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Bilbo's Jacket

I was very worried about making the jacket.  I got an old Simplicity pattern (7075) from my mother (she used it to make her 'tuxedo' jacket for band), it has a shawl collar and patch pockets - and was already a large size and wouldn't need too much upgrading (except for the sleeves). So that would probably work for the front of the coat. But the back is a totally different style!  The back has princess seams for the upper back, a 2" wide flat band, and then a double box-pleated skirt that I believe also has a center vent. Not the sort of back you usually find with a shawl collared smoking jacket or coat. And I couldn't find a back pattern anything like this. so.... I get to make the whole thing up.
bilbofrontview    bilbo back veiw


Simplicity 7075 was actually relatively easy to put together - especially when I ignored half of the fiddly bits and focused on the main front of the body. I expanded the shawl collar a bit, since Bilbo's comes nearly out to the shoulder seam.
replica coat front piecesI know, it doesn't look like a whole lot at the moment, but here are the front panels. I also still need to make up the pockets. I think it's going to look great with the quilted lining! I can hardly wait to put that with it.
    replica coat full backreplica coat upper back
    Like I said: I was nervous about making the back. But I considered it in 3 parts: upper, ban d and skirts. I felt the band was the simplest, so I cut a 2" (plus seam allowances) strip of fabric and pinned it into place to the front side seams -about waist high. Then I had to face the uper back. I tried using the back from a different pattern that was bigger than the back that came with my mother's pattern. They were both for a flat back which would have to be altered into princess seams anyway. Ooh, not good. I was depressed and almost gave up. Luckily, I'm made of sterner stuff! I figured, what the heck, took the back panel from the original pattern (hey! it attached to the front soo much better. duh.) and instead of drawing the princess seam placement on, cutting it and reattaching the pieces (so bad), I took my box of pins and pinched the seams into place. Tightening and tailoring the back panel as I went, following where the curve should go; pin basting. hey! that looked pretty good. And when I cut out those pieces and tried reattaching them, wow! it fit! Ok, so I started only doing 1/2 the back. When I saw it worked I did the other side as well - filling in the upper back and fully attaching to the band. gee, the worst part of the back was done, and not so badly.

    The bottom skirting turned out to really be simply two very long rectangles incorporating a 4" box pleat each. When the lining is put in, I'll finish off the center vent better. But wow: doing it up now in the velveteen looks stunning. I've got the shoulders and sides all attached now. I can't wait to do the lining. (ok, I cut out the back lining pieces before I left)


    So the lining will follow the pattern I made for the coat - except the front facings need to be quilted, and the turnback cuffs need to be quilted.