I’ve already announced the new, lovely jacket pattern- Sophie. Here are some great inspirations taken from 1898 Ladies Home Journal that can inspire you to trim your own version in a different way than initially show. There is no reason why you could not substitute soutache, braid, or even embroidery in the place of topstitching.
Here is the original pattern illustration:
And here are original period illustrations of similar garments:
The swirls in the image above are “black satin appliqué scrolls”. This could easily be done by cutting bias strips and hand stitching them in place. It may even be pretty to add a thin braid to the edges. I think the scrolls on the sleeves are especially fun!
The image above appears to me to be something like a velvet ribbon, or bias cut velvet, edged in a braid. This would give great dimension to a jacket, as it would have different texture and visual interest. The topstitching, similar to on our coat pattern, is on this coat as well as the trim.
Although this does not have trimming (except the capes), this is a great illustration of how you could add faux flap pockets and bigger buttons for the more exaggerated 1890’s silhouette. I would suggest lengthening the jacket below the waist for these styles, too, to make the coat more balanced with the addition of the pockets. A little fiddling in the mock-up stage could change the coat from a scalloped coat to a straight hem, and the omission of cuffs would put you right in line with the jacket at the lower right.
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Now that’s we’ve taken a quick look at what goes on underneath, let’s skip to what goes on top! Many gals have mentioned that layering is what’s needed, since it can be frigid inside and then toasty indoors. Luckily, we can remove the overcoat.
Unlike today, when a girl can choose (or thrift, or make) several coats in one season, our counterparts in the 1930s would have to choose very wisely. Most women had one overcoat, and that coat had to last through several winters. Because of that, overcoats needed to be chosen with great care and thought. It had to match your wardrobe, go with your other clothing, and fit your unique style. This is why, often times, vintage overcoats could be a bit “bland”. The flashy ones were fun, but were more the luxury of women who could afford to have an alternate coat- or else the purchase could be regretted the following year when the fashion forward coat was suddenly out of style! It’s actually a great lesson to take with us into how we select our wardrobe today. Think of it as quality over quantity- or choose a great basic to mix with more inexpensive “fun” pieces, like a quirky hat, bag, or brooch.
However, I am in LOVE with all these more fashion forward versions of coats below. They scream the era they’re from, but aren’t they just delightful with their topstitching detail? (Actually, they’re a glimpse of things to come for Wearing History, since I’ve been back puttering away at a pattern with similar detailing, but from a different era).
The one below has a definate “Gay 90’s” flair, as they called it in the mid to late 30s. What a time to harken back to the 1890s! It’s kind of funny, actually- our harkening to 40 years prior would put us in the 1970’s, and we can’t say that there aren’t fashions floating around today that were influenced by the recent past.
I’ve got more great coat images I can share that fall more in line with “warmth” than “chic”, but these were so fun I had to share.
For past posts of mine with images of overcoats, check out these links:
Images posted prior to my migration to a WordPress.org blog are fuzzy, but if you click on the image it will take you to a nice clear version.
Have a great weekend!