Trash to Treasure 1900’s to 1800’s

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Ready, Set, Redingote!

Welcome to the second installment of my “Trash to Treasure” series. Lots of fun comments on my re-vamped sheath dress. The over-whelming consensus was my efforts made it BETTER! Yeah! Chalk one up for me!

Now we move on to transforming a 1960’ish evening coat into a

1810’ish Redingote.

“Redingote?” you say with a dubious look. What the heck is a Redingote? Well, any self-respecting Regency buff would tell you it is a coat. It is a nearly floor length coat that Regency gals used to wear to combat the English weather. I ask you to imagine yourself in a muslin frock (think the stuff handkerchiefs are made of) in the dead of winter in an unheated carriage on your way to a Scottish castle? (OK, you might have a rapidly cooling brick at your feet, and perhaps a muff and lap rug, but that’s about it.) Now why is it called “Redingote”? Is it typically red in color? No. Is it called that because it keeps you from turning red with cold? No, again. It is called such because the French heard “Riding Coat” as “Redding Goat.” The name stuck. Fun, n’es pas?

Ok, enough history. Now we get into my project.

I start with what I would call “a find”. It is a full length, black velvet coat with a silk lining. It was expensive. 20 bucks. (Hey, that is expensive for me.) I thought it was half price, but when I got to the counter the saleslady said it was an orange tag not a pink tag. (Hummm that store has never had an orange tag before…) Anyhoo, I digress. Ok, I plunked my mom’s military ID down for another 25% off. A find, n’es pas?

Here it is: Is it from the 60’s? I am not sure. What do you all think? Redingote front beforeRedingote back before This beauty is almost a cheat because it is pretty darned close as is. However, it could be more authentic. Here is a real Redingote Coat:

Redingote_a_la_hussarcoat 3 pesimentary decoration

Notice the Military influence of these examples. The trick was where could I get inexpensive heavy looking lace? In a fabric store this Passementerie type lace is at least $10 dollars a yard. Too tres chere for my budget. So, while trolling through Bag Man (yes, this is a store in NYC) I saw a curtain panel that had the kind of lace I wanted. Price tag, $12.99. Not cheap, but not outrageous. Done. Curtain panel

Now the fun begins!

I channeled the infamous Scarlett O’Hara and her famous “Curtain Dress”. Scarlett curtain dress

OK, this is NOT a Redingote, but it IS very cool. And, more importantly, INSPIRING!

I began playing with the panel. I knew I wanted to use the medallion lace for a front placket, so I cut that out first:

cutting lace then I played a bit:

playing with fabric The fun part!

Once I had a plan I cut out all my pieces and sewed black braid (99 cents a yard~9 yards) to finish the turned under edges.

sewing placket 2

Here are all the pieces (minus the back, which I made from every left-over bit): labled peices I tacked all these embellishments to the coat. (Note, I am not using a sewing machine because this coat is actually a very nice antique–thought I shutter slightly to think of the 60’s as being “antique”–so I do not want to ruin it. I only baste these pieces of lace onto the coat.) pinning sleeve cuff tacking on placket I used the front placket to cover the old button holes and pulled the front facing over so the opening was now double-breasted instead of single. This achieved two things: it helped with the “military look”, and make the coat fit tighter to my body.

Last Bits: I added a belt and used the last scraps of lace (I can’t stand to leave anything left over) to do the back of the coat. Final touches, were a lining of fur on the inside collar and along the sleeve caps. Also, some fabulous buttons–again, to add to the “Hussar Look“. (Huge thank you to my neighbor Kate who was cleaning out her stash of “goodies” and gave me the fur and the buttons along with a lot of other treasures. A red letter day for moi!) And the perfect color gloves! ( Merci Beaucoup, Shannon!)

So, without further a do~ (or will it be a don’t??) You decide!

mid cen coat front 3mid cen caot back 2Before

Aftersideish 2 sideish frontbackback detailhat

Note: See the little bit of lace I added at the last moment to the belt on the back? (looks a bit like a key.) Such a tiny detail, but it “finishes” the design I think. My hat was just something I was playing around with. It is the collar of an old coat with some lace and a tassel added.

I’d love to know what you all think! All totaled I spent:

$15 on the coat (minus mom’s 25% military discount)

$12.99 on the curtain panel

$9 on the braid

Totaling= $36.99 (plus donations from dear friends.) Not bad.

THANK YOU all for playing along! The Dressmaker’s Duke  donated over $70 dollars to Dress for Success last month! (And I am still waiting for all the sales to come in.)

My next installment will be February 10th. Not sure what I’m doing yet, but I’m sure something will catch my eye soon!     


About jessrussellromance

Award winning romance writer.
This entry was posted in Jess Russell, Regency author, romance, sewing, thrift shops and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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