Monday 30 May 2011

Ultimate Six Frock Coat: the easy fabrics -
third comparison

This last weekend has been one of those exciting occasions I get to see first-hand the original screen-worn Six Frock Coat. It’s always a privilege to have the chance to lay it out on my workbench and admire the craftsmanship it contains.

It may be a technicolour yawn of fabrics and styling, but the way it is made is beyond explanation, and since I have learnt all my tailoring skill I can now see the superb craftsmanship that has gone into making this coat.

Anyway, the reason it is here is to progress my work on my own Six Frock Coat, and give me the chance to assess the work to date on matching the solid colour fabrics.
Fabrics 3, 4, 7 and 11

With the coat in front of me, I can compare for myself four of the unsigned off colours I am working towards.

I am looking at the Green Felt (Fabric 3) and the Peach Wool (Fabric 4) from the latest, fourth round of lab tests; as well as the Yellow Lapel (Fabric 7) and Pink Felt (Fabric 11) from the very first round.

The Green Felt (Fabric 3) is proving to be a bit elusive. I had assumed - wrongly - that it was merely a green baize as used on snooker tables, but it is much more of a grass green compared to that.
The colour of the latest swatch is too thin and light, so I might have to take a different route here.

The Peach Wool (Fabric 4) from the latest round of tests is now an amazing match.
There is nothing I want to do to this to improve it - it is PERFECT!
My supplier also has a exact match for the fabric to use, so this one is truly nailed.

The Yellow Lapel (Fabric 7) is getting there, though at the moment the yellow I have is to bright. It needs to be a warmer shade.
Not too much work to do here.

Finally the Pink Felt (Fabric 11) is looking pretty good.
It is a little paler by comparison, but it won’t take much now to tweak it into a match.
It is also the least used colour, in a single narrow panel on the back, so I’m not losing too much sleep over this one right now.

Sunday 15 May 2011

Ultimate Six Coat -
pressing all the right buttons

With all the complexity of the design of the Six Coat, as well as the complication of all the different fabrics and colours, the coat’s one saving grace is its lack of fastenings up the front!

This means I don’t have to fuss around with buttonholes or buttons.

Well, I say that, but there are two buttons on the rear of the coat (see below), which will need to be matched if I am to do a half decent job.

They are large, red and have a shank. They also have a raised rim around the outside with a gently domed centre (see right).

In all my time looking at buttons for a variety of projects I have never come across anything remotely like them. This maybe a little more tricky than I thought.

Sunday 8 May 2011

Ultimate Six Frock Coat: the easy fabrics -
colour matching round four

So after three rounds of lab testing the colours I need, I have arranged a direct comparison with the real coat to see where I’m at. Results have been good, and I’ve feed back some info to the dyers.

Time for round four!
Fabrics 3, 4

This round I am concentrating on two colours: the Green Felt (Fabric 3) and the Peach Wool (Fabric 4).

I showed the dyers the comparison photos and gave them a description of where to go next, and today I got the answer to their efforts.

That Peach is looking pretty damned good, though I can see another round coming for the green! It is still lacking the depth of colour it needs.

Plans are for the original coat to visit me again before the end of the month, so I won’t order another round of lab dyes until after that, so for now I just have to wait and see.