Yesterday I helped my grandma sort through some stuff in her wardrobe and attic, and we found this box. It’s from my granddad’s parents, and contains some of their actual wedding gear from the early 1920s, like the wreath of artificial flowers, my great-granddad’s top hat, a tie and a selection of his starched collars.
I’m so glad nobody had the glorious idea of throwing it away. I already had some of my great-grandparents’ clothes and accessories. They’re marvellous reference both for drawing and costume-making. Apparently it was stored away somewhen in the 1950s, because a newspaper from 1954 was used for wrapping the more fragile things.
Hat, knitted gloves, bead necklace, laced boots and crepe de chine overdress as owned by my great-grandmother in the 1920s. Interestingly, they all fit me perfectly, as does my great-grandfather’s frock coat and waistcoat from the same period. I’m so glad my maternal grandparents kept all this stuff.
Small progress on the new coat: red button holes and flaps for the side pockets (without the actual pockets underneath, however - I cheated because they seem rather useless). Might fasten the flaps with press studs, to prevent them from sticking out too much.
Next will be the large pockets, and then the lining.
Got sleeves, cuffs and buttons done today, as well as some small things like the triangle in the back. Thought I still had some of the red thread for the buttonholes, but apparently it’s gone, so I can’t do them tonight.
I’m not entirely happy with the buttons as they’re a little too small. I’ll use them for now but will keep looking out for alternative ones.
Also, I’m still undecided whether to include real pockets under the vertical flaps at the sides. I have one in my old coat but never use it since you can’t really put much in there without the risk of it falling out (despite a button to close the pocket). So either I put in zippers to close them properly, or I’ll just add the flaps and pretend there are pockets underneath.
Does anybody know how this dilemma was solved in the original Belstaff? When I saw it at the shop I unfortunately didn’t pay attention to this detail as I was too overwhelmed by the material and the general awesomeness of the coat.
Work on the new coat isn’t progressing as quickly as I should like. I struggled somewhat with the collar. The first version turned out to be too high in the back, and since unfortunately I don’t have Ben’s endless neck, I had to shorten it.
Originally I had hoped to finish the entire garment over the weekend, but that’s not realistic. I’ll try to get the pockets, buttons and buttonholes sorted out tomorrow, and hopefully the sleeves and cuffs, leaving only the lining to be done at a later point.
This is what I’ve been doing for most of the weekend: sewing a new Coat.
Although my old Sherlock-Coat has served me well for nearly two winters, there are some aspects of it I think should be altered to make it look more like the original Belstaff and also to improve its wearability.
For the new Coat, instead of loden I’m using real Harris Tweed (which, surprisingly, you can get for an affordable price if you buy directly from the manufacturers). I didn’t find one with the original houndstooth pattern, not in the right colours at least, so I went for barleycorn (I was sorely tempted to get herringbone, because I absolutely love that pattern, but alas, that’s not what Sherlock wears …). Also, the colour of my tweed is more blue-greyish than the original, but then Sherlock’s coat looks like that in most scenes because of lighting and grading.
Anyway, I hope to finish the garment over the coming weekend, so expect some Coatish updates throughout the week. But for tonight I’m going to take a break from sewing (fingers hurt a little) and hopefully complete a piece of fanart for my “Sherlock after the Fall” series.