1930s Aubergine Coat – Made by me
Aubergine Cloche Hat – Mad Hatters
White Cotton Shirt – Next
1930s Style Tweed Flutter Skirt – The House of Foxy
Vintage Burgundy Wool Tie – eBay
Burgundy Leather Gloves – Can’t remember
1970s Burgundy Handbag – Etsy
Burgundy 1930s Style Shoes – B.A.I.T. (currently still available at Royal Vintage Shoes)
Celtic Knot Opal Earrings – Past Times
I cannot tell you how much I have wanted to get this photo shoot done to show you the 1930s lightweight coat I’ve made. Thankfully on Sunday I finally got a quiet weekend where I wasn’t actually doing anything and I persuaded my mum to take a few (hundred!) shots and miraculously the weather was obliging.
The pattern for this coat was an original 1930s one I purchased on Etsy (you can see it here) and once I had it in my hands I was dying to get on with it, I just had no idea what fabric to do it in. I knew I wanted something that hung well and wasn’t too thick because I didn’t want it becoming a winter coat, this was for the in-between seasons, and I wanted it in a fairly neutral colour, just not black. However, it wasn’t until I went down to Brighton last September to visit the lovely Jenny that I finally found the perfect candidate.
Whilst walking through The Lanes I stumbled across Ditto Fabrics and instantly fell in love with their amazing stock. I just knew they would have something suitable and, after chatting with one of the very helpful staff members, she brought out a few that might be suitable, including this stunning aubergine and grey mix tweed wool suiting. I instantly knew it was the one. However, it wasn’t wool. Oh no, this incredible fabric looks and behaves exactly like wool suiting but it’s actually a polyester mix, making it a dream to work with. I couldn’t give them my money quick enough!
After we left we continued on through the bustle of The Lanes until we came to the end and right in front of us calling me in was Mad Hatters, a shop stuffed full of beautiful hats. They had so many cloches that I just had to try on every single style and then I spotted this one. It was aubergine! It was fate! I knew I could not walk out of that shop without purchasing it and I just love how it matches this coat so perfectly really completing the outfit.
This coat took quite some time to make up due to the techniques I used. When I was at fashion college I did nearly a year’s work experience with a tailor who was fully trained in Italy, so had such incredible talent. I learned so much from him and I knew I wanted to use the tailoring technique of hand basting an inner-lining to the main fabric to stiffen the fabric slightly and add some warmth to it, allowing it to be worn for several months of the year and not just a couple. I used a very simple and inexpensive 100% cotton fabric as I didn’t want it to stiffen too much and basted it onto the six different panels of the body of the coat from top to bottom. You can’t imagine how many hours I slaved over doing it but I’m so pleased I did it because I think gives it such a wonderful finish.
The only real mistake I made was down to the mock up version I did. When I tried it on I was wearing a short sleeved top so the sleeves felt fine. I forgot about the fact that I would generally be wearing a long sleeve top or even a jumper under it, so what with the mock up being made of only one layer of calico and the finished garment being three layers of fabric suddenly the sleeves were a little bit tight. They look fine in these photos but I can’t wear anything more than a thin blouse underneath, otherwise I have very little movement in the forearms.
I knew I wanted authentic buttons for this coat to really finish it off so I went in search of some genuine Bakelite ones. After trawling hundreds of listings on Etsy I finally came across these beautiful original French Art Deco ones from Le Grenier – London that just set it off perfectly. After hand stitching two button holes I searched for some chain in my jewellery making stash and joined the buttons together. It’s great because I can remove both buttons and just wear it open if I wish.
The very small glimpse of the inside when the wind caught it shows the sumptuous purple satin lining I bought from the wonderful Cloth Spot. I didn’t want to just add any old polyester lining to this coat, it had to be something special, so when I spotted it on their website I just knew it would be perfect. It is so regal and has that liquid satin feel to it. It was a real pain to cut out and sew but it was worth it in the end.
This photo was taken just as my mum jokingly said ‘Make love to the camera!’ and yes, I was in fits of laughter, but I just love it. It was the perfect end to what I call my Evie Coat photoshoot, named after the beautiful lady I based the outfit on, Evie Elliott from the wonderful and oh-so-1920s The House of Elliott. I really, really wanted to be her when I was at fashion college when it was first on tv and just for a little while that day I felt like I was!