I haven’t been posting alot of sewing projects on here for a while, but I’ll change that by writing about the outift I made and wore for this years Jane Austen festival.
Wearing my new outfit in Bath
I’ve had a plan in the back of my head for a long time now of making myself a pelisse, a wool pelisse with military inspired trims and decoration. For some reason I have kept putting it off, but now the time had come to make something of my idea.
With most of the things I have made I have looked to characters such as Elizabeth Bennet, the Dashwood sisters, Catherine Morland and similar nice girls, but for this outfit I had a different kind of style inspiration. This time I looked to some other characters for ideas, characters such as Becky Sharpe (my number one inspiration for this) in Vanity Fair and even, I confess, the Bingley sisters as well as others. Not because I wanted to exactly copy anything that they wore, but becuase I was aiming for a slightly different style, and I needed to look to other sources of inspiration.
I would make a pelisse, out of green wool. That was my plan. However, green wool proved alot harder to find than I had anticipated. Or let me re-phrase that, green wool that looked like I wanted it proved alot harder to find than I had anticipated. There were green fabrics, but either they were too dark, too dull, or just in some other way not what I wanted. So, with some slight feelings of despair the idea of green was cancelled, and for what felt like the hundredth time I looked through my stash of fabric again, hoping to find something! And I did. A fabric I had been eyeing up for a while but didn’t feel I could use, because I happened to have promised mum I would make her a jacket out of this particular fabric ages ago… But finally I decided to go ahead and ask her if she still wanted that jacket, and was rather pleased when she said I could just take the fabric and use it if I wanted it. So instead of green my pelisse would now be made of a lovely navy blue wool fabric. And I’m thrilled I decided to do it that way!
This was my first pelisse, and I wasn’t quite sure how it would be to make one. But it proved to come together very easily and well, without any major catastrophies. I used Sense & Sensibility’s Spencer/Pelisse pattern as a base for making this, and basically it was just making a Spencer jacket and adding a ‘skirt’ to it.
So sewing it all together went quickly. The collar and the lapels were a little fiddly and took a few tries to get as I wanted them, but that was all really. And can i just say straight away I love this coat. And one of my absolute favorite things about it is the tall stand up collar. That was one of the few alterations I made to the pattern, I knew I wanted a stand up collar. And I love the effect of it! I also lined the inside of the collar with velvet. You don’t really see it but it feels lovely when wearing! The idea of a tall wool collar against my neck wasn’t too appealing, so the velvet provided an excellent solution, adding a touch of a luxury feel too. 🙂
While I was working on this coat and had it hanging on the mannequin in my room my dad made a comment on it, saying it looked like a Dracula coat. It was long and dark, and the collar is in the style that Count Dracula’s is often portrayed wearing. I found it rather amusing that he should say that, since unbeknownst to him I was just at that time also listening to Dracula on audiobook. So it was a definite theme for this coat, Dracula. 😛
No trims, no buttons yet, but we’ll get there
As you can see it’s rather a plain coat under without the stuff on the front there
I do like how the back turned out
Once I had the coat done it was time for the trims to come on. I had sort of an idea of what I wanted it to look like. I found some braid that was just what I had in mind on a visit to Stockholm and started playing around with it, trying this and that. This is also where I would like to say a big thank you to my boyfriend Andrew for all his ideas and opinions with regards to this coat and the trimming of it. When making a pelisse with military inspired design having a boyfriend with a bit of an obsession for Napoleonic uniforms does help!
The trim is largely inspired by the uniforms worn by hussars, with the rows of braid and the buttons. I hadn’t originally planned to include the buttons, but on seeing some different examples I was persuaded that would be a good idea, and I think it was! So I got myself away to the fabric shop and somewhat surprised the lady who works there when I said I wanted 36 buttons. She is getting used to me coming in there and buying slightly weird things by now. But it’s great, we always end up having long conversations every time I’m there.
I did decide to ‘only’ use 21 buttons in the end, so I’ve got a few to spare, should they decide to start falling off. 😛
Decoration at the back of the collar. I had never done any decorating like this before, but it was lots of fun!
And at the side/front of the collar
Decorative detail on the sleeve
Full lenght back view
And a closer view
I struggled finding buttons that I liked, and when I put these on I thought they would only be temporary, but now I actually love them. So I think they’ll stay 😉
So that’s it. That is the story of how I made this pelisse. With most projects I make there are one or two (or more!) things I’m not completely happy with, that I would have made differently or that didn’t turn out as I wanted them to. With this one the only thing I’m not completely happy with is that I ran out of fabric for the skirt part, otherwise it wouldn’t have hurt to have a little bit more fabric there, making it possible for it to close a little easier. Other than that I am actually very pleased. And I just loved wearing this outfit for the promenade in Bath! I got so many lovely comments from people on my outfit, and for once I was just so pleased with what I wore! 🙂
Coming up soon will be a post about the hat!