The Sherlock coat

Sewing a coat is always a big accomplishment, but this coat in particular has been a long time in the making. I first told James I’d finally make him a coat like Benedict Cumberbatch wears in BBC’s “Sherlock” for his birthday back in early December. I drafted up a pattern using the details provided in this livejournal post, then made a muslin for him later that month. With only a few tweaks needed for fit and style (I made the lapels too big, for starters!), I then moved on to purchasing the wool coating, cotton flannel underlining, and black acetate lining.

But this is also where the first delay came in, as he wanted a black wool coating with faint blue and brown checks from Crescent Trading, who turned out to be closed over the full Christmas period, when I was hoping to get a lot of the work done. All of the above are detailed more
in this “progress report” post from January.

I then had more hurdles involving the hem bubbling (which meant I had to baste it in place, flip it back wrong-side out, handstitch, re-press, etc), waiting for some woman on Etsy to make more replica buttons (which we finally gave up on and just made our own with gold enamel paint), and getting the right upholstery thread to do all the buttonholes.

But it’s finished, it looks fantastic on James, and the proportions are really flattering on him, too! So the lengthy making process shall soon fade away in the light of the finished coat. He definitely prefers it open (as dos Sherlock himself), but it can be buttoned up in the coldest of days, too:

It’s a very warm coat, having underlined the body and sleeves in flannel, a trick I picked up in previous coats to stop the wind.

I can’t take the credit for these, as James was having fun with photoshoot ideas!

Sherlock, or Dr Who? Oh no, we’ve confused British geek heroes! 😉

The coat is one long piece in the front, but the back has a waist seam and a voluminous, pleated skirt which really swishes and moves with him. The belt is attached at the side seams and is really just for looks.

Now, you know James loves a loud lining, but for this coat he thought it’d just be wrong, so instead he chose a simple black lining. The only feature inside is a piece of ribbon to control his headphone cables, which is a feature he requests on all his jackets and coats.

Here are some detail shots: Red keyhole buttonholes (made on my antique Singer with the buttonholer attachment), chest single welt pockets, lined patch pockets, and curved sleeve cuff

I’ve heard the original jacket used in the series had boning added to the collar to make it stand up, but I wanted to give James the option to wear it down if he wanted. So I instead used some really stiff horsehair interfacing which bends easily horizontally, but really wants to stand up vertically. I then stitched it in rows along the undercollar to keep it in place. I’m super happy with this choice, as the collar really stays up on its own without any fuss!

Here are some detail shots: Painted buttons, Upper back pleat, headphone holder in front facing, back belt and pleats

The buttons were regular brown, which we detailed “stitching” onto with gold enamel model airplane paint, so they look like the originals.

And we couldn’t resist some shots with our iconic neighbour!

You should see the jealous looks he’s getting from his friends and from strangers on the street!!

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