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A Study in Coat-Making by crimsongriffin28 A Study in Coat-Making by crimsongriffin28
So I needed a coat. Happily this coincided with my fannish love of BBC Sherlock.

After studying pictures very carefully (read: obsessively), I drafted and tailored my own.

---Wool coat, inspired from Sherlock’s Belstaff coat.---

***EDIT
Well, a year and a bit ago, I made The Coat out of fan-love and need for a new winter coat. People seemed to like it and this post is for those wild ones who are not afraid of a challenge. So - to begin.

It’s the time of year when people are thinking variations on the following:

“Hey, it’s getting cold, I should really get working on that Sherlock coat I’ve always wanted!”
“Hey, it’s getting cold, time to browbeat my friend/sister/mom/boyfriend/grandma into making me that Sherlock coat I’ve always wanted!”
“Hey, that bitch jessamy says she won’t make another coat, how unreasonable, maybe I’d better learn what it takes to get a Sherlock coat!”
“Hey, make a coat? Please. I gots money, my name is Mycroft Holmes, point me in the direction to throw it!”

If you fall into any or all of the categories, and decide to walk the path of fandom madness and make your own after much obsessive research and multiple viewings of the show and pics, here’s links and some thoughts on patterns and purveyors of Sherlock coats. Read on!

___________________________

Part one - ‘I can sew and don’t mind if the coat is a little different as long as it has the right shape. And I need a pattern to follow, otherwise it’s hopeless.’

You are a woman (I assume) and want to make a women’s coat (i.e. one that accommodates bust) and have some experience sewing. If you want one that is a reasonable facsimile in shape, the following patterns are good. NOTE: All patterns are womens’, so the coat buttons opposite to what a man’s coat does. If you want it to look more like the Belstaff Sherlock coat, you have to reverse the buttoning on the front.

Burda ankle length coat - www.burdastyle.com/pattern_sto…
Pros - Good length, has the patch pockets (minus the flaps), the upper back is fairly similar, as is the collar. You can look at the pattern instructions online to see what you are getting into. Cons: You have to download the pattern and assemble it, it’s an advanced pattern and the instructions are text only, no pictures. Also, the back skirt doesn’t have the pleats for that flare, there’s no upper back stretch/vent pleat, no welt breast pockets, no collar band and no cuffs.

Vogue 1266 - voguepatterns.mccall.com/v1266…
Pros - Good length, has nice flare, has an option for the same split-style cuff as the Sherlock coat, and the the double-breasted version has the right collar, minus the collar band. I like Vogue patterns, they tend to be well-done and have pretty thorough instructions with pics. Cons - doesn’t have back waist seam or pleats in the back skirt, no upper back stretch pleat, no patch pockets or welt pockets, no collar band.

Vogue 8346 - voguepatterns.mccall.com/v8346…
Pros - good length and a lot of flare, View A has good collar. Cons - doesn’t have back waist seam or pleats in the back skirt, no stretch pleat in upper back, no patch or welt pockets, no collar band. Also doesn’t have cuffs.

Burda 4127 - Pros - Has the length, cuffs, collar and a back-belt. Cons - Out of print, you have to get it from a private seller. No patch pockets, welt pockets, the back skirt pleats, upper back stretch pleat, yadda yadda.

_____________________

Part Two - ‘I can sew pretty well and adapt patterns, if I know generally what the pattern shape for the Sherlock coat is.’

Weirdly, I was the first person on the internet to share my pattern sketches. SKETCHES - they are not graded patterns! They are not perfect, as I am sure you will see. I would always recommend doing a test coat up in cheap muslin to make sure that you or I didn’t make a hash of the patterning.

Go to my LiveJournal to this post [ jessamygriffin.livejournal.com… ] to see the pattern sketches. I haven’t edited it since making it, so also check comments for some further discussion. If you are interested in sporadic posts about my frustrations on the building of this, this is the master list of posts on the topic ( jessamygriffin.livejournal.com… )

Alternatively, look at my Tumblr posts 1. jessamygriffin.tumblr.com/post… 2. jessamygriffin.tumblr.com/post… , 3. And jessamygriffin.tumblr.com/post… .

__________________

Part Three - 'Fuck that shit, I am going to make the best Sherlock coat EVAH, so I need ALL THE DETAILS I CAN GLEAN. This means I am NOT making a ladies’ coat, it will be a MANS’ coat, just like Benedict’s!!!'

So, good luck with that, I went that path, post Season One. Hence, my comment above that my pattern isn’t perfect - I got the collar band wrong, the belt slightly wrong. I was working from the moody lighting of screencaps from S1. S2 is much better for pics of The Coat! Also, I had to settle on an imperfect fabric and buttons too. The Coat passes as Sherlockian and Belstaffian from up three meters away, though, so can’t complain.

Making a working replica - This process will be lengthy and time consuming. It will be worth it, if you have the sewing chops and time.

Firstly, I highly recommend this book, Tailoring [ www.amazon.com/Tailoring-Class… ]. I wanted to try the techniques and materials and under-building a pro would to see if it made a difference in the final product. It does. This book was instrumental in teaching me how to do it. You learn how to press wool, how to build padding, how to do pad-stitching. It has all you need, if you are going to do this seriously and are not a fashion student already.

Secondly, again, check my LiveJournal [ jessamygriffin.livejournal.com… ] and be sure this is what you want to do. I never studied sewing formally, though I’ve done it for years, and this was one of my most challenging builds because I had to design and draft and sketch from the ground up. People who follow, please drink my sweet tears of agony over this project - at least you won’t be draping and flat-patterning yours completely afresh. Again, make a test coat. Always!

Thirdly - The Real Prop Forum has an excellent thread on the Sherlock coat [ www.therpf.com/f24/sherlock-co… ], and a gentleman named Ray actually bought a Belstaff and was kind enough to take some detailed photos of buttons, fabric, and the lining. Go. Read the whole damned thread. This is where the true devotees of authenticity gather to discuss things. Other people put up pics of coats, link to their blogs. It’s a good place, though not a lively one.

_________________________

Part Four - 'Ya know, on second thought, I can’t be arsed. I’ll buy one from a costumer. Or just use your pattern sketches and go to a tailor, ‘cuz I am made of money, doncha know, just pick it off me.'

No problem, there are a couple out there.

Cosplaysky [ cosplaysky.com/sherlock-holmes… ] is making them in wool and linen, I hear mixed reviews, they seem good for cosplay purposes and some general wear but they need to correct some details. Though I understand that they will work with customers to tweak things. Pros: Cheapest you’ll likely find a Sherlock facsimile.

Abby-workshop [ www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SHERLOCK-HO… ] from this place on e-bay (costume-shop-2008 [ myworld.ebay.co.uk/costume-sho… ] ) also seems to have one. Again, though the hang of the coat seems to get good reviews, the details like button spacing, pocket size and button choice don’t seem quite right to my eyes. It’s close, though.

Denver Bespoke - from $785. No, it's not cheap, it's what you pay for real tailoring. It still doesn't look quite right, the back pleats. [ denverbespoke.com/?tag=sherloc… ]

Magnoli Clothiers - $925. Pretty good, based on a fan's measurements of a real Belstaff. The red buttonholes on the back belt are a mistake, and the belt looks a bit soft and the pleats need pressing. [ www.magnoliclothiers.com/sherl… ]

Coming soon?

Celestial Toymaker [ www.facebook.com/media/set/?se… ] I know that this maker supposedly got the correct wool and is supposed to be offering them for sale this autumn of 2012, but the site isn’t up yet, so… who knows. Likely to be expensive.


Anyways, that’s the master post for links! Fire away any asks, though if it’s for deep-down sewing questions, I may just mention again how the Tailoring [ www.amazon.com/Tailoring-Class… ] book saved my ass and made The Coat look professionally done.

I did it. So can you.
-------

I am so, so fucking happy with how it turned out, it beats the cosplaysky ones sold out of China hands down. Details, details. The cosplaysky ones are good, and one comes in linen so it’s nice and light, but the buttons on the back of the coat are too far apart, for one. The buttons are the wrong type, as well. STILL.


I am sorry - I do make costumes, but this piece was a work of obsessive love and therefore not worth any amount of money you could offer - the amount of time put in was horrendous. Not to mention the search for the best button, the hand-sewing, and the fact that I looked high and low, found the best wool at a good price and BOUGHT THE LAST PIECE.

But. I love it. *pets coat* We are very happy together.

Next project - the fur collar seen briefly, too briefly in The Great Game when Sherlock is in Minsk. Black fur. Pale skin. Hngh.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconcelebsclothing:
Celebsclothing Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014
Hey i found this Sherlock Holmes Coat
Reply
:iconcelebsclothing:
Celebsclothing Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2014
I think you should have it on this Cyber Monday from any reliable online store
Reply
:iconjessicarobinson1:
JessicaRobinson1 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014
desertleather.com/Sherlock-Hol…

Sherlock Holmes Wool Cape Coat Black Friday Sale You Save $50.00!
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:iconphilipwalker112:
philipwalker112 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014  Professional Filmographer
I am Searching This Sherlock Coat and I fined it at NewAmericanJackets Store in Very low Price. I'm going to please Order Here www.newamericanjackets.com/pro…
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:iconfreakiegeekie:
FreakieGeekie Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for all the links and the tips/tricks on your page! :hug:
I'm going to attempt to make myself a custom Sherlock doll and this is going to be a huge help! :w00t:
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:iconcrimsongriffin28:
crimsongriffin28 Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2014
Oh, good luck with it! The test coat is the hard part. And that Tailoring book was tremendous as well, since I was trying to be professional about it.
Reply
:iconfreakiegeekie:
FreakieGeekie Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I have a book on tailoring. I don't recall the title but it's a pretty good one :)
Reply
Flagged as Spam
:iconcrimsongriffin28:
crimsongriffin28 Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2014
But the problem I see with your putting this link on my coat post is this: I don't endorse this coat you've linked, considering that the product you describe on your site (black wool/cashmere) is not pictured. Instead you have screencaps for Benedict's coat from the actual show, Sherlock. Without a product picture of the actual item, I would be suspicious of purchasing said item.

Do I endorse the other coats I've linked? If you read my post, you can see I give some opinions on each based on the product pictures and how they compare with the Milford coat from the show. I don't endorse those either, but at least a buyer can see what they are purchasing.

Every one who goes to any site on this post is welcome to draw their own opinions just as I have - based on product reviews and actual photos of the merchandise.

You can improve the possibility of sales with photos OF YOUR DESCRIBED COAT, ~not! with screencaps from Sherlock.

Caveat emptor - Buyer Beware.
Reply
:icon11coxge:
11coxge Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
Not sure if anyone's interested, but I got the coat from the Celestial Toystore. Cost me about $1700 AUD, but it's gorgeous. Weights approximately 4 and a half kilos. The seller is an arsehole though. I went to put the coat on for the first time after receiving it and one of the front buttons responsible for actually holding the coat closed came off. I messaged CT asking for him to cover the cost of getting it sewn on again - since the inner and outer layers needed to be unpicked and resewn in order to fix the button properly. Figured it was a reasonable request since the coat was brand new. I'm too polite to paste his response on here. Needles to say I have never been so thoroughly degraded in my life. So i'm making a point to spread the news. I'd hate for anyone else to deal with the BS i got from him. Something to keep in mind if anyone is considering purchasing from Celestial Toystore...  
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:iconcrimsongriffin28:
crimsongriffin28 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014
Oh dear. I'm so sorry that you had such a rotten experience - some people have no tact or customer service skills, and though I can't guess what his reply was, it seems clear it was upsetting to you. That's a pity. I mean, his coat really looks like the most accurate repro available, though I'd love to hear what someone thinks of the Magnoli Tailors coat.

Sigh. When the button is fixed, do what Sherlock does and delete the memory of the exchange, maybe!
Reply
:iconminifig2401:
Minifig2401 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
If I could only have one coat for the rest of my life, it would be the Belstaff. Wonderful job. Sherlock - Smile 
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:iconcrimsongriffin28:
crimsongriffin28 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2014
Thank you! No one normal can afford the Belstaff, so I had to do it myself.
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:iconasterkill:
Asterkill Featured By Owner May 24, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Sheloooooooooock !!!
The coat is gorgeous :)
Reply
:iconcrimsongriffin28:
crimsongriffin28 Featured By Owner May 24, 2014
Thank you, I appreciate it~!
Reply
:iconmeg-sway:
meg-sway Featured By Owner May 14, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Impeccable work! :aww:
Reply
:iconcrimsongriffin28:
crimsongriffin28 Featured By Owner May 19, 2014
Thank you so much! I learned a lot of new tailor skills from this project!
Reply
:iconanekosoma:
Anekosoma Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You. Are. My. GOD. HOW DID YOU DO THAT ? I want the patterns pleaaaaaase :c
Reply
:iconcrimsongriffin28:
crimsongriffin28 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014
Thank you! I've pattern sketches, the links are in the description, as well as links for some commercial patterns that are similar and my thoughts on them!
Reply
:iconanekosoma:
Anekosoma Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you and congratulations !
Reply
:iconbeezeecade:
Beezeecade Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014  Hobbyist
If you make one for me, I will buy it for $200. :P I don't have the skill to make one, and I would rather have an accurate one than a cheap one. This one is by far the most accurate one I've seen.
Reply
:iconcrimsongriffin28:
crimsongriffin28 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014
Unfortunately, that would be impossible because $200 would just cover the materials cost to do it properly. But Cosplaysky does do a decent reproduction in that price range. Thanks for your interest, I'm glad you liked the pics of my coat!
Reply
:iconbeezeecade:
Beezeecade Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014  Hobbyist
(Just so you know, I was setting a starting point and I'm completely expecting you to name a higher price. Custom-made coats are expensive, I know, and I want the Belstaff one, but my parents would never let me buy a coat that expensive, so... yeah.)
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:iconkkp101:
kkp101 Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You can buy an exact replica here! www.sherlockcoat.com/ I just found it and was like "UMG" so- yeah. Probably gonna try to get it at some point XD Thought I'd let you awesome people know if you didn't lol
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:iconcrimsongriffin28:
crimsongriffin28 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014
I know about it, I included a link to their facebook page!
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:iconkkp101:
kkp101 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I knew I'd miss it! XD I scanned through your post before I posted the comment, guess I didn't see it haha cx
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:iconcrimsongriffin28:
crimsongriffin28 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014
I know what you mean. His coats are gorgeous tho. Still out of my price range...
Reply
:iconkkp101:
kkp101 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I know :/ ONE DAY THOUGH- When some money miracle happens- it will be mine... cx
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:iconwilkowen:
Wilkowen Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014
I'm back with another question: how far did you topstitch from the finished edge?  I've been thinking 1/4" might be too far but then its hard to tell without looking at the whole coat.  Whatever you did looks about right.
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:iconcrimsongriffin28:
crimsongriffin28 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014
Well, grabbing the nearest ruler.... 8 cm apparently. Though I'm going to wager a guess that I probably used the edge of my presser foot to keep myself sane. It's been a while! Measure from your needle to the edge of your presser foot and if it's too narrow and your machine does that sort of thing, adjust the needle sideways until it's right.
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:iconwilkowen:
Wilkowen Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014
Do you mean 8 mm?  That would be slightly more than 1/4 inch, which is what I was thinking of doing.  And yes, that would be mean I could just let the edge of the presser foot be my guide.
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:iconcrimsongriffin28:
crimsongriffin28 Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014
Did I say... ooh god I DID. 8mm, yes. NOT 8 cm!
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:iconcatie501:
Catie501 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014
Aaaand... I did it! I bought it, like I said I probably would a few weeks back... It really is an experience a world away from the other coat that I got tailored. Thank you for tipsing about it - you have me a very happy woman Huggle! It is perfect in every way *goes to snuggle into coat* I love deviantART! 

Hmmm, now I only need the fur collar Sherlock Holmes 
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:iconcrimsongriffin28:
crimsongriffin28 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014
Wow! good on you! I trust all the details are perfect then! Yeah, the mink collar... I do so want it, but getting the right colour of collar in Japan - HA. Or any mink in the right shade. Though beaver would work - but that tends to be in browns, not blacks. Sigh. The quest for perfection.
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:iconcatie501:
Catie501 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014
Thank you! Yes, the details are perfect down to every stitch and fibre - well, I guess they must be since they use it in the series as well xD It is simply AMAZING!


Haha! Indeed, what we do for something we love... It is worth it though

Reply
:iconkonspiracie:
konspiracie Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Professional General Artist
Just dropping by to say hi! And that's one beautiful coat you've made. *salutes* You'd make Sherlock very proud!

Very tempted to make this for myself too but it'll have to wait. :P Definitely on my to-do list ehhehe
Reply
:iconcrimsongriffin28:
crimsongriffin28 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014
Thank you! It was pretty tough, but the end results were worth it!
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:iconwiggelylovesmusic:
Wiggelylovesmusic Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Alright! I shall take this journey into madness! The sherlock coat shall be mine as well!
Reply
:iconcrimsongriffin28:
crimsongriffin28 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014
*takes hat off and salutes*

Good luck! Take your time!
Reply
:iconwiggelylovesmusic:
Wiggelylovesmusic Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I plan to. Probably be ready by next winter :P
Reply
:iconkkp101:
kkp101 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, you beautiful child, this is just what I needed!!(,: Thank you so much for sharing, not many ever do this and I just can't help but love you for doing so anyways! Your coat is gorgeous and I hope mine turns out just as well(:
Reply
:iconcrimsongriffin28:
crimsongriffin28 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014
Thank you! I won't lie and say I loved all of the parts of sewing and drafting, but the end result is my now three-year old coat still looking grand!
Reply
:iconsindeon:
Sindeon Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013
Oh no. You should not have posted this. Or, I should not have seen it. Especially not show it to my boyfriend because now I have to make one for him :) He said: it has a great description, you can sure do it for me plllllsssss....
By the way, congrats, looks great ;)
Reply
:iconcrimsongriffin28:
crimsongriffin28 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014
Thanks a lot! It was an insane task, but if you put the time into it, it should look great.
Reply
:iconcatie501:
Catie501 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013
I must say, your pictues helped me getting my tailored coat - and I found the 'bluesprints' for the original one, and it looks amazing! The only thing that deviates from the Belstaff is the buttons (I may change them some day - but the black ones I have goes with it really well;)) and that I have it tailored to my body :) 

I definetly got what I paid for; a fantasic, comfortable and fashionable coat! 

I went to a photosession with it, and the coat was at the centre of it all!
Reply
:iconcrimsongriffin28:
crimsongriffin28 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2013
Oh, I'm glad to hear it! It took a bunch of trial and error even after I did my patterns, because I am NOT a pro. I hope you you got better fabric than I did! It's a wonderful coat to have.
Reply
:iconcatie501:
Catie501 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013
Yes, the fabric is perfect! Those white patches in the fabric are maybe a little smaller than the original ones - but very similar, but it's the design for me that matters the most ;) It is tweed and it is mainly wool. But also cashmere and silk, so it is incredibly comfy to wear ;) I use it as often as I can, so I have looked forward to this season and the months to come (and packing it down for summer is a bittersweet feeling: getting warmer - but no coat) :) 
I have gotten a lot of feedback on how beautiful it is - and I can practically see people admiring it :) 

Maybe one day I will buy the one on sherlockcoat for more casual use, since it is rougher and water resistant than the one I've got (I live in a city renown for all it's rainy days, hehe)... One isn't enough and I'm a bit spolied to be honset xD 

In other words: I don't think I'll ever have another coat - I have fallen in love with it's design :)
Reply
:iconwilkowen:
Wilkowen Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013
I am obliged to make this coat and was wondering, how did you line the pleated skirt?  Did you fold the lining into the pleats so that they match?  Or is your lining entirely free hanging?
Reply
:iconcrimsongriffin28:
crimsongriffin28 Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013
The top is pleated into the wool folds, yes. The upper body lining I just folded over that seam and hand sewed down. The bottom is attached, but with a big hem sewn at the top in case the wool stretched out. You could probably have the bottom free-hanged, with a couple of tack points so the lining doesn't get skewed when the coat swirls out.
Reply
:iconwilkowen:
Wilkowen Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013
Great, that's how I had first thought to do it, before I started questioning myself.  Thank you so much!  And nice job!
Reply
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