I swear, the clock ticks faster when there is a tailcoat to be done. It was a hectic week with this tailcoat project, work, dance practice – and then switch gears from frantic last minute sewing in a home scattered with ironing boards, scissors, pins, scraps of wool, and what have you – to graceful manners in genteel society. You know exactly what I mean, don´t you?
Need I say I made it? Here I am arriving at the ball. But first things first. (Photo by Matilda Furness.)
In my last post I left you with this, and was about to sew on sleeves. That was fairly uncomplicated, due to already having a toile (mock-up) so there was no need to adjust the fit over the back and shoulders.
Cuffs in making: I drafted the pattern and cut three layers for each cuff: wool + linen + wool. With right sides together they were sewn on three sides (bottom and both ends). Corners were trimmed, then right side turned out.
Cuffs done. Pressed, and mounted onto the sleeve. (Raw edge of sleeve sandwiched between the layers.) I did not bother with buttonholes. A few stitches keep the cuff closed, and the button is there for show. (For some mysterious reason both sleeves ended up with a crease just above the button. Have to partially unpick the seam and move end of cuff higher by 1/2 inch.)
Pocket flaps (non-working pockets): top, in progress and below, the finished flaps. These were cut in one layer of wool and one layer of linen. Similar construction as cuffs. Top edges left open, raw edges folded in, pressed and basted on to the coat.
Closeup of the finished back: Pocket flaps, and one button above each side vent. These heavy brass buttons caught my eye, even if I was looking for something thinner in filigree. Centre back seam ends in a horisontal seam that keeps vent in place. Everything looks terribly uneven here, but that is because the coat was photographed on a hanger…
Collar: I needed to focus, so I completely forgot to take pictures of the pieces laid out flat. The undercollar was pad-stitched to embroidery canvas, pressed and steamed, and pinned to the coat. When position looked good I whip-stitched along the same line.
Collar meets lapel (on right side of coat). I had to stand in front of a mirror and check angles, then remove coat, trim with scissors, pin, and back on. (I really need a tailor´s dummy!) The lapel is still unfinished here because it was difficult to decide exact angle before having the collar. The wool is folded and held in place with a quick running stitch through the canvas. (Pins would make everything uneven.)
Upper collar was then sewn to cover the canvas. I folded the edges and whip-stitched the layers together. Here is a closeup of the collar (or is it a lapel?) on left side.
There! And buttons! In order to avoid overheating, the back and sleeves were left unlined.
And seen from the back. The unsightly creases are caused by the hanger.
Did you ever see such refined elegance 😉
Friday afternoon was really warm and I was running out of time. When the last thread end was cut off it was high time to get dressed. And then off to the ball!