Pelisse with military inspired trimming

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 front

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!

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6 Responses to Pelisse with military inspired trimming

  1. Malene says:

    I have to say – your posts on your sewing are much appreciated! I was hoping you would do one about this garment, and you did! 😀
    The pelisse is simply stunning! I love the color and the military-inspired trimmings. The fact that you went for a braid in the same color-tone makes it look quite subtle, but very stylish, which I really like. Did you line it as well? And – did you make the gorgeous hat you wore with it too?

  2. Dorte Kreiberg says:

    I am absolutely amazed, thanks for sharing the pictures, I would love to have a sewing weekend with you, it would be absolutely fantastic. Nice work.

  3. I love your pelisse, especially the back detail.

  4. Aurora says:

    Thank you!
    Dorte that would be such fun!
    Malene I was first considering gold or sivler braid, but then came to the conclusion that it would look a bit too over the top for what I wanted. So then I decided to just use a same shade braid. 🙂
    It is lined, but only the bodice, not the sleeves or the skirt. I just used a plain navy blue cotton fabric to line it with. As for the hat, check out my newest post 😉

  5. Judy says:

    Hello! Your pelisse is absolutely wonderful!

    I hope you don’t mind if I ask a question or two. I am working on my very first one and plan to add some trim. The pelisse is finished (as I wanted to make sure it was wearable, and then go back to do fun details). I’m curious as to how you finished the ends of your trim. Did you open up the seams and sew it in?

  6. Aurora says:

    Hello Judy!
    I am so so sorry I did not get back to answering your question earlier. At this point you may no longer have any need of my reply. I have been so bad at checking my blog and properly replying these last two months and I sincerely apologize for that!
    For the trim on my pelisse I actually only finished the ends off by hand sticking them in place. Opeining the seams would have no doubt given a nicer finish but because the trim I was using didn’t unravel so much it was enough for me to just hand stitch it in place by hand.

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