Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A "1938" Coat - HSF #2 (UFO)

Here's my first entry for the Historical Sew Fortnightly! It's a couple days late and there's no fancy photoshoot because I've got a cold right now. Looking at the challenges, I think I'm going participate in about half of them and turn it into an Historical Sew Monthly - that pace will work better for me and the projects I want to complete.

Nearly 2 years ago I bought a vintage coat with a ripped and shattering lining. I HATE repairs and alterations, so it's a sign of how much I love this coat that I was willing to work on it - except that I stopped right before it was done! The project stalled out in Fall 2011, with basically only the buttons and hems to go.

Originally I estimated this coat to be from 1939/40 and I was going to fudge it into this challenge (supposed to be 1938 or earlier), but then I came across this page of overcoats from the Sears 1938 catalog - the navy one has the same details as mine (wide lapels, princess seams, sleeve cap darts), so I definitely think my coat could be from 1938!

The old lining was shredding, so I carefully removed it and traced it off to make a new pattern. I referenced Easy Guide to Sewing Linings for this bit, and even though the process is fairly self-explanatory, the book had some good tips that made the project easier. I also handmade new shoulder pads and had it cleaned and pressed before inserting the new lining.

Outside View - the part I didn't make. :)

Inside View - the part I made!

The Challenge: #2 UFO (UnFinished Object)

Fabric: Burgundy Rayon Satin for the replacement lining

Pattern: Traced off the original coat lining

Year: 1938-ish ;)

Notions: Handmade shoulder pads, replacement buttons, hem tape, thread

How Historically Accurate: Nearly 100%! It helps that I could use a machine and had the original to copy. The only thing that would have been more accurate would be rayon hem tape instead of polyester.

Hours to Complete: Maybe 60 total, about 8 hours for this challenge. I'm super slow!

First Planned Wearing: Saturday February 26, 2013 to the Great LA Air Raid

Total Cost: About $30, not including the purchase of the coat


  1. Nice! Great job. And I can't believe it was two years ago you got it! How did that happen?

  2. Lovely! And I adore the coat with the plaid lining in the ad you posted -- wish I had time to re-create it!

  3. What a beautiful coat! I love the colour of the lining.

  4. Wow, I'm so impressed! As someone who has only just lined her first couple of things (both skirts--so very simple in comparison), I'm so impressed that not only did you line this but deconstructed the original lining to do it. Amazing!


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