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Author Topic: An 1830's Tailcoat  (Read 14483 times)
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Jim_Ruley
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« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2015, 02:59:40 PM »

The next step is ticklish.  The canvas is carefully trimmed away between the tape and the wool, up to the line of basting thread.  In the area of the lapel which will be turned back (the "revers") the wool is then trimmed away up to the tape edge.  The wool facings will be wrapped over this edge once they are basted on:





Below the crease line, the wool edges are pressed back over the stay tape and backstitched down:


« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 04:51:13 PM by Jim_Ruley » Logged
Jim_Ruley
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« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2015, 06:23:45 PM »

The back seam is now basted, sewn, and clipped back to 1/4".  The seam ends 1/2" below the top of the turned back edge of the tail vent facing.  The bottom of the seam is clipped diagonally down to the stitching at this point.



The seam is now pressed open, a sleeve board helps to avoid messing up the side seams.



The coat is turned right side up, and the left tail turned up over the back.   The triangular tab (left by the diagonal cut at the bottom of the seam) at the top of the left vent edge is stitched firmly down to the right tail.  A doubled thread works best for this purpose.  The tab is then clipped diagonally again so that it won't stick out when the tail is folded down into place:



The tail is folded back down and pressed throughly.  Next, a needle with a doubled thread is used to tack the layers into position.  This is done with a "prick stitch", i.e. the needle is passed vertically through the fabric so the stitching is as strong as possible.



Finally, the backs are cut the same length as the skirts:


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Elizabeth
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« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2015, 06:42:17 PM »

This is looking so lovely! Thanks very much for sharing the details with us, Mr Ruley.
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Regards,
Elizabeth
Jim_Ruley
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« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2015, 08:44:41 PM »

The tails of this coat are lined with the same wool as the body.  The linings follow the same lines as the skirt, but do not have a functional pleat.  We begin by ironing the vent edge over one seam allowance (1/2"):



The lining is laid in place over the right tail, then a cut line is marked extending upward from the front corner of the skirt.  Cutting the lining off here will allow the tail pleat to expand without having visible multiple layers at the bottom of the skirt:



The lining is now basted in place:



The lining of the left tail needs a cutout to accomodate the tack over:



The vent edges of the two skirt linings are slipstitched into place:



The front edges are carefully cut back even with the front edge:



The raw edges are then backstitched down, just short of the front edge:



Extra material is removed from the top of the pockets:



The skirt lining is now secured on its top edge.  It is backstitched to the waist seam allowance, and catch-stitched at the back:



A small piece of scrap covers the open area at the top of the vent on the inside:



« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 08:16:13 AM by Jim_Ruley » Logged
Jim_Ruley
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« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2015, 06:50:58 PM »

Time to start work on the front facings.  Erik pulled out all the stops here, and commissioned a specially dyed wool/cotton "plains" fabric from Ben Tart.  Here are two interfacing pieces and the collar canvas chalked out for cutting.  The crease line, pocket position and quilting lines are marked on one front interfacing (the other will be marked on the opposite side after cutting).  The neck seam allowance is chalked off the collar.



Erik also went the extra mile on chest batting material.  Rather than use modern stuff, he acquired some loose cotton grown in Louisiana, carded it himself and laid it between two pieces of cheesecloth.  To make this into chest pads, I pad-stitched around the pattern piece, then several rows within the pad, then cut it out to size:



The cotton padding is basted to the back side of the interfacing:



The interfacing assembly is now basted to the wrong side of the facing piece.  These facings will extend under the arm and behind the shoulder as well as over most of the chest:



The facing needs to be concave (viewed from inside the coat), so several rows of padding are basted between the quilt lines while it is curled over the hand.  This will allow it to curve over the shoulder (represented by the ham here):



The quilting lines are worked from the interfacing side, using a long backstitch:


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Jim_Ruley
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« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2015, 09:53:38 AM »

Construction of the breast pocket begins by basting a facing to the top of one pocket bag half, then putting a row of stitching in close to the bottom edge:



The other facing piece is basted (right sides together) to the left facing assembly.  The remaining pocket bag is basted (right side up) to the inside of the assembly.   Stitch through all layers in a box pattern around the opening.  Both sides are shown below:





The opening is slit through all layers, and clipped diagonally to the corners.  Outside the "box" the seam allowances are also clipped diagonally:



The lower half of the facing piece is pressed up, then pulled through the pocket slit as shown:



The facing is now wrapped around the edge of the slit, forming the lower welt as shown.  The layers are secured with a prick stitch:



The bottom edge of the facing is secured to the bag with a line of backstitching:



The upper half of the facing is treated similarly, but basted into place for the time being:



The faced pocket bag half is now placed on top, and the bag is sewn round to close it.  This begins with pad stitches at the top, then backstitching around the sides and bottom.  Finally, the top welt is secured in place by pricking through all layers:



Closeup of the finished pocket mouth.  The ends are secured with bar tacks:



The lapel facings are now basted to the front edges and sewn on:



The finished facing assemblies after clipping and pressing the seams:


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Jim_Ruley
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« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2015, 04:10:36 PM »

The facing assemblies are now basted to the coat (wrong sides together).  We begin by basting the roll line in place:



To keep the facing concave, the ham is placed under the shoulder while a row of basting is run up the middle of the facing to the shoulder.  Additional rows (not shown) will be put in to hold the lower portion of the lapel and the back edge of the facing in position.



The coat is now laid facing side down with the ham under the roll line.  The interfacing is smoothed over the forepart canvas, and a row of padding is worked to hold these layers together:



The facing is now turned back into position and basted down to the lapel.



The edges are now finished.  Above the roll line, the facing is wrapped around the stay tape and canvas, and covered by the previously trimmed edges of the coat cloth:



The coat cloth is felled onto the facing, creating a clean-looking edge without topstitching:



Below the roll line, it's just the opposite.  The facing cloth is trimmed just short of the turned over edges of the coat wool, then felled onto them:


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« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2015, 07:14:32 PM »

The shoulder seams of the coat are now sewn, clipped, and pressed:



The canvas is basted into position in the shoulders:



« Last Edit: September 05, 2015, 07:48:02 PM by Jim_Ruley » Logged
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« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2015, 07:47:41 PM »

We now return to the sleeves.  The first step is to sew up the linings.  For these I prefer to take a 3/8" seam (rather than 1/2") to allow a little slack.  These seams are not clipped before pressing:



Here are the buttons - small for the cuffs, large for the body.  These are flat-topped pad backs commissioned by Erik from the Button Baron.  They can make any size, any material, pad or shank back as requested.



Cuff buttonholes have been worked and buttons sewn on.  These are sewn with a "neck" (several loops of thread through the pad, then wrapped around with thread) to provide the length needed for the thick cuffs:



The sleeves are turned wrong sides out, and the linings slipped over them and whipped down at the cuffs:





The finished sleeves ready to set.  Two rows of gathering stitches are worked into the head (in the wool layer only):



« Last Edit: September 06, 2015, 08:36:00 AM by Jim_Ruley » Logged
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« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2015, 01:54:17 PM »

The gathers are drawn up, and the sleeves pinned into the scyes with the coat wrong side out.  The sleeve is sewn to the wool layer only:



The sleeve seam is cut back to 1/4", then pressed open under the arm (between the two sleeve seams):



The body canvas is now stitched to the seam allowances at the scye.  Surplus material is removed, leaving 1/2" beyond the seam:



Next, the body canvas is secured to the neck of the coat.  The line of stitching here will also serve as a mark for attaching the collar:



The center seam of the upper portion of the body facing pieces is now sewn together.  This makes a "cape" that covers the inside of the shoulder area.  A common term for this feature is the "bug-trap" Smiley



The raw edge of these internal capes is often found pinked or dovetailed on original coats.  The machine used here is a Singer "Pinker", which is no longer made but are not hard to find at online auctions.  The curved blade makes a smooth cut rather than the right angles of conventional pinking shears.



The neck edge of the body facing is turned under, then sewn to the neck of the coat along the stitch line securing the canvas:



The body facing is carefully smoothed into shape, then sewn around the armscye onto the sleeve-body seam:



The head of the sleeve lining is set in place, then whipped down concealing the last seam:



This completes the coat body except for buttons and buttonholes.

« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 07:23:58 PM by Jim_Ruley » Logged
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« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2015, 07:28:53 PM »

Collar construction begins by seaming the wool collar halves together, then clipping and pressing the seams (not shown).  Next, the collar canvas is laid in place over the undercollar and basted at the crease line and fall edge:



The stand (portion that goes around the neck) is stitched with rows of back stitching, working from the wool side.  This is how the canvas side looks afterwards:



The fall portion is stitched with a padding stitch, working on the canvas side. This forces the collar to curl toward the wearer's body:



Using the paper pattern as a reference, the finished edges of the collar are marked on the canvas side in chalk:



The collar is stitched around about 1/8" behind the chalk lines to retain the edge of the canvas when it is cut back to finished size.  Here you can see the stitching showing through on the wool side:



Both layers are cut through on the finished edge, then the canvas is carefully cut back as closely as possible to the stitching.  This will help keep canvas from showing through the raw finished edges of the collar:



The collar is now felled down to the neck edge of the coat, using the stitching line from the body canvas as a reference:



The neck seam allowance is trimmed to 1/4", then the collar canvas is secured to it with a cross-stitch:



« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 08:22:04 PM by Jim_Ruley » Logged
Jim_Ruley
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« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2015, 08:21:36 PM »

The top collar installation begins with pressing the neck seam allowance under.  Then the top collar is basted into position on the neck seam and sewn in place:



The crease line is secured with a row of basting:



A final row of basting is put in place near the fall edge.  The collar is folded over when working behind the neck, to make sure the layers will lie smooth in wear:



We now sew through all layers close to the cut edges of the undercollar.  I took a row of loose backstitches first, working on the undercollar side; then sewed along this seam on the top collar side taking a close backstitch.  Here is how the top side looks:



The top side is now trimmed off close to the stitching, leaving a raw edge:


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Jim_Ruley
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« Reply #32 on: September 15, 2015, 05:32:08 PM »

Buttonholes are now worked in the lapels in the conventional keyhole fashion.  For some reason the original coat on which the Laughing Moon pattern was based had six buttons per breast, but only five holes:





The tails have buttons at the top of the pleats, and also at the lower ends:



Construction of the coat is now complete.  I hope Erik will share photos after he receives it!
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EKorsmo
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« Reply #33 on: September 16, 2015, 10:23:00 AM »

That's one gorgeous coat.  Thank you for sharing the process with us!
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MaryDee
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« Reply #34 on: September 16, 2015, 01:06:08 PM »

WOW!!!!!!!

I'm really impressed by the buttonholes!  A far cry from my amateur attempts! 
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« Reply #35 on: September 16, 2015, 04:02:42 PM »

You are perfectly inspirational Mr. Ruley.  Thank you for sharing your process and amazing attention to detail.  Love it.
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~Dana~

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters
Col. 3:23
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« Reply #36 on: October 17, 2015, 09:03:37 AM »

As always - thank you again many times over for being so generous with your expertise!
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« Reply #37 on: February 06, 2016, 06:11:44 PM »

Hi, Jim!
What is the canvas that you're using here? 

I'm about to start another frock and curious about your choice/ recommendations for both canvas and the stay tape.

Fantastic work on this tailcoat!  Thank you for sharing!
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John Wickett
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« Reply #38 on: February 06, 2016, 09:16:18 PM »

Hi, Jim!
What is the canvas that you're using here?  


As noted in post #10:

Quote

The material is a medium weight, plain weave linen-cotton blend from the upholstery department of a fabric store.  This is closer to period materials than modern "hymo".


The stay tape is a twill weave cotton, 1/2" wide.  I got it from the (sadly now defunct) Pennsylvania Fabric Outlet in Harrisburg.
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Jessamyn
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« Reply #39 on: February 07, 2016, 06:08:34 PM »

Wm. Booth, Draper, sells nice tapes. I've bought wool, cotton, and linen, and been pleased with all of them.

http://wmboothdraper.com/Cotton_Prints/indexwithnav.html?Cotton_Prints_Index.htm
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