There has been more than one request for a breakdown of how I made Stede Bonnet's teal coat from HBO's marvellous Our Flag Means Death so let's jump right in.
Apart from the cut of the upper body, which is oddly 19th century in its piecing, Stede's coat is very early 18th century in appearance through the big cuffs and voluminous tails. For a superb breakdown of this outrageous dude's outfits and how they fall / don't fall within 18th century fashion standards, check out Vincent Briggs' guest article over on FrockFlicks.
To get these elements in my own coat, I used a combination of Simplicity's Pirates of the Caribbean pattern base (4923) and the pattern given in R.I. Davis' 17th and 18th Century Men's Costume, Cut, and Fashion.
Some words of warning about the Simplicity pattern: size down when cutting the coat because it is HUGE. Size up when cutting the waistcoat because it is TINY. The front took lots of cutting down on my mockup before it looked closer to the original. I would also recommend Davis' pattern above to determine the tails since the Simplicity pattern has... well... oversimplified them hugely. Save yourself a lot of headache and do a quick mockup before you cut your fabric.
Fabrics! Lucked out in the bargain centre at Fabricland! I was determined A) not to get hung up on 1000% accuracy with this and B) not to spend a fortune. The blue was a satin blend (had to interface it because it turned out stretchy when I got home [FEAR]) and the yellow is silk. All in, it cost around $50, I think. (Another dig at the Simplicity pattern: it calls for nearly 2x the fabric you need).
Didn't have the patience or budget to source the OG trim so I bought some basic white, airbrushed it darker, and then drybrushed on a light coat of gold.
Put some basic bag-pockets in. Still have to refine the trim and add the little bows (dear lord, this man is so Extra...)
The neckline trim was one of those Sell Your Soul to the Costume Gods things. I laid the coat out flat first and pinned the trim to the fronts. This gave me an idea of what I had to gather for the neckline (second image).
Using a technique I've seen on Navy uniforms, I ran some gather stitches through the area that needed to be smaller and pulled it all in carefully until it was the right size. It looks like a dog's breakfast up close but reads okay further back. #endme
Exactly the same deal with the back trim as the front. This was all stitched down by hand because the machine was getting freakay with it.
The buttons and lace were the last things to go on. I was a bit hesitant about the lace as it needed the same colour treatment as the broader lace on the body and I wasn't sure how to get it knotted cleanly. In the end, I went with the same approach I had used on the rest - namely, "Wing It" - and just tied the lace off. Which knot did I use? Not sure. It was the one where you take the two loose ends and tie them together in one bundle.
I have yet to fix up the pocket trim with the little bows. Waging a personal war with myself whether to add the shoulder rosettes because they look S O D U M B but we're already pretty deep in dumb at this point so why not?
Lastly, it's worth noting that this whole thing was flat-lined vs. bag-lined because the latter looks like ass. Youtube and sewing couture books have great breakdowns on how to do this.
Hope this helps! Absolutely hit me up for any clarifications or advice. I hope eventually to draft my own diagram and will include that here as well (plus a link for downloading).
Stay tuned for more Stede tutorials coming anon!
Hot off the press! I put this tutorial together in MS Word in an attempt to see if I can't make these things a little more... transportable. You can download the full PDF in the link at the end.
During my foray into traditional Japanese clothes, I realized early on that there are LOTS of patterned fabric. The chances of finding extant fabric suited for each costume were slim to none, so I had to learn almost immediately how to reproduce it.
Mori Ranmaru from Honnoji Hotel (2017) started me down the Japanese garden path two summers ago when I saw the film on a plane back from England. While I managed to find the appropriate plum and blue linen blends for the kosode and the kataginu/hakama, recreating the bamboo pattern took some creative thinking. Painting them by hand was out; it would take excruciatingly long. Then I remembered a friend (Skull's Armory) who had a Cricut machine and access to adhesive sheets. Thus the idea of sticker stencils was born.
I began by creating a tracing of the pattern with the pen tool in Adobe Photoshop to create the basic outline. Then I saved it as a JPEG and sent it to James at Skull's Armory. Double-quick, he had the stencils printed up and then it was off to the races.
After a close-run in with sprayable fabric paint (terrible stuff, never use), I opted for a heavy body white acrylic that was daubed on with a medium-sized round brush (pictured above).
Spoiler: One coat wasn't enough. It took two to get a nice, opaque transfer.
Making sure the stencil was securely stuck to the fabric was CRUCIAL for getting a clean transfer, otherwise the paint had a tendency to seep out underneath and blur the edges. Each time, I ran my thumbnail over all the edges of the stencil to ensure they were stuck tightly down.
Doing that, coupled with two paint jobs each time, I spent around twenty hours alone doing the stencil work on this project. But hot dang, it was worth it.
This Spring/Summer have been busier than predicted with some pretty crazy waves of inspiration so while I've been busy producing cosplays, the tutorials have been put to the side for the time being.
However, with another pending 14 month winter, I'll have plenty of time to share some tips and tricks. Watch this space for tutorials on the following:
-Using Adhesive Stickers to Reproduce Complex Designs
-Using Print Blocks to Reproduce Simple Designs
-Crepe Hair Beards and Moustaches