Alice coat revelation

The historical costumers/re-enactors in the audience will probably laugh at me for this, but for the longest time I couldn’t figure out what was going with the shoulder seam on Alice’s coat. Most shoulder seams that I have seen are straight across the top of the shoulder; the seams in Alice’s coat slope diagonally from her neck DOWN HER BACK. I first assumed the normal horizontal seam was still there with some bizarre triangle piece draping backwards.

Me: What is going on here?


In doing some research on Napoleonic Era British naval uniforms, I borrowed Nora Waugh’s The Cut of Men’s Clothes from the library. Her book really is a fantastic resource for any sort of historical tailoring, ranging from Renaissance to Victorian, and I highly recommend it! I found a lot of Regency Era designs and I think I have a basic idea of how I want to draft my naval uniform (more to come later when I actually get started.)

I then came across this schematic for a Victorian era frock coat:

A revelation! From “The Cut of Men’s Clothes” by Norah Waugh.


Oh my glob*, you guys. Alice’s coat is based off a men’s Victorian frock coat, appropriate for her personality the era and in which the movie was set. That shoulder seam: an extension from the front panel with a sloping back panel. I think there is one more slim panel in the back to give the bodice a little more shaping and more volume for the skirt, as well as the collar adjustment, but it is definitely a similar style. Not that it really needs to be said, but kudos to Colleen Atwood for her attention to detail!

I’ll get around to this project…eventually…one of these days… after I finish reading Brandon Sanderson’s The Alloy of Law

(*Lumpy Space Princess. From the cartoon “Adventure Time,” which is unsuspectingly witty and addictive.)

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