October 31, 2012

The next thing

By now, my pink skirt only needs a button and a hem but I'm letting it hang for at least 24 hours to make sure it won't stretch out of shape under its own weight. Bias effects... I hope I will be able to show it to you on Friday.

In the mean time, I've been thinking about the next project. In the past two winters, I haven't made any coats because I still had two good ones. And a very warm vintage coat as well. Both of the coats I made before are still in service, but I have decided to make more anyway. After all, I wear a coat every day and I have a lot of coat fabrics in my stash... So really, having more than those two nice coats (and that tweed one is pilling a bit...) is probably not such a luxery after all. 
So far, whenever I make a winter coat, I always consider something along the lines of a New Look coat but reject it in favour of a more practical shape. You know the type of coat I mean: fitted bodice, narrow waist, big skirt. The size and shape of shoulders and collar depends on which exact year you draw your inspiration from. In fact, the term 'New Look coat' isn't even right. The term 'New Look' is often applied (especially by sewing bloggers talking about their inspiration) to all narrow-waisted, big-skirted concoctions from the moment the actual 'New Look' appeared in 1947 to the early 1960's. And, even in that Dior collection which caused such commotion in the post-war fashion world, there were two coat silhouettes to choose from. The Dutch magazines of the time mostly refer to these two as the "swagger" (the wide, almost tent-like coat) and the "redingote" (the fitted coat with the big skirt I mentioned before). The latter term and its history deserve a post all of their own, which I might get around to later. For now, let me just tell you that I am planning to make a "redingote" for this winter. I have two pieces of two meters each of blue-grey wool in my stash which should be enough.

About the pattern, I'm not 100% sure yet. Of course, I could draft a pattern but ever since I bought these Marion magazines from 1953 (which was the first batch I bought) I've remembered this coat. 

I think it's utterly lovely. And they give the pattern for it in their size 38 (which, judging from the dress I made, should be only a size and a half too large for me). It's not quite as full-skirted as a genuine New Look redingote but that might be a good thing, considering the fabric I have (Marion writes you need 3 m of 140 cm wide fabric but mine is in two pieces which will make the lay-out more complicated).  

The line drawing (the ones on the left, obviously. those on the right show the suit on the next page) shows those wonderful details even better. Just look at those raglan sleeves which end in points at the neckline... and the pockets which stick out a bit... and that modest little collar and the peculiarly spaced buttons with their diagonal buttonholes...

I'm going to trace off the pattern, maybe do some alterations already, and make a muslin to see how far off the fit actually is. 


  1. I hope you coat making goes smoothly. I can't wait to see the result. I love coats!

    I'd also like to thank you for educating me about the proper name of that kind of coat. I have one which is sadly fading in a horrible patchy way and I'm looking to buy another (the shape is perfect for me because I like to wear full skirts and petticoats). I've had no luck finding any coats the correct shape this year, maybe searching for redingote will help!

  2. I know exactly what you mean by redingote. A decade ago a friend of mine gifted me a military nurse's redingote--it was definitely from the 40s--and I wore it to pieces until moths got to it badly. It fit so beautifully, went with everything casual and dressy. I'm envious of this pattern--the sleeves are lovely!

  3. you have this pattern! jealous! amazing. what grogeous panel lines and shape....oh please make it!!

    1. one day i will draft myself a beautiful coat pattern like this...might have to wait till next year because our winter has alreayd past!

  4. That is indeed a lovely coat! And it suits your style so well. I'm hoping you'll put up larger pictures so we can all take a good look at the result and drool :)