Wednesday, January 8, 2014

In Detail Wednesday...Series

I have been inspired to begin a series, something that I have not done before, so please bear with me. I will be posting every Wednesday or every other Wednesday, a new post series called In Detail Wednesday, where I will choose an item from my shop to go "in detail" with photos, descriptions, etc. to not only spread the word about some of the items I have listed in my Etsy & Zibbet shops, Lady Of Grace Designs, but also to help me document my creations.
For the first post in this series, I would like to go over one of my newest listings, the Revolutionary War British Coat. The coat is made from my own pattern, which I drafted from studying originals & paintings from the period. I had opportunity recently to create a British Coat for a little boy. It required decreasing the size of my first pattern & making a couple mockups, but I enjoy a challenge(thus part of the reason I sew!). I keep my mockups though, to use for any future orders in that size, marking measurements on it to save me time later.
When I first began making these coats, I crafted them from a somewhat lighter medium weight wool, but it just didn't have the feel & weight that I had seen in other coats. About the same time, a wonderful friend, who happens to be a fount of wisdom, Sue, told me that I could, ...wait for it... WASH wool!(I can just imagine your looks of shock & horror at such a proposition). I will do a detailed post on the method & the tricks to getting it right. For now, I will just tell you that the trick works. Unfortunately, my supplier of that first wool has recently chosen to discontinue their line of wools, so I began a diligent search for a new source. By the blessings of God, I found an invaluable supplier of exceptionally high quality Melton wool broadcloth. This wool is the closest approximation of the original wool used in period examples that I have found & the colors are magnificent. The coat is machine stitched on most of the seams, but I like the finished look of s hand stitched lining, inside shoulder, armscyes, & center back seams. I use a prick stitch, which is the stitch I employ for most of my items hems. I do faux welts for the insides of the pockets, as I like the look & have found a few examples with the same effect.
Coats from the War had a few types of buttons, made from different materials. Pewter buttons pop up quite often, so when I came across a man who handcrafts in small batches period correct replicas at a great price, I knew the buttons would be an addition that would really set off the coat. 38 of these beauties are sewn on to the front facings, cuffs, & pockets. The front of the coat fastens with 3 large hook & eyes, when the buttons on the front facings aren't being used.
The skirt portion of the coat fastens on either side with small hook & eye sets, which reveals the natural white lining & the blue hearts. An interesting feature of these coats are the pairs of hearts on either side of the skirt. I have yet to find the reason for these, but it reminds me of the old saying "wearing your heart on your sleeve". I wonder if it got it's start with these hearts. I applique stitch mine by hand, giving them a nice finishing touch.
So for now, that is my first post in the In Detail Wednesday Series. I hope you enjoyed it & it was informative. Have a great day & Happy New Year, Sarah Grace