Thursday, November 3, 2011

The frock coat. Down the home stretch

What the hell is going on here, you may ask?  This is the shoulder pad being pad stitched into the chest canvas.  While these stitches look huge, only a small amount of the canvas is caught with each stitch.  It's at this stage that the Cabrera book really starts to get confusing, so in a way I feel that I'm just winging it here.  I believe the goal is to have the shoulder pad anchored only to the chest canvas so that the outer fabric is able to move freely over the pad.  Makes sense to me.  I'm just never sure what to do with the part of the shoulder pad that extends to the back.  There's no canvas, so I just leave it unattached past the shoulder seam.  So far I've never had a shoulder pad fall out.  

Here a sleeve head is sewn into the seam of the armscye at the uppermost cap of the sleeve.  These were purchased at Steinlauf & Stoller.  However, they can be easily made with a couple of wool strips cut on the bias.  The function is to "fill out" the top of the sleeve so that there is a smooth drape.  

This is a felt undercollar that will be handstitched  to the collar.  You can see where I've basted the roll line and I've pressed it into shape over my tailor's ham.  BTW if you don't have a ham I highly recommend getting one.  You'll be surprised how often you reach for it.  

I attached the facings and the upper collar in one continuous seam just as I did on the trench coat.  I call it the "Big Seam" and it's a technique that works for me.  

From here on out it's just a LOT of handstitching.   Fortunately, I really enjoy this part of the process.  

Here are a few sneak peeks.  Antique brass "monkey fist" buttons at the sleeve vents.  

Antique brass buttons at the front and on the tails that match the buttons on the brocade vest.  I've really got to get this project finished.  We had snow over the weekend; a reminder that the season for wearing this coat is limited.  I want a few weeks to enjoy it before it has to be zipped up with some moth balls!  


  1. About those stitches in the first image. Aren't they used to fix the curvature in the shoulder. I know they do that for the collar of a suit's jacket too.

    The inner and outer layer have a different curve on them because of the thickness of the fabric. These sort of stitches fixes them in the right curve. If I recall correctly, you make them while putting the both layers over your hand or something round.

    But: I never did that myself. So it's only hear say.

  2. BTW: Just LOVE the coat! Beautiful fabric and buttons!