corecouture

Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

BOGOF

10 Comments

I’m always far behind with the fashion trends – this particular one by 4,000 years!

The Japanese have kimono, the Americans have poncho and the Northern Europeans have Bog Coats – all of them are the simplest of shapes, straight line cut, easy sewing and minimal waste. I suppose in the days when you had to weave your own fabric you certainly weren’t going to cut it up and throw most of it away like we do today.

aw15libe1041000bI picked up a few metres of vintage Varuna Liberty at a craft fair recently – a fine woven wool in a long ago colourway. The design is still available but not in wool although in new and now up-to-date colours: called Deborah.

My particular colours are  maybe not something that I would necessarily choose right now but at a very cheap price and with the Liberty pedigree I couldn’t resist.  I didn’t want to use it all in one go, so some went on the bog coat, some went to a sewing friend and 1/2m leftovers went to stash box.

I could go into detail here about how to make a bog coat but quite honestly loads of other people have done it before me and probably much better than I could. Here’s a few links to what I picked out as the easiest and best –

Threads PDF with clear instructions, tips and ideas –

Video with construction technique –

How to weave your own (if you have a loom) –

Mine turned out to be more dressing gown than coat so that’s what it became – a lightweight gown for early autumn mornings.

DSCN5851

I added two ties at the side for a wrap-around and cut off 2″ from the hem for a binding at the open edges.

DSCN5853

Front seam that is the extension of the sleeves and edge binding – sewn with the overlocker.

V8888And the Buy one get one free? – Two nightdresses, one to match the bog coat and one to match the other one.

Vogue 8888 made with some ‘beige’ cotton jersey that never got dyed or made into an Alabama Chanin masterpiece. There comes a time in a woman’s life when only natural fibres will suffice for sleep – and when you have to throw the duvet off in the middle of the night you at least want to keep some decorum while tossing and turning all sweaty and hot.

One nightdress has some spare Liberty fabric, cut on bias, for bodice and straps, the other has some brown lace left over from my foray into bra making.

DSCN5852

DSCN5861

All the seams are machine sewed and semi-flat felled, in that I just pressed the seam to one side and top-stitched it in place.

DSCN5859

I finished both with picot edging around the armholes and back. And both have extensions on the hem to lengthen them and continue the colour trim theme – Liberty edge on one and brown lace on the other.

The thing about the bog coat is that not only being easy-peasy to cut and sew, and leaving no detritus in its wake, it’s as versatile as it is old. You can make it in any fabric, add trims, embellishments, fastenings, pockets; you can make it any length depending on your fabric availability and the sleeves can be as wide as you want. It is generally made on the lengthwise grain of the fabric so try to use one that is 60″ wide to give yourself the full width to play with, this should be enough for full length sleeves.

h2_1996.134.1

Balenciaga

kellycoatdiagram

Kelly

Balenciaga dipped his toes into bog coat philosophy in the 1960s with his one seam coat and this Patrick Kelly pattern for download (thanks to Pattern Vault)  for a 1980s version.

Issy Miyake also developed the one seam, straight cut coat into his famous cocoon coat 1976.

images

Miyake

If this idea takes your interest I would also encourage you to take at look at Well-Suited and the Erte take on the kimono.
DSCN5854

Just goes to show you – there’s really nothing new….

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “BOGOF

  1. What a lovely ensemble!

  2. Lovely nightwear and you’re right, only natural fibres will do, and not too many of them when you reach a certain age! I’m having to totally revamp my night time wardrobe, after sleeping in top to toe flannel for years, with a 13 tog duvet. The Vogue pattern looks just the ticket, thanks for sharing.

  3. How fascinating. I hadn’t heard the term ‘bog coat’ before, despite having an interest in early northern Europe. (All those textile finds!) I’m hoping to learn to weave soon, so bookmarking your link 🙂

  4. I love that colour way. I think it would be great on vacation, dinner dress, light coat on a cooler evening, coverup to the pool, and a housecoat, lots of milage with one garment.

  5. Love how you took this silhouette and turned it into pretty lingerie/nightwear. Lovely!

  6. You create some amazing garments, never know what you will get up to next.

  7. I love the flowered fabric – just lovely! It makes for a beautiful set!

  8. Lovely robe and night dresses. Almost too good to wear to bed.

  9. Wonderful – and comfortable for those ‘warm nights’!

Let's talk.....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s