Back to the Parade, I was to play a young girl in 1909. Well, it has been a long time since I have been young, but I decided to go for it. Since it was a Christmas parade and cold, I knew all i really needed to worry about was the Coat. I had some general ideas, but since my primary winter coat was a mens Army camouflage field jacket (aka, the Ugly Coat), I knew I had to get a new coat.
I found a ladies, US Marine overcoat at the Goodwill. so this became my new winter coat and the basis for the costume.
I then remembered, I had a green plaid fleece remnant, that would be perfect. so over thankgiving, I went to my parents and my mom helped – as in my mom did all the sewing, and I threaded the needles and cut out stuff and thought of the plan – me make a tam, a capelet and my favorite a pair of spats/gaiters. The spats/gaiters are something I had been wanting for a long time because I hate it when my feet get so cold in the winter when the wind blows over the top of my foot.
Materials: Fleece, Velcro – well, the cheap stuff, felt (inside lining), cream colored pearl beads (8mm), elastic and 4 safety pins.
a couple years ago, I had purchased a pair of spats from ebay – they were kinda old but were the shape I wanted. They became my pattern. (I think I left them at mom & dad’s). After numerous trials and trying on paper patterns, my mom sized the pattern to fit me. I then cut out the felt/fleece (the felt was to stiffen the fabric and provide extra warmth.) and my mom sewed them together. Afterwards, I did the notions – that is I added the Velcro with the the pearl beads to mimic the look of buttons (I didn’t want to deal with real buttons or a zipper), and an elastic strap to go under the shoe and keep it in place.
The elastic was another Karen detail. I fastened them with tiny safety pins. (last winter my main pair of shoes was black ballet flats) That way if the elastic strap got muddy or I wore a wider shoe, or non-black, I could change the elastic to suit the shoes.
This is how they looked when finished (I didn’t sew the pearls on tight enough on one of the pair, so over time they dropped off. (BTW, the sad part was that the trailer we were riding on had a wall about a foot or so tall, so no one could see my spats.
The tam, was simply a rework of an pattern from probably the early 90s. I didn’t have enough fabric, so instead of making one big circle, we made 2 smaller half circles. I like the look alot better. We (we meaning my mom) lined with some white material she had lying around, and she added some elastic to the back so it would fit me better.
The Capelet was from the pattern I bought for the Muff for the other costume (that muff was actually never used – she was snowed in). The Capelet, I felt, was the crucial part to make my coat look like it was from the turn of last century. We basically followed the pattern directions (just removed the steps for adding interfacing and lining etc). For the clasp, we wanted to go with what we already had lying around. So we found some pretty pearly buttons. I sewed them on and then ran elastic thru one of them and made a loop to make a quasi-clasp. I wanted to put some straps under the capelet to fasten to the epaulettes on my coat. But I never did – maybe before next winter. Here is the detail on the quasi-clasp and the back of the capelet – not sure why I didn’t take a picture of the front. I don’t have a picture of me wearing the costume because I hate to have my picture taken.
With the exception of the capelet, this costume became my basic winter coat. I need a coordinating scarf/gloves for next winter – I am learning to knit (very poorly), so maybe I will knit me one. Right now, I am going to try to knit a Doctor Who type scarf.