Tuesday, January 3, 2017

An update on the Bonnie Prince Charles

I was commissioned in the Spring  of 2016 to create a Bonnie Prince Charles jacket for a client.   Other than dealing with I wish I had taken a millimeter more off to make something lay flatter or stitched something 3 stitches shorter. (I know nit picky but all sewer's are like that.)  I think it turned out well.

Jacket with out lining.
Assembly isn't difficult for someone who has skills in tailoring.  This is NOT a project for someone who has never sewn before to take on right off the bat.  I would also say that this is not something for some to take on as their first tailoring project ever.  If you can not assemble a proper vest, or a suit coat and make it look good, do NOT try this pattern yet.

The lapels required that you steam them, and no I do not mean pressing them flat. You use a steam iron to shock the wool, then using rolled up towels shape the fabric so it lays properly.  You will need to leave then to dry at least over night.   One of the cringe worthy things I saw was a prince Charles that someone had pressed the lapels and collar so flat they were like cardboard and had no drape what so ever.  Makes me shutter now.
Main coat with lining added.
The lining is a silk satin which didn't fray as much as I thought it would.   The lapel is silk taffata.  The buttons are diamond shape pewter thistle buttons.   I used tailor tacks to mark the button positions.  Due to the wool , normal marking procedures do not work as well.  Yes tailor tacks are old school, however when the old ways actually work,  why not use them.

The final product turned out rather well, and like I said I had my nit picking things, but the client loved it.  One quibble I have is that the buttons I got were a longer shank that expected.  This caused them to lay over when sewn onto the coat.  Either I need a different technique or just a different button supplier.  I am not sure.

Close up of the back pleat buttons
As for the vest portion. It was fairly straight forward assembly.  The hard part was taking the vest pattern that came with the Prince Charles and transitioning it into a 5 button front.  The Prince Charles pattern originally had 3 buttons.  It took me a couple hours to do the amended pattern but it worked.  Again I used tailor tacks for the button locations, and hole locations.  The vest was lined with the same Silk satin, and the back was done in it as well. We used the same buttons to match with the vest.  Honestly after the coat, the vest was pretty easy.  The only issue that turned up is that this vest is fitted, very fitted.  If you have any type of 'baywindow'  you will need to do a mock up and adjust accordingly.