Monday, August 9, 2010

Design Post - Naim Cloak

Unfortunately, I caught a nasty cold just before the weekend, so we were not able to attend Brigade Encampment this year. Despite feeling under the weather, I was able to spend some wonderful time visiting with my parents and designing new sewing projects (oh, and I heard the event went beautifully as well). First up on the new sewing list is the Naim Cloak for Fall.

I have wanted to make a fitted coat for awhile now, but the problem I kept running into is that this style was not very popular in the 1850s. Far more popular for outerwear, was the tiered mantle or loose cape (which I don't find particularly flattering). After spending the weekend couped up on the couch watching Daniel Deronda with Mom, I decided to research fitted jackets and see if I could come up with something that would be appropriate for 1855, but retain some of the lovely elements of Gwendolyn's silk jackets in the movie, set in 1874.

While scouring some French fashion plates from 1855, I came up with these design images. The bottom right image shows a long, fitted back on the coat along with some fringing I'd like to do. The top right image shows tabs to close the jacket as well as an open bell sleeve that I'd like to incorporate. Both are evidence that while not perhaps the most popular style of outer garment, that the fitted coat was at least a fashionable option in the mid-1850s.

Next, I had to decide on a pattern. I found an original pattern for the Naim Cloak from an 1863 Peterson's on The Graceful Lady website. The artist's rendering shows the fitted coat style in a nice long length, and the magazine included the original pattern diagram. I've never sized up an original pattern before, and they can be kind of tricky to decipher, so this project will be a new challenge for me!

Here is the pattern diagram after I have traced all the pieces and accounted for individual sizing in the measurements (broad shoulders, long waist, etc.):

The green piece is a coat sleeve, which I won't be using, since it makes its first appearance in the early 1860s. I'm going to change that to a pagoda, or a funnel sleeve, and add some fringing trim to take it "back" in style to the 50s. I will however use the body of the pattern to get the fitted silhouette. One aspect that is not apparent in the artist's drawing is that the front of the coat is a two piece, so I am thinking of doing a quilted silk lining in an accent color there.

As for colors, I am going with a Harvest theme - the paprika colored wool will be the body of the jacket. I am thinking of doing the front quilted panel in either a gold silk taffeta, with brown silk trim & fringe, or using a brown wool for the panel and trimming it with gold silk fringe. I haven't decided yet, so please leave me a comment on which you think might look more fashionable!

I have also updated the sewing list with links, so if you are interested, you can now click on an item on the costume project list and it will take you to the design inspiration image.

I'm off now to work on the actual pattern drafting of the cloak - I just have the back piece to finish and then onto some mock-ups to see how the pattern actually makes up. Have a creative day!


Mrs. G said...

Your idea seems absolutely perfect, I can't wait to see the finished article. I like the brown silk fringe/trim idea with the paprika wool, it all seems so cosy.

Mrs. G

Lauren said...

Yay! It's going to be awesome!

Rachel said...

oh my goodness, what a treat I am in for!
You are amazing and I can not wait to see how this lovely garment turns out!

Brooke W. said...

Lissa, your my hero!!! I've been wanting to make that for awhile now, but I'm to scared to try to draw the pattern....How did you go about doing it? Any tips? Tutorial? :)

I was really confused about the side front peice because it didn't match up with with the front peice?

Anyway I can't wait to see what it looks like done. :) I'm sure an example will help me tons. :D

Brooke (off the SA)

lissawi said...

Thanks Brooke!

I'm going to post a bit about it soon, but the scale is 4x if that helps, so measure the pieces using your hem gauge and multiply by 4. That said, the front needs to be lengthened by 12 inches to turn out right, and the back by 18. I'm sure I'll have more info once I fiddle with it, but I hope that helps some!

Mandy in TN said...

All I have to say is- wow!

Victoria said...

Wow Lissa, I can't wait til Candlelight to see it. I like the paprika wool and brown trim, but wouldn't mind some gold featured too? A tassel in gold maybe? Those colors are so yummy together it is hard to slight any of them.