Child's Paletot: 1860-1861

Well, now I've gotten it into my head that I want to make Victoria a paletot.  I suppose after the Madisonville reenactment being so cold and me not being prepared to keep her warmer, I was guilted into figuring out a decent coat for her to wear at reenactments.  As you all know, I've already made the infant sacque for her, but as my little baby has become a little girl (sob!), by next winter, she will definitely be ready for a different style.

Thus I began researching paletots (or sacques) for little children.  I've found a few diagrams, but they were too early.  The latest diagram I could find was in the 1859 Petersons (at left).  But I found several illustrations of sacques and paletot's for children which were dated later (1860-1861) and they all seem to be similar in basic style as the one in Peterson's, so I decided to give it a go.  I'm excited about using an antique pattern and sizing it up as my foremothers might have done.  I don't know about anyone else, but that kind of thing always makes me feel a little more connected to history.  Maybe I'm just weird that way.  :)  Here are some of the other illustrations I've found:

The first thing I did was take the original diagram and import it into Illustrator, which is how I create most of my patterns.  Then I sized it up using the center back-to-waist measurement onto the grid within Illustrator.  That usually gives me a general baseline pattern to start with.  Then I transfer it onto a 1" grid fabric (in the interfacing section at your fabric store), add the seam allowances and cut it out.

At this writing, I've transferred my pattern and cut it out, and sewed up the initial muslin.  I can already tell that I'm going to need to alter the neckline a little as well as the armscyes.  Since this coat needs to be worn over clothes, I need to make absolutely sure that I allow some extra room.  Plus, I'm going to be have a light interlining for warmth quilted (maybe?) with the lining.  I needs to be big enough to allow for that extra bulk and of course I would like her to make it at least through the next two winters.  Although that might be wishful thinking.

After altering the neckline, I'll fit this first muslin to Victoria and see how it works out.  Once I get a correctly fitted muslin for her, I'll get to the exiting part -- fabrics and trims!  Personally, I like the trim style in the top right in the above image (the "Child's Garibaldi" from 1860), although I doubt I'd make it out of velvet.  I suppose I could use black or brown velveteen and trim it in a bright colored silk.  That might be fun.

I don't want to spend too much money; ideally, I want to use what I have available to me.  I do have a nice light blue wool that would be perfect for a coat for Victoria -- and she would look lovely in blue.  I just don't know how I'd trim it.  If I could find velvet or velveteen to exactly match the color (because I love tone-on-tone), I'd LOVE it...but I don't have that at my disposal.  Hm.  So many decisions!

Anyway, that's a little about what's been going on around here.  I hope you are all doing fantastic today! It's a gorgeous afternoon here in Texas, and we've been given a few vegetable plants that I'm excited to get into the ground.  It's not much, but it's okay; I don't have a great deal of time for a large garden.

Many blessings, dear readers!



Emily said...

Wonderful! Good luck!

Stephanie Ann said...

How cool. Thanks so much for sharing. I've never thought about enlarging patterns like that. I've been a graph paper person but this makes a lot of sense. :D

Nuranar said...

That's going to be adorable! I love the idea of the blue. Red is the classic 1860s trim for blue, but I'm not sure how that would look on her... how about yellow? Maybe a pale yellow to go with the lighter blue. Or winter white, even. Swansdown!

Mrs. G said...

So far, so good! I love how you talk us through your thought processes, stream of consciousness like. I like the tone on tone idea too, seems really classy.

Rachel said...

I am so excited I can not stand it! What a great project! I can hardly wait to see what you make!

Amy said...

Thanks for the encouragement ladies! It keeps me inspired to keep working. The mockup was close, but not close enough -- I'm resizing and reworking to make another mockup.

Nuranar: Eeeeee! Swans down! :) ::giggle::

I need to get a photo of the blue wool. It's not pale blue -- kind of a medium blue, it's the color of her eyes. She looks fantastic in blue because of her eyes.


Cynthia Griffith said...

Sounds like a fun project! I'm trying to keep the steam going for mine... I fizzled out a bit (ugh). Best wishes! :D