Giving a Coat Flare
And possibly also "Giving a Coat Flair". You really can have both! See, it all started with this picture: I mean, what costume-obsessed person doesn't look at that and go, "WAAAAAAANT!" So being me, I thought, "This is not so unlike RH1013. I have an RH1013 already cut out of red melton. I'll just add to the skirts!" Now, RH1013 has a lower hem circumference of nearly 170" (that's 430 cm in modern). This is not exactly a slim coat. I mean, after all, it is based on a pattern draft from the 1910s for a "Ride Astride" coat — a coat that would allow a lady to ride a horse without showing her legs. So those skirts are big enough to cover your arse AND the horse's! But no. I wanted BIGGER! Well, what I wanted was a coat that fell into nice pleats in the back like the coats in the illustration at the top of this page. Did I cut new skirts? No! Because I learned a little something from all those years as a medieval reenactor. (Shout out to my costume-obsessed friend, Katheryn Fontayne!) You see, when you cut a coat that has a bunch of triangular skirts, something interesting happens. You end up with all these pieces of scrap that are:
- The same waist to hem measurement as your skirt pieces
It really makes a vast difference if you press every seam as soon as you sew it. You should always sew with your ironing board next to your sewing machine and your iron on and full of water to make lots of steam. The results are astounding. If you set up your ironing board and iron before you begin sewing, it won't even take that much more time.
SO IRON AFTER EVERY SEAM!We now return you to your regularly-scheduled tailoring blog: Now, from the right side of the fabric, bring the seams on either side of the gore to meet in the center. This means the gore will be hidden behind the seams. Press until you just cannot press no more. Then press again. The wrong side of your garment should look something like this. You shouldn't have to press it again from the wrong side. But honestly, you just cannot press too much. So if you feel it, go for it. Who am I to stop you? Never let it be said that I stood in the way of someone with an iron and intention to press the snot out of something. If you followed my lead, you will have three gores — one at center back, and one at each of the side back seams — in your new coat skirts. Of course you can make as many or as few as you like. My skirts are now 209" (530 cm) at the hem. What do you think?