April 14, 2013

Pelerine love

Last week, I've been studying my Gracieuse magazines from 1930 (I thought I should work my way through the pile chronologically, but the early '30's ones were just calling out to me. And they were easy to reach because I now have to piles on the shelf: 1920 to 1930 and 1930 to end of Gracieuse with pattern sheets). Judging from this this publication, 1930 was a great year for fashion. The trends of the day show a transition from the loose but intricately decorated styles of the 1920's to the sharp silhouette of the 1930's. Waistlines are back to the natural waistline or just below it and are carefully being shown again, skirts are getting longer but often have uneven hemlines in interesting shapes, (pin)tucks and biais cut sections are used both for decoration and to give shape. 

One thing especially caught my eye. 
It's mostly, but certainly not exclusively, using in coats: the pelerine. These little capes feature on at least half of the coats printed in the issues I have (throughout the year, not just in winter) and are regularly included in dress designs as well. I think the summer dresses in which the pelerine works as both collar and short sleeve are a particularly nice option.
But the coats really got to me.... I want a pelerine coat now! Although it is probably wiser to wait with making one till autumn...

Like all coats from 1930, the ones with pelerines are fairly straight in line with long lapels (which can often be worn closed as well) and high upper collars. The closure is at or just below the waistline and most used style is single breasted with a large overlap which places the button past center front. 

Pelerines can be seperate items, in which case they may be used over a dress as well, as part of a 'complet'.

Others are a hanging free over the coat front (but seem to be attached at the shoulder seam),

or they attach to what looks like a princess seam in the bodice...

or hang from a shoulder yoke (this is actually a dress).

There are even some which exist only on the back of the coat. I guess one would attach those to the shoulder seam an to the sleeve.

Most pelerines hang free at the back,

but it's also not unusual to have them attach to a narrow center back panel (the coat on the right, which is seen on the back. I also love the black coat which does come with a, two sizes too large for me, pattern). If the design is meant for stripes or checks, this panel is usually cut in a different direction from the body of the coat. 

Also, pelerines can be cut as one piece, or with seperate front and back pieces. If with seperate pieces, there's usually no shoulder shaping, these things are meant to be wide.

I especially love the coats in the last two pictures but I have the patterns for numbers 1, 3 and 5 (like so many vintage magazines, Gracieuse doesn't include patterns for all the designs). Of course, there is always the option of drafting one myself, incorporating the design featured I love best...
And I even have a great fabric for a pelerine coat:

It's a light coat fabric and at 4 meters, it should be enough. 
I want to try out a blouse pattern from Gracieuse this week, to get a feel for the shapes, sizing and ease used in these magazines. I really think I should wait with making a coat like this until the end of summer but I am sorely tempted....


  1. Gorgeous! The illustrations are just magnificent. I hope they turn out just as nice.

  2. Oh! I understand your temptation!

  3. Love the scans! And now I know what the adorable vintage half capes are called!!