Sunday 6 December 2015

Custom Frock Coats - blue two-piece

I was very pleased with how the brown frock turned out for my UK client, but out of the two I’ve done the blue one for my US client is my personal favourite.

It's been challenging to make, as the brown grid pattern demands that it is matched and balanced across the seams wherever possible.

The placement of the lines running parallel to seams have to be carefully pre-planned. If they sit close to the seam it will make he pattern look irregularly spaced; if they fall into the seam there will be a gap in the pattern repeat, which also will look odd.

The cutting of the breast pocket welt is particularly critical.

If you look closely I have matched the grid lines vertically AND horizontally, plus also ensuring that the welt has grid lines passing through it both ways. If the grid missed the welt it would look like a separate piece of blue fabric, disjointed form the rest of the coat.

The waist seam at the front is carefully cut so the spacing of the horizontal lines is not interrupted or distorted.

Obviously there are areas of the coat that cannot be 100% marched due to the shaping and fitting that darts and seams create, but these discrepancies have been concealed under the arm or towards the back out of sight.

There was a slight hiccup with the cloth for the coat - something my client didn't know about (until now!)

When he spotted the Shetland tweed on the W Bill website it showed a stock of 3.5 metres. From my experience they are good at managing their stock, but before ordering I did get them to check that there was enough for me to make the coat. They came back to me saying there was a measured 3.4 metres, which I asked them to reserves while my client saw a in-hand swatch. Once approved I called to order the tweed, only to discover that only 1.2 metres was left!

The cloth was already on re-order and due in within a couple of weeks, so luckily all was not lost. But through the inconvenience I get them to supply 4 metres for the cost of the 3.4 metres I was expecting to pay for.
As a result, there was enough fabric left from cutting the coat so allow for me to make a matching a waistcoat - an opportunity my client jumped at.

I used the same pattern as the Matt Smith waistcoat from Day Of The Doctor, which naturally goes with the frock coat.

To tie the two garments together, I used the navy blue velvet from the coat's collar to make the welts for the pockets.

This made things a little easier for me, as I didn't need to pattern-match across the welts from the body of the waistcoat!

The back of the waistcoat uses the lining fabric from the coat.

Being made from genuine W Bill Shetland Tweed, the coat has their special label inside. My own is concealed inside the pocket.

For this coat we stuck to the buttons and buttonhole configuration of the Matt Smith coat, though with the five-button cuff as I did on the brown coat.

The same top quality brown horn buttons were used on the waistcoat. This picks out the colour of the grid, and the thread used for the buttonholes themselves match too.

I must admit I wasn’t 100% sold on the choice of fabric to start with, but now it is all made up and together, I think it is a stunning outfit which I hope the client enjoys wearing.

1 comment:

  1. The blue one is spectacular. So is the brown one... But wow. Can't wait till I get the funds to be one A client someday!


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