Green Serge Raincoat– Patterning and Main Assembly (MINUS SOME PICTURES)

I am moving to England this fall, and thus will need a raincoat.

I wear quite long skirts on a regular basis, so it should really be a long raincoat.

I also want it to work as a general purpose lightish coat, and I don’t like the splash noises of a fully waterproof coat, such as one made of vinyl or the like.

It is thus going to be a wool serge raincoat, patterned roughly after a double breasted ulster, with a standing collar. If its raining enough for the water resistance of the serge to be insufficient then I will be using an umbrella anyways, and the serge will be the best option for non-rain wear as well.

My initial sleeve-and-collar-less mock-up, cut with a waist seam that will not be present in the final outer fabric, is shown in the images below.

Its broadly correct, though the fronts need to overlap by another inch and a half or so, and the skirt needs to be curved more at the hem and less at the top (which extending the fronts should help with.) The armholes are large, but intentionally so. At this point I proceeded to a sleeve mockup, before starting on the final thing.

Mock-ups completed and notes made, I began on the final product. The first thing I did was to make a pair of shoulder pads, to fill in the extra room needed in the armscye in order to have the sleeves go over things as much as I wanted them to. These were made of six layers of cheap flannelette, padstitched into shape. I would not reccomend this method, as it got very hard to stitch through all the layers towards the end, and would have been much easier to do in a thicker fabric with more loft, such as a proper dommette or even thicker flannelette.

I then cut out the bodice lining in a stiff cotton twill. This extends some ways down into the skirt, moreso in the back than the front. This is simply to provide a bit of added structure to the drapey and heavy wool. The back panel was cut a couple inches wider than in the mock up, with the idea of having a buttoned pleat at the waist for extra room for the occasioanal extra bulky garment (such as my 1480s broadcloth overgown). I also made the fit modifications of extending the fronts by an inch each, and lowering the back neckline (which I am discovering is a problematic area across several of my drafts).

The skirt and sleeve linings were a simple matter of cutting the pieces in the cotton/linen twill and the cotton sateen respectively, assembling them, then dyeing the skirt panels to my desired teal from their initial indigo. I then assembled all of the lining pieces, and was ready to begin on the serge. This took place partially on the floor, so I could lay everything out properly to trace (asymmetry means I cant cut entirely on the fold.) I then moved things to the table to cut, and worked out how to cut the sleeves from the remnants.

Having done that, I basted the main body pieces together, and seamed both the outer and lining bodice portions. I left an inch extra seam allowance on the back bodice in the wool, and two inches for the skirt, to provide for any future alterations. The difference the lining stiffness and the shoulder pads make should be fairly evident in the image below.

I then hung this part up for the skirt to fall, and went to work on the sleeves, collar, buttons, cuffs, belt, and hem facing.

Begining the Trunkhose of Garishness– Circa 1600, NON HISTORICAL CONSTRUCTION

At some point last fall, my mother saw some late 16th century trunkhose, in a fairly sedate colour palette, with contrast panels. She semi-jokingly suggested that my dad would appreciate a pair. I volunteered to make them, and pointed out that they could get far more garish, whilst being historically keeping. I suggested some places to look for appropriate textiles. This resulted in the selection of a cyan, yellow, and magenta figured 1/8th inch plaid taffeta from Renaissance Fabrics as the outermost main fabric, with the underlayer in hot pink and bright orange figured silk also from Renaissance Fabrics as the underlayer, with their lionheart gold for the canions and waistband. These would then be lined in a rainbow striped linen from Graylines Linen, and interlined in a linen herringbone for appropriate poofyness (the extants largely use wool, but the silks are already pushing it for heat here.)

Outer fabrics and the inside rainbow lining
Close up of the fluorescent orange and pink

The specific style I chose is a hybrid of a few portraits, and the various patterned extants I have acsess to diagrams of (those in the new edition of PoF 3, and those in 17th Century Men’s Dress Patterns, 1600-1630), with a vague date range of late 1590s-early 1600s, for maximum garishness potential.

I began by doing a semi-mockup of the main portion of the hose in the linen interfacing, with the top and one leg gathered. Initially id made the top too small and the bottom too wide, but the second try worked quite well. I then used that pattern as the basis for the fluorescent silk panel, and modified it for the rainbow linen lining. I did not do a further mock up of the canions or waistband at this point.

I was not able to get decent pictures of the mockup before my gathering came out, so the photos for this project will start in the next article, which will cover the pre-embelishment construction.