Thursday, January 16, 2014

HSFC #2: Innovation -- A Ladies' Motoring Coat

When it comes to fashion periods, I really gravitate toward c. 1915-1924. Post-Edwardian/Titanic era and very much pre-Flapper. I like the shorter hemline, wider skirts, pretty blouses, off-the-waist waistlines, and the layers of collars and everything. Mainly, it's something I'd actually wear in real life. Patterns became simpler and less tailored, so sewing is simpler. 

When it comes to choosing an innovation that affected fashion during this time, we have a long list to choose from. New inventions, new fabrics, new media -- how do I choose? I finally settled on the automobile as the innovation, and decided to make a motoring coat or automobile duster. In the early 1900s, owning an automobile was a huge mark of status. Unfortunately for drivers and passengers, autos were open, roofless, windowless vehicles, so a drive could leave one pretty grimy from flying dust. To protect their clothes, they would wear a long, loose coat appropriately called a "duster". Eyes were protected with goggles, and a good snug hat covered the head. Women tied down their hats with veils that could be pulled over the face. Just arriving in a motoring coat told everyone "I own a car!!!" Of course, as the years rolled on and Henry Ford produced a car almost everyone could afford, motoring coats lost their glamour. But not their usefulness. Even with enclosed cars, a good duster came in handy for keeping the clothes tidy.

I'm going with a combination of these styles:
Linen motoring coat, c.1910-15.
I want a straight single-breasted style with a loose fit, with a contrast color on the collar and cuffs.

Linen motoring coat by Worth, pre-1910
I like this higher collar, but the loose fit of the one above. I've thought about making the back with a pleat at the top and made in two separate panels connected with a line of buttons. Lots of buttons! I have a good supply of abalone buttons that would be just right.

Now take note that dusters are usually dust-colored. I am strictly limited to the fabric I have on hand, being pretty well broke when it comes to stuff besides food and gas for my car (yes, folks, I own an automobile!). I have a great stockpile of fabric from years of stashing, and several good-sized pieces of linen. Linen's the fabric for a duster, but I need a lot of it for a long-sleeved, ankle-length garment. Therefore, my duster is going to be black. I know -- every speck of dust from here to Timbuktu will show up on my black duster. But it will be cool, perhaps even steampunk (Challenge #20 - Alternate Universe).  I just googled steampunk long coat and whuddayaknow?! - they're all black!

No comments:

Post a Comment