1919 “Red Russian Doll” Coat Progress

It’s looking like a coat! The belt around the middle is just there for mocking up, and is tighter than the final belt will be.

Things are going together really quite well on my “Red Russian Doll” project. I have the back and front pieces together, and it’s starting to look like a coat, but there was a lot to be done before making it just this far.

I pulled out my Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing and followed the tailoring instructions. The first step was to cut interlining – cotton muslin – to flat-line all the wool pieces, giving the fairly thin wool structure. This worked beautifully for the soutache braid, which needed something to keep it from weighting the wool too much.

Pad stitching the collar, according to Gertie’s book.

I stitched the lapel canvas (hair canvas) to the muslin, then basted the muslin to the front pieces of the coat, working the pad stitching on the lapel through both layers.  I also followed Gertie’s instructions for pad stitching the collar (I’m still not sure the collar piece is the right shape – I’ll test it one more time before stitching it on)

Then to the soutache! I wanted to do one continuous piece of braid for all the decoration on the front, but pulling the little interior cord to get the loops to lay flat turned out to be a pain for a long, unspecified length, so I did each design singularly. It was a little tedious, but didn’t take as long as I thought it would.

I did the soutache design on my computer, printed it out, and pinned it up to see if it was a good scale.
Working the braid – I marked the design in chalk, the stitched the soutache on by hand. I did not pin this before working it, just shaped the loops and stitched it as I went.
One side of the soutache applied
Both side applied, and I just folded and pinned the jacket front pieces to mock up how it might look when finished.

I added pockets into the side seams when stitching the front and back pieces, and next I’ll be working the facings and collar. I’m nervous about the faux fur – I’ve never really worked with it, and I’m not sure I even have enough, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it…

All-in-all, it’s going well! Here’s hoping it continues that way. 🙂


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