I took pattern traces from a number of the items in front of me, but when it came to the Frock Coat - this was something else.
Only when you get to see it in the flesh and touch it can you appraise the work and skill involved in it’s creation – I’m not saying it’s my taste, but you just gotta admire the craftsmanship.
I’m not ashamed to say I was intimidated.
I limited myself to some photography and general reference, but left it at that for now.
Over the following few months I worked on a number of projects, notably a Five Coat for Bob Mitsch In the States and a frock coat for Ian Cummins in Australia, plus I have been working on another frock coat for myself - but more on that another day.
All of these were worked to a basic frock coat pattern, and used similar techniques in construction, by the end of which I've become a bit of a dab hand when it comes to the frock coat as a pattern.
The key points that for me make a coat a Frock Coat are as follows:
Understanding how these key points work together is key to devising a good working pattern.
- A horizontal seam at the waistline, coming right round to the front leading edge
- The back panels divided in half by a distinctive curved seam meeting at the small of the back with a button
- Often having the outside pocket set in the waistline seam
- On a vintage pattern, the shoulder seam runs at an incline away from the collar
With all I have learnt recently, I can approach my latest opportunity to see the coat forearmed with a greater understanding of what I am looking at and how to ensure the style of the coat is maintained in my interpretation.
I’m suitably excited!