Monday, February 1, 2010

Reworking a Great Coat, Part 2.

So, if you care, here's Part 1. I'm reworking an "off-the-rack" 18th century great coat to look more appropriate. So far I've changed the buttons, opened up the pockets and cuffs, trimmed off the seam allowance and top-stitched so there were visable raw edges. The next step was to add a "cape" to update the coat to a more 1780’s silhouette. My copy of Beth Gilgun’s book, Tidings from the 18th Century* had a GC pattern in it, so I scaled up the collar pattern to fit this coat and pinned on one cut from a scrap piece of fabric.

It didn’t have enough flare, so I cut slits, measured the gaps, and transferred this to my next practice piece.

The next one looked pretty good. I transferred the alterations to the pattern piece,

and I cut out two new cape pieces, top-stitched around the edges, sandwiched the collar in between, and sewed them to the neck edge.

I added two buttons (the coat came with two spare buttons, yay!), and worked two buttonholes. Now I just have to redo the other 38 buttonholes by hand. But not today.

More good information on great coats/watch coats can be found here.

*This book has many valuable ideas, but parts of it are woefully outdated. Please don't use this resource without additional research.


  1. Is that one of the coats from Flying Canoe?

  2. Yes it is. Hard to recognize now, isn't it?

    How's my old must doing for you?

  3. My old *MUSE*. I'm not multi-tasking well today. Sheesh.