Let’s talk about the jacket. It’s glamorous and hard to find a great picture of. At least where you can see all the detailing. Or any of the patterns from the jacket fabric. It was difficult, so instead I decided to play the episode on my phone and get a few screenshots of the costume. Worked fairly well. I found a few good ones, and went to the store to find the closest match for fabric. Couldn’t find any that had a similar texture or weight. The only textured black fabric was a floral embroidered black fabric from Nicole Miller. I purchased it in case I couldn’t find anything closer.
I decided it was time to look through my stash of fabric for anything I could use. And I found two options, one was a closer match than the other, the only issue with that one was the limited yard and a half of the fabric. Whereas I wanted five yards to make sure I had the amount needed for the jacket. As there is quite a long train on top of the jacket portion and the peplum added to it.
The other option I had was being saved for another costume I have planned, one of my dream costumes. There was 5 yards, I figured I may be able to find something better at a later point in time and went with this. The pattern and texture is incredible. And it really is perfect for this costume. At least that is what I kept telling myself as I cut into it. Made me feel better about using the fabric for a dream costume of mine.
The pattern is self-made. I am aware that there is a pattern out by McCall’s for Regina’s coats, but since the corset pattern from their company didn’t work for me I decided to make one myself. It seemed like the only logical way to go. I took some spare fabric that is leftover for the pattern making instead of muslin. Or it could be a muslin sheet. I can’t really remember everything at this point. I will say now, I made this jacket coat in three days. Not ideal. And that is from start to finish. Pattern making, mockup, and the finished outcome. Normally, with a time constraint like this I would skip the mockup. But since the fabric is expensive and one of a kind in my region I decided the mockup was too important for this piece.
For my pattern, I used my mannequin as I always do. Rarely do I hand draft a pattern out on paper. I have before in the past, for my very first two Inara Serra cosplays, so it is doable, it just takes more time than using my body form.
Lay your pattern fabric out on the body form. Make sure you have the fabric pulled tight, no ripples. If you need to add darts, you need to add them. You can’t have the fabric pucker for a tight fitted jacket like this is.
Trace said pattern onto the back of wrapping paper. Leaving room on either edges for a seam allowance. For the sleeves, I lied when I said I didn’t flat draft anything on paper. I used the body form for the shoulder puffs. (P.S. I made shoulder puffs to make the pattern making easier.)
And then take the pieces and transfer to paper. You need to have two seams at the shoulder puff.
When transferring the pattern to paper leave room for the rest of the arms at the bottom. It is a bit of a complicated process, but it works.
Now, listen carefully, actually read carefully, make a separate arm piece out of wrapping paper. You will need to cut down the middle. For the center piece of the arm, that would be located on the outside when you wear it will have one piece of the shoulder puff added to it. Am I making sense?
Hope so. For the outside of the arm, that would be under when you wear it, transfer the back of the shoulder puff onto the pattern. If you need to have both pieces cut out and then taped together you can.
Add notches. I forgot to. Which made it a little time consuming asI pieced the fabric together later. Still manageable.
Here is the mock up.
For the peplum, I made a J shape on pattern paper and then proceeded to mark out 8 inches from every point to get it even. I had no idea how I was going to do this at first. It was interesting at least. I made sure the length was what I needed for the placement of the peplum.
When I pinned it to my mannequin, it was a little off, So I started again making it a little wider, I wanted both the front and the back piece as one. Now it worked. I set that piece aside for now. There was still the train to pattern. Fairly easy. I took a long piece of fabric and pinned it to the back of the body from where the peplum started. Pulled out the fabric to flow back. Drew out the shape I needed for the piece and that was it. I didn’t make a mockup with how long the piece was, it would be a waste of fabric.
These are the last set of pictures I have, but I hope I have explained everything clear enough in this post.
But here is a picture of the pattern piece with the mockup jacket.
Trace the other jacket patterns, not the train, to paper and add a seam allowance. Use this to make a mockup for the jacket. My mockup worked quite well. I just needed to lengthen the jacket just a little, but I wouldn’t make another mockup with how successful this turned out to be. To test the mockup of the train, I just attached the patterned muslin to the back of the mockup under the peplum and walked a few steps to check the flowyness of the train. It worked quite well. Or as well as one could hope.
Now, after all that work, I could finally pin the pattern pieces to the jacket fabric. I first started with the train, just to get the biggest piece out of the way. I needed my whole living room to figure out how to do this. I only had half a pattern so I would need my fabric on the fold. Because of the weight and texture of the fabric it took a lot of fiddling with it to get the fold right and the fabric flat.
With everything flat and ready for the train, I placed my pattern on the fabric. The width of the fabric wasn’t wide enough to get it to fit. I would have to cut out two pieces. Not happening. So with more fiddling and placing the piece down I was able to get the piece to lie flat on the fold when I folded the fabric at the length. So the side of the fold was 60” and the length of the fabric was 2.5 yards. Maneuver the fabric to waste as little as possible.
Here came the tricky part, after I set my pattern down, I no longer had the length of the fabric. My pattern piece was 65” in length on the part of the fold. Not good. Now, I should have trimmed it down a little, but instead I turned the pattern over and used the outside piece on the fold. It fit. Only because I wanted the back of the train to be longer than the sides. I guess now that won’t be the case. I’m still happy with it. Cut out one piece of the train on the fold.
Place the rest of the patterns on the fabric in a way that you can still utilize the rest of the fabric if you need to. You need one back piece, two front pieces, two inner arm pieces on fold (outside of your arm when worn), 4 outer arm pieces (under arm when worn), one peplum piece on the fold, and one front panel piece (just a rectangle).
Repeat those steps for the cotton lining and for the satin lining. Remember to place the pieces in a way to utilize the whole fabric. Better to leave big scraps than little. The cotton lining will be sandwiched between the layers. You do not need a satin lining for the arms or for the bodice of the jacket. Satin can easily make you more hot. In the middle of a convention with 2,000 people that is the last you want to do. You will need to cut out a little bit of the satin for the wrist area that will be open to view.
I basted the satin and the cotton together, in a perfect world I would have liked to baste both the satin and the decorative outside to cotton for a bit more stability. But that wasn’t an option. I mean it would be if I didn’t mind having the layers be too thick. Which I didn’t, so like I said, not an option.
Once you have everything cut out you can finally sew pieces together. You will need to assemble the outer layer first, and then the lining layer. Or you can do it the other way. I started with the train. I sewed the lining to the decorative at the edges and the bottom leaving the top open to flip it inside out. After you flip the train inside out pin the edges down. That is the easiest way to staystitch the edges. Remember you want a neat edge.
Follow those same steps for the peplum and when you finish that you can attach the train and the peplum together at the top. The train is longer than the peplum at the waist. At least it should be. In the few pictures I could find of the show, it looks like the train gets folded back at the edges in the front. It is easy to miss, or maybe it just looks that way to me. But that is what I ended up doing. Here is an up close picture of it.
I hope you can see how I accomplished it. Or that I am explaining it okay. Before I sewed the bodice of the jacket together I sewed the arms. I usually sew the arms last, but since I was a little skeptical that the arms would work out I figured to go with that one first. Just in case my drafting was poor.
Even attempting to try on the arms not sewn into a jacket was looking alright. It wasn’t too promising, but the outcome was nice at least.
For the bodice of the jacket I decided not to line the jacket with satin. I just lined the decorative fabric with a cotton first. So the only seams visible will be in the bodice of the jacket and the sleeves.
Sew the sleeves onto the bodice of the jacket. The next step is to attach the train/peplum combo. You will need to have the right sides pinned together and sew a clear line with upholstery thread. Just to get the durability you will need. You don’t want the train to fall off, even if it gets stepped on. Hang the jacket and pin the free edge down to one side. Add another row of stitches to help support the train using the same upholstery thread as before.
I thought I only needed to add the bias binding on the edges, but nope. I forgot the collar. Which based on the size of the collar, I can’t believe I forgot it in the first place. I drafted it as best as I could on paper and transferred it to a stiff foam like fabric. The shape worked surprisingly well. Like better than I thought possible for my first over the top collar. I took the pattern to my decorative black fabric and traced out what I needed form the left overs. Same with the satin and the foam fabric.
I heat fused the fabric to the foam on both sides. That seemed like the only logical way to do it. Nope. That failed, the foam and the heat fuse fabric warped and bubbled. Not the regal outcome Regina would have.
Maybe I can have the fabric hold on its own. Nope. I knew I had buckram lying around somewhere. And after 10 minutes of searching I found the buckram I needed. I cut out my collar piece from the fabrics again and from the buckram. Fused the satin and the black fabric sandwiching the buckram between it and it worked. At least it worked as well as would be expected. I am no collar expert but I call it a success.
I cut out bias tape from the spare satin like I did for the corset. And attached it around the sleeves and opening of the jacket all the way to the collar and down the other side. A lot of hand sewing later I am finally finished with everything for this jacket, minus embellishing. And hooks and eyes.
I can assure you that it does fit. I am squishy while my mannequin is not. Below is the arm loops I added to the bottom so I could wrap the loops around my wrist to pick up the train and stop it from dragging.
The following are pictures of the finished jacket with the corset underneath.
I’ll explain how I embellished the jacket and corset in the next post. The jacket and corset will need to be embellished and there also needs to be a headpiece made. Sorry this wasn’t up yesterday. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Until next time, bye.