An old-fashioned coat, such as the one shown in the picture, can easily be altered by the home worker, and brought "up to date" as a little "coatee," like the one illustrated. The old coat having been cleaned, if necessary, the sleeves must be taken out and unpicked, the lining taken out of the coat, and the facings (in one of which are the buttonholes) removed from the revers, front, and collar. It can then be altered to fit by placing the coat on the table and cutting it from a bodice pattern, with the half back, "side body," and half the "side piece" placed together and cut in one, and cutting the loose front with a seam to shoulder, or it can be put on to the person or on a dress-stand, and fitted to. the figure - this is the easier method. To fit the back it is only necessary to take it in at the back seam as far as the waist;. the loose front should be fitted by forming a "seam to shoulder." The coat can then be cut off at the waist line, allowing an inch all round for turning up. The coatee will look smarter if it is interlined throughout with linen, as this will give it a firmer appearance. This interlining must be cut exactly, to fit, and should be put in most carefully, so that the material may set perfectly smooth.
The "centre-back seam" and "seam to shoulder" in the linen can be stitched and pressed open, leaving only narrow turnings. At the shoulder and under-arm seams the raw edges of the linen need only be placed one over the other, and tacked together flat.
When the fitting and corrections have been done, and the second half of the coatee made to correspond, the lining should be cut out from it, using, of course, all the best pieces of the old lining.
Machine-stitch and press open the seam down the centre-back and the "seams to shoulder," then fit, machine-stitch, and press open the under-arm seams. Put the coatee on to a stand, and alter the shape of the revers to the one shown in the illustration.
Remove the little coat and make the other revers to correspond.
Turn up the edge of the collar and revers, also the bottom of the coat; herringbone down the raw edges to the canvas or linen, and press it well all round.
N.B. - Although the revers in the old coat are so much smaller than those depicted in the sketch of the coatee, ample material for the larger revers is afforded by the former being double-breasted. In the case of a coat (which is to be re-modelled) not affording sufficient material to make the revers the size or shape desired, these can be made separately and put on.
Tack, and then stitch them together about half an inch from the edge, crease the turning down sharply just beyond the stitching, press the crease down, and fell in the lining of the coat just to cover the row of stitching.
The revers and collar must next be 'faced." If there are not sufficient good pieces of the old coat for this purpose, about three-quarters of a yard of cloth or silk would be required for a new " facing," which might be white or some contrasting colour. It is a mistake to try and match the colour of a material which has been worn, and is probably faded; the new would make the old look still more faded, whereas a contrast disguises it.
Instructions for facing revers and collar are given in Vol. 3, page 2436.
A smart little coatee that may be made from an old coat such as is illustrated on the next page
After the facing has been put on and pressed, tack on the wide braid round the edge of the collar and revers, mitre the braid well at each corner, so that the point may look nice and sharp, then machine-stitch on the braid, close to the edge, on each side.
This must, of course, be done with silk. The ornament at each point can be made with three loops of narrow braid and a button sewn over the end, or it can be made entirely of the braid. After the three loops have been made, sew the braid on in a circle, commencing in the centre and working it on, round and round, close together until it is about the size of a button. Measure and mark the position, with a tacking thread, for the three rows of ornamental stitching (which should go right round the coat), as shown in the sketch. Tack and fell in the lining. Cut the sleeves smaller, and without allowing for fulness at the top, by a well-fitting coat-sleeve pattern, and cut the lining the same size.
If the lining of the sleeves is worn, it can be joined, using pieces left over from the coat lining.
Stitch, notch, and press open the seams of the material and of the lining separately, interline the bottom of the sleeves with a strip of linen or canvas, cut on the cross and about three inches wide, and turn the sleeves up round the bottom.
If the sleeves are "frayed" at the wrist, cut off the edges and turn them up afresh. If, by making this fresh turning, the sleeves become too short, the cuffs can be put on a little below the bottom, to lengthen them.
Herringbone down the turned-up edge at the bottom of the sleeves and press it, then turn the sleeve lining right side out, and slip it over the wrong side of the sleeve, the seams of the lining and of the material exactly " facing," and tack it in this position.
Turn in the lining round the bottom and fell it neatly, covering the turnings. Turn the sleeves right side out, and stitch them into the coatee - the material only; bring the lining of the sleeves over the turnings, turn it in and fell it neatly round the armhole, covering, and just over, the stitching.
Cut four shaped pieces of canvas (two for each cuff) long enough just to fit round the sleeve at the bottom.
Place the pieces of canvas, two together, and " pad " them with long stitches, press them out flat, placing a damp cloth between the iron and the canvas, to stiffen it, cut the edges even all round, and make both pieces exactly the same size and shape, cover each with material on the one side, turn it over the edge of the canvas all round, and tack it, trim it round with the braid to match the collar and revers, tack and fell the lining into the cuffs, and then sew each invisibly together up the back.
Slip the cuffs over the bottom of the sleeves, just below the edge, or, if the sleeve is too short, lower down, and fell the edge of the sleeves to the cuffs all round.
Work the buttonholes, sew on the buttons, and the little coat is finished.
If the collar and revers of an otherwise good and sufficiently "up-to-date" coat, look small and insignificant, and the cuffs are worn and shabby, the coat can be renovated and made to look quite fresh and smart by taking off the old collar, cutting off the revers, and cutting the front edge of the coat in a sloping line to the waist, forming a long, graceful V-shaped opening.
A new collar and revers can then be made on double canvas, padded together (according to the instructions given on page 2436), covered with white or coloured cloth or silk, and ornamented with " edge braiding," as shown in the braiding design. This "edge braiding" is done by hemming the braid on at the extreme edge, holding it tightly whilst working, to make it stand on edge.
Cuff and button ornamented with edge braiding
Design for revers in edge braiding
A "running pattern" must always be used for this style, as the braid must not be crossed anywhere. A very pretty effect can be produced by working the pattern with two rows of braid, placed as close as possible together; these two rows should be of a contrasting colour, or one could be of gold or silver.
This work must not, of course, be pressed when finished, or the effect would be spoiled, if it looks " puckered," the only way it must be pressed is by holding the wrong side over an inverted iron, and stretching it well whilst passing it across.
When the revers and collar are lined and finished they can be put on to the coat, according to the instructions already given in this lesson.
The old cuffs can be taken off, and new ones substituted, of cloth or silk, and braided to match the collar. The coat can be fastened with one button just below the bottom of the revers. This button can be braided to match the collar and c u ff s . Instructions for cutting the material the correct size and covering button-moulds were given on page 2558. If there are any old buttonholes on the coat, below the waist, they can be sewn up, and the coat can be buttoned over the reverse way, the new buttonhole being worked on the left side, and the button sewn on the right.
A sports costume will be the subject of the next lesson.