Friday, October 30, 2009

Vintage Pattern Lending Library 1652 - 1920's Ladies' Coat

I needed a costume to portray a woman from the 1920's for some history tours to benefit the restoration of Green Lawn Abbey, which was built in 1927. The style of this pattern is consistent with coats I've seen in catalogs from 1923-24, so I made some modifications both to make it more appropriate for the later time period and to make it more functional just to wear everyday.

VPLL 1652 - 1920's Ladies Coat

Right off the bat, it became apparent that there were a few odd things about the pattern itself. First of all, the length is much longer than it seems in the illustration. It is ankle length - very 1923! - so I took 10 inches off the bottom. There are also tabs extending from the top of the coat fronts that did not have any corresponding tabs on the facing. I cut those off. Finally, the pattern layout illustration only shows that the cuff piece is cut twice. You actually need it cut 4 times. I should also mention that the pattern only give the pattern layout and yardages for doing the coat in one solid color with no contrast. I used 3/4 of a yard to make the contrast for mine, minus ties. You would probably need an extra yard for the ties. If I hadn't made some modifications, this would have been a super easy coat to make.

The pattern shapes are simple, with only one set of darts to be made in the coat fronts. It is designed to not even be lined, although the instructions do mention how to line it if desired. The cut is loose, so no fussy fitting is required. There are no pockets to deal with, and the pieces fit together well. I am also very pleased with how VPLL made the pattern. If you've ever worked with original patterns from that era, you know that construction marks, such as where to put the darts, were simply small holes in the pattern where the seamstress was supposed to make tailor tacks with thread. VPLL not only had the markings drawn on, they are printed in a second color to make them more distinguishable from the cutting lines.

My 1920's outfit

The modifications I made were to shorten the length, and added pockets, triangular trim at the waistline, loops for the buttons, and both a lining and a heavier interlining. I am very pleased with the end result. The only things I am not keen on are the result of my own modifications: I should have made the pockets in the same color as the shell, it would have been better if I had made the length a wee bit longer than I had, and the weight of the interlining pulls the front of the coat a little funny when the collar is buttoned up. Still, I got a ton of compliments on it. I can't wait to try my next pattern from VPLL!

1 comment:

  1. I rushed over here so I could be the first to welcome you to your new spot online. The coat looks fantastic and you look great in it.