|Pattern Description: Don't let the tacky costume-y envelope patterns fool you -- this coat pattern is actually a great place to start for making a historical turn-of-the-18th-century justaucorps, the kind of huge-skirted coat that one associates with the end of the Golden Age of Piracy or the end of Louis XIV's reign. |
Pattern Sizing: Men's XS-XL. I'm 5'6" and have broad shoulders for a lady; I made an XS and even after taking in the center back a bit it's a little large, which is fine since it's an outerwear piece. Besides, the oversized sleeves look was popular in the early 1700s. It is a little bit long on me, though, since it goes below the knee and they were suppose to be knee-length. There's a corresponding female justaucorps costume pattern (Simplicity 3677), but it has historically inaccurate princess seaming on the front. I'm pretty flat-chested, so the men's coat worked fine for me, but just be aware of that if you're a lady making this coat.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Mostly, except for my modifications.
Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't really use the instructions since I added a full lining to my coat. The original pattern just has facings.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked that they had some of the essentials for a historical justaucorps: the shoulder seams angle backward over the top of the shoulder, the skirts can be easily modified to get the appropriate fullness. The sleeves are actually remarkably easy to set in, which was a pleasant surprise to me.
Fabric Used: I used a polyester velvet tablecloth as amy outer fabric, and cotton sateen for my lining. I'm not sure how to translate tablecloth into yardage (especially since it was a circular one with seaming), but I only had/used 4.5 yards of 55" cotton sateen for my lining, and that's with the fuller skirts, so the almost six yards that the pattern envelope calls for for an XS might be excessive.
My version also used about 5 yards of lace trim and 42 buttons, as opposed to the 2.5 yards and 28 buttons that the pattern envelope calls for.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I took in the center back seam a lot to get rid of the weird humpback at the top, and also to get the narrow back look more consistent with extant garments of the time. I also doubled the side skirts on both the front and back pieces (I took the godet piece and doubled it, then taped it onto the front and back pieces to get the swooping-up bias part that's seen on tailoring manuals/diagrams of the time.
As mentioned above, I also made a full lining (same pattern pieces), as well as changed the trim and button placement, and moved the pocket flaps lower.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would like to make this up again in a less luxe-looking fabric/style, but that probably won't happen anytime soon. I would definitely recommend this pattern.
Conclusion: I love my final garment! It's pretty fantastic (both in the awesome sense and in the fantasy-based sense) even if the materials aren't quite historically accurate. I've always wanted a pirate coat, and now I have one!