sewing saturday: 1920s wool and velvet coat, part one

sewing saturday - 1920s velvet and wool coat, part one

For those of you who just watched the season 3 premiere of Downton Abbey - myself included - this project seems to be in perfect timing. I've been looking forward to the show's twenties style since last season's ending, and man alive, the costume designers didn't disappoint. Drop waist silk dresses, cloche hats, and loose-fitting coats at slightly awkward lengths all in a variety of muted shades - my favorite look of the show thus far.

Using a 1920s Butterick pattern, I began my latest sewing project last December - a knee-length slim jacket with oversized collar and one-button enclosure, in gray wool with black velvet lining. No belt as pictured, although maybe I'll add that in later. Not sure of when this pattern was made in the twenties (if you are good at guessing pattern ages please let me know!), but after looking up Butterick's history, it may be early 1920s, nearly the same period as Downton is in currently.. and if Mary Crawley would wear something similar, my purpose is complete.

sewing saturday - 1920s velvet and wool coat, part one sewing saturday - 1920s velvet and wool coat, part one

Materials used.. about 2 1/2 yards each of black velvet and gray wool, less than a yard of non-fusible interfacing (the pattern calls for canvas for lining), and one or two large buttons for closure.

sewing saturday - 1920s velvet and wool coat, part onesewing saturday - 1920s velvet and wool coat, part onesewing saturday - 1920s velvet and wool coat, part one

I began by cutting the fabric, then pieced the outer wool shell together by sewing the two front pieces to the one back piece on the sides, as well as the inner sleeve seams. I cut two facing pieces using non-fusible interfacing, then sewed them to the outer front edges, wrong sides together. This will help stabilize and stiffen the outer jacket lapel. I then sewed the sleeves to the jacket.

sewing saturday - 1920s velvet and wool coat, part one sewing saturday - 1920s velvet and wool coat, part one sewing saturday - 1920s velvet and wool coat, part one

Taking the two under collar pieces, I sewed matching collar pieces in interfacing to the wrong sides of the under collar within the seam allowance. I then sewed the two pieces together at the center (forming the lined under collar) then sewed the under collar in place to the top edges of the coat, matching the outer collar edges to the outer edges of the front, where the lapel will be added.. see instructions for a good illustration (the collar is no. 4).

sewing saturday - 1920s velvet and wool coat, part one sewing saturday - 1920s velvet and wool coat, part one sewing saturday - 1920s velvet and wool coat, part one

Completed is the majority of the outer shell without cuffs, pockets, or the lapel and collar, which will be in black velvet like the lining. Now, to piece together the lining and put it all together.

The attached interfacing will create a stiff lapel and collar, which I'm really excited about - I'm all for exaggerated and oversized collars at the moment. I'm hoping that if I add a button and loop at the neck, buttoning it will create a funnel-shaped collar like in the pattern illustration - this is the first time I've ever sewed a coat like this, so we'll see how it turns out.

Finished coat next week - happy Monday!