Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The "Sortie de bal" Mantle, and How I Finished It ;)

Pattern: from supplement pattern sheet included in La Mode Illustree, December 8th, 1889. Antique in my collection.
Pattern Quality: Amazing! Highly recommended, and actually quite easy to work with and resize once you figure out how it all goes together.
Sizing: No resizing. Made "as is" from the pattern for a 36"chest. Roughly a S/M in size.
Materials: Polyester brocade (roughly 4 yards)
                   Cotton Velvet, heavy (roughly 4 yards)
                   Faux Fur. (1.25 yards at 36" wide)
Notes on Finished Garment: This things will definitely keep you warm. Because I chose brocade and upholstery weight velvet, this Sortie de bal weights more than seven pounds! The fur trim at the front lends weight that really helps in pull it down and keep it from swinging open too much while moving.
And now I must sell on ebay-->HERE<---so I can afford to make the next lovely thing. =)

Comparison Above. I would have liked to do the beaded medallion decorations on the sleeve and back, but I couldn't find anything comparable and I'm not yet good enough to make up my own. besides, I think the fabric I chose is "Wow!" enough without the extra decoration. =)

Below, see more photos of the completed garment. Even further down, there are more photos of construction, garment insides, fur trim, etc.

I think this picture is one of the best for showing the fabric. It's difficult to show in photos just how GORGEOUS this fabric is =) I love it. I bought it from Wal-mart almost 10 years ago, back when Wal-mart still sold nice fabrics. 

The construction of the sleeves is a bit strange, so below are some pictures that will give you and idea of how they were put together. They will also show some detail on the fur trim.

I did flat lining for this garment, so I had to bind all the seams inside.
I used a polyester satin for the bindings. 

The fur strips on the center front edges don't start until about 2.5" below the neckline. The fur on the sleeves and collar covers this area, and I didn't want to add the bulk that was already accumulated at the throat. 

Here you can see all the bounds seams and the edges that were
bound in matching brocade before I put on the fur strips. 

The only closure on this garment is at the throat with one super large hook and eye. I did almost all of the binding by hand with whip stitching. 

As I started putting this one together, I was not yet sure if I would even do the fur trim at all. This is why I bound the edges by hand with whip stitching, in case I chose to leave off the fur. Of course, I did end up using the fur, so I could have saved myself a lot of trouble by doing the bindings with the machine, lol. Still, the fur strips did have to applied by hand.

I prepared the fur trims with their own backings. I formed the strips by using the edges of the patterns pieces as my "guides" for cutting the fur to shape. I could not just cut straight strips because they would not have formed well to the curves I was working with. Also, the direction of the fur was important. 

Here is the long fur strip for the right sleeve.
As a note on the fur: Some books recommend shaving or trimming the seam allowance before sewing. I really recommend you don't do this. It's a lot of work and unless you manage to sew precisely where your shaving stopped, it won't look right on the edges later. Just sew through with a very wide stitch (4.0, I suggest) and then use a comb later to pick the fur out of the seam and fluff it out.

And finally, more pictures: =D


  1. Lovely! That is really good looking faux fur? May I ask what kind it is and where you purchased it? I've had trouble finding decent faux fur for historical garments.

  2. Lovely! That is really good looking faux fur? May I ask what kind it is and where you purchased it? I've had trouble finding decent faux fur for historical garments.

    1. Thanks, Kozy! I got the fur at Hobby Lobby. The one near me has quite a good fabric section. It was $17.99 a yard I think. I know what you mean about not being able to find good furs. Especially if you need something white, everything feels rough and artificial =/