Thursday, March 14, 2013

The making of the Pirate Coat Commission

This customer came to me with fabric and trim he’d picked out previously, and an idea idea of what he wanted.  He knew he wanted a shirt with a flounce down the front and very over the top lace accents, and had decided on a double breasted vest.  He also knew he wanted a pirate coat with the standard turn-backs, two godets in the back, functional pockets, and quite a bit of trim.

We sat down and talked through the details of the outfit as I sketched it out for him.  I suggested my laced back vest style, which he liked, and I got to work.

The shirt is a fairly simple design, save for the flounce and sleeve cuffs.  He asked for several layers of the lace, which was already ruffled, so the sleeve cuffs are quite a statement item.

The vest is one of my designs which I’ve made before, double breasted with a lace up back.  It was originally designed for a friend of mine who was going through a period of rapid weight loss, but I find the cut and accents flattering for all figures.

The Grommets!  Oh the Grommets!

The velvet and satin the customer provided tried their best to crawl around, even with a walking foot, so I ended up pinning the daylights out of them before sewing.

I particularly love the black slubbed silk, and the purple silk/cotton blend I pulled out of my fabric stash to add texture and a pop of color to the vest.

The front got very densely packed buttons which the customer provided, to fit with the heavily ornamented style he was looking for.

The coat itself was a more difficult fabric to work with.  He chose a thick brocade upholstery fabric, which while gorgeous did not like being paired with the polyester satin lining fabric provided.

The welt pockets are fully functional, though the fabric had to be hand tacked to keep it folded correctly.  The original design had flaps over the pockets, but the exaggerated turn backs left too little room for them during construction.
Welt flap pinned down

This is why I don't wear nail polish.  Inevitably I pick at it until it peels.

Unfortunately, there was not enough of the original fabric to squeeze out said turn backs.  They were consequently made from the velvet, which had more than enough left.

Turn backs before any trim was added.

I asked the customer if he still wanted the originally planned black braces, and offered him a few other styles to choose from.

He decided to stick with the original black trim.  I cut the 24 braces with tape at the ends to keep them from unraveling as I worked with them.

Each brace was sewn into the final shape before they were laid down on the turn backs to be sewn into the front seam.

After they were sewn down to the front seam the tape was pulled off.  The turn backs were sewn onto the front of the coat.

The buttons are what holds the braces down, which lets them move organically with the jacket.

I sewed on the embellishments mostly by hand, starting from the outside of the turn backs and working my way in to the buttons.

The fur on the bottom of the coat and at the cuffs was added by hand.  The weight of the fur caused slouching on the sleeve cuffs, so the top of them was tacked to the jacket sleeve.

I added the lining to the jacket, and it was ready to go!

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