At the time, I remember researching pre-shrink methods for wool, and I found and followed one which involved rolling the wool between layers of wet towels and allowing it to dry this way. I cannot for the life of me find that link now, but I have found references to a similar technique called the London Shrink. But that seems to be wetting the wool and wrapping it in sheets, whereas I distinctly remember this technique telling me to wet the towels instead of the wool. Anyway, that's what I did.
It seemed to have worked, although I didn't take before and after measurements of the fabric, so it's hard to be sure. I think I also took the wool to work with me and used the industrial steam iron (man, I miss having access to that!) on it just in case.
And it looks like I took absolutely no in-progress pictures! (I really need to be better about that.) Which is a shame, since I significantly altered this coat from the original pattern. Brian wanted a single-breasted tailcoat, which he said would be more comfortable for him to wear than the double-breasted style. He actually requested the single-breasted style for his first coat, but I wanted to make it according to the pattern directions once first before I would feel comfortable altering it.
Fortunately the alteration was a fairly simple one. I had him try on the mock-up again, and folded over the edge where I wanted the center front edges to meet. This made for a much smaller lapel, but that was ok. Then I just had to remember to make the same alteration to the front facing and interfacing pieces, and re-draw the lines for the pad-stitching.
The coat turned out really well, I think. Here he is wearing it at last year's Trafalgar Ball:
|This reminds me that I still haven't blogged about my Green Sari Gown!|
|Because why wouldn't you pose with a polar bear, given the opportunity?|
|His shoes and buckles came from Burnley & Trowbridge, as well.|
Not the greatest picture, but it does show the back seams nicely:
It also shows the fact that I skipped adding the pockets to the tails because I didn't have time! I was still working on some part of his ball ensemble or mine (I can't remember which) in the car on the way there.
I also skipped sleeve linings, cuff buttons, and the buttons at the back seams, but those issues have since been fixed, at least! I actually removed the sleeves, shortened them, added the linings, and finally finished the cuff buttons and buttonholes just in time for THIS year's ball:
I'll share more photos of the ball soon. And if you want to see more pictures of Brian with the polar bear, check out my post of last year's ball: We Party Like It's 1805