Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: Dress Coat

"Fitted Dress Coat" #187, Hello Dolly Boutique patterns (c)2008 as sized for the 22" American Model doll 

This pattern is for a 1940s era princess seamed coat with inverted front and back bodice pleats and optional trim. I have altered this pattern to fit my 22" ball jointed doll by ResinSoul.

Measurements in centimeters  
Diff          Resinsoul Dai  Amer Mod 22"
+2   Height             58    56
-2.5 Bust               22.5  25
 0   Waist              15.5  15.5
-3   Neck circumference  9    12 
-1.2 Hip                24    25.2
-3   Shoulder width      8.5  11.5
-2   Arm length         16.5  18.5

I chose to use a very crisp and springy Italian tropical wool fabric and Bemberg rayon for the lining. The wool was prone to fraying and was reluctant to take a strong crease. Rather, it would take a crease but would not hold a crease. In addition, the small size of some of the pattern pieces made working with a fraying fabric hard on the nerves. But I got it done and I'm happy with the results.

Unlike other HDB patterns sized for a 22" doll I have used, I did not make many size alterations to this pattern - merely taking in the side seams a little bit.

Sloppy! I did not pull her coat down into place before taking this shot. She stands fairly sway-backed.
The inverted front and back pleats on the princess seaming were quite difficult to do in springy wool. I ended up basting all three folds for the pleats, only removing my basting when I was sure I was going to do no more pressing. I have a steam generating iron with a separate tank. It is a home model, not a commercial one, but I was glad to have an insane amount of steam available to me. I used 1/2 a tank of water steaming and pressing this coat. That's a LOT of water.

More apologies! I shoot jpgs with my little camera and sometimes I get moire artifacts. Like I did here. The fabric is a plain twill, I promise.

I would suggest a few pattern alterations: adding pad stitching to the collar and lapels, adding shoulder pads, and carefully checking the finished diameter of the cuffs - the sleeves are very difficult to get over my doll's hands. In addition, the lower front lining piece is about 3/4" too short and the front facing where it is attached to the back neck facing is quite narrow - there is not a lot of room to turn it under or otherwise finish it.

The only one of those alterations I did was to add shoulder pads - borrowed from a 1949 McCall pattern and scaled down for the doll.

I lined the top surface of the pads with crinoline, as the instructions require, and used cotton makeup removal pads for the layers of batting inside. 

The outer surface is plain cotton. I ended up snipping off just the ends of the pads, since the pads were just a shade too long. I might scale down the pattern further in the future.

If you are patient and understand how a coat goes together, this is a useful basic pattern. Despite my battling the wool, I did enjoy the process (or maybe I like to suffer) and plan on making it again.

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