sure it will look great! Keen to watch that show now. Burda 08/2011 also has similar jacket patterns. Never heard the word Badonkadonk before, will have to use it! Good luck, Rachael.

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  16. K....LOOOOOVE this series (the new book came out this summer...and I can't believe I haven't run out to get it yet!) And I can't help myself with that tv series and eye candy! lol. But imagine myself sitting down watching the wedding night episode when my man walks in (whose name is also Jamie...) It was a hysterical/embarrassing moment all in one bwahahaha)

    And I think this series could be really fun :) Love the idea!

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  17. I AM SO DOWN WITH SEW REEL!!!! I just bought a 1950s vest pattern because I want waistcoat like Bilbo Baggins. And I'm totally going to wear it when I go see The Hobbit. No shame.

    That coat is AMAZING and can't wait to follow along as it comes to fruition. I had been doing a series kind of like this with recreating vintage outfits from old catalog photos, but my nerd roots go so much deeper than that lol. Every single time I watch Game of Thrones I'm like ...I wonder if I could pull off a Daenerys Targaryen tunic? Don't even get me started on Lord of the Rings or Peaky Blinders. Or Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Or Firefly.

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    1. Bilbo waistcoat, Daenerys tunic, all amazing! I want to sew them too with the beautiful embelishments! Maybe you should host a Hobbit or GoT sew-along? I'll be in :D

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    2. ahhh a daenerys tunic!! i have totally google image searched her more than once just to look at her clothes. the embroidery in that show is insane, and you don't always even notice it:

      http://smatterist.com/749/gone-largely-unnoticed-game-thrones-series-now-impossible-take-eyes/

      maybe that's what i'll do next!!

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  18. I don't have any ideas but I love this column thing you are starting! Thanks for sharing the thought processes you're using and I'm looking forward to reading along.

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  19. I am glad I'm not the only one who dislikes that pun. I love this idea! I just started reading that series, and I have to watch the show now. If I lived somewhere cold, I would definitely want a hood like that!

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  20. Hahahahaha! Oh man, I totally forgot to include BADONKADONK PLEAT in my book of sewing terms!!!!!

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  21. When you're done with the coat, please make Jamie.

    I also love a couple of shawlie/shruggie things she wear, especially the big bulky one.

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    1. HAHA! how to make jamie will be my next tutorial, once i figure it out.

      and agreed, it took most of my self control to not start knitting multiple big chunky cowls.

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  22. This is an awesome idea! I don't usually pay attention to clothes in movies/tv but when I do, it's because I LOOOOVE it! Lol - can't wait to see this come to fruition! Also, looking for a way to use the term "badonkadonk pleat" in every day life.

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  23. This is awesome! The outlander series is one of my favorites, I can't wait to watch the show.

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  24. I'm enjoying the obsessive screengrabs of costume details - my mum thought I was crazy when I kept pausing French speed-typing romcom "Populaire" to take pictures of darts and collars. I now need all the clothes from France in 1959. Glad to see costuming claws its way into others' life/wardrobe choices too :)

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  25. Would love to know what progress. This sounds amazing!

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  26. Would love to know what progress. This sounds amazing!

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  27. I love doing the same thing and did this with this coat. I too wanted this coat, but like you say, with out the cosplay look. I went to my stash and pulled out some delicious olive wool (flannel-esque, but not flannel), and found some killer rust-ish type fake fur trim (in the southern plains, fur really isn't practical and way too hot for us). Did you post how this turned out? Here's my coat: http://sewingartistry.com/2014/12/cosplay/

    I also did a tartan coat in my family's hunting tartan that was verra pleid-like, although this had more construction than a traditional plaid.
    http://sewingartistry.com/2015/11/the-tartan-coat/

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