Friday, November 3, 2017

Modified Coat Sleeve Hack

I'm using the Laughing Moon #111 Ladies' Early 1860's Day Dress pattern as my base, which comes with a pagoda sleeve and a coat sleeve option.  I cut the coat sleeve pattern out in my size and used it as my jumping off point for a modified coat sleeve similar to this dress:
From The John Bright Collection
Be sure to click on the link for the original image page--it has a fantastic zoom function and some additional images that were absolutely vital to my noodling this process out into reality!

Lunch break proof of concept before cutting the real thing.

So the coat sleeve pattern in my size measures about 18" down the front of the arm, including seam allowances.  I measured around my wrist to find what the bottom circumference of the sleeve should be so that it would be relatively snug but still have room to slip my hand through without having to make a placket.  I came up with 9.5", then divided that in half and added 5/8" onto each edge (9.5/2 + 1.25) which gave me 6"--so each piece had to be cut six inches wide at the wrist edge.  The original sleeve front tapers a bit at the wrist, which would be easy to do--just make sure your overall circumference stays large enough for your hand.  I cut the front of the sleeve as one rectangle 6" wide and 18" long.

Sleeve pattern traced and marked where I plan to slash it.

The back of the sleeve is set smoothly to the front along the inside seam--the one that sits closest to the body when the sleeve hangs naturally from the shoulder.  So that side of the sleeve needs to be the same length as my sleeve front. 
How to add extra fullness and outside width.  Outside edge is on the right.

Traced and cut
The outside edge needs extra length to account for the pleating, so I used my base coat sleeve pattern and slashed+spread it to add extra along the outside seam, then spread it horizontally as well so that it could be pleated into the armscye.  (I traced my original pattern piece onto sturdier pattern material because I hate working with tissue.)

Pleated along one edge, smooth on the other.
Make sure you have a left and a right!  Nothing worse than realizing you've made two left sleeves...

The front piece is piped along both edges.  Then the back piece is attached along the inside edge, pleated to fit the outside edge, and sewn up into a tube.

Don't you sew in your pajamas?

Turn it right side out, et voila!  Finish the wrist edge however you like (I piped mine and finished it with a cuff) and set into your bodice as normal, pleating to fit the armscye as needed.  Congratulations; you've made an awesome modified coat sleeve!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

95th Rifles Uniform

My big project for this fall was a set of military togs for my husband, with a deadline of mid-October...which I am happy to say I met very neatly!

The trousers and tunic (aka the coat) are hand sewn from Kochan Phillips broadcloth in Bottle Green, per the uniform specifications of the Right Wing 3rd Bttn. 95th Rifles group with which we participate.  I cheated a little and used cotton thread, because I actually went and bought linen thread but the way it shredded drove me crazy.

The feathering (the white piping-look stuff) is 1/2" worsted wool tape, folded in half and sandwiched between the black broadcloth and the green lining.  The epaulet floofs (is there a technical term for those?) are made like pom-poms on a black canvas base, which was really kind of fun!

I hope he never falls into a body of water wearing this.  With all those buttons, he'd sink like a rock!

The tunic is made using Past Patterns #040:  Napoleonic Era British Foot Soldier's Jacket circa 1806-1820.  The tails are modified slightly in shape, and there are two pockets in the torso (you can see one of them--that welt right in front of and under his arm in the photo above) that are not included in the pattern.

The trousers are Laughing Moon #131, Men's Regency Trousers, with some modifications to simplify the construction--they are unlined and the fabric is very thick here, so they didn't need as many small pieces as are included in the original pattern.

It was certainly a new experience, but I'm so happy with how this turned out, and Rich assures me he is pleased with the final result, too!