Step I – Deciding on a pattern

Things are beginning to come together! I have eventually managed to get hold of that men's tailoring book I've been searching for years (Der Zuschnitt für die Herrenschneiderei – System M. Müller) and to my utter delight, there is a pattern that's absolutely ideal as a basis for the Milford!
The Ulster coat included there is perfect in every respect, all I'll have to do is adding the pleats in the back and those welt-pockets on the front 🙂

After finding this article here on the characteristics of an Ulster, I think it's safe to say that the Milford IS an Ulster variation…

Characteristics of an Ulster Coat

  • A classic Ulster is rather long and double breasted, with two  vertical, parallel rows of buttons. Often the ulster comes with a 6×3 or 8×4 button configuration while the buttons are placed quite low.
  • Usually a double breasted garment has peaked lapels. The Ulster however has lapels that are notched in a certain way, so they can easily be folded over when the coat is buttoned up all the way. This is also known as the Ulster collar.
  • In order to express the informal country character of the overcoat, the Ulster has always patch pockets.
  • For the same reason, an Ulster shows contrast stitching along the edges and cuffs.
  • You will always see cuffs on a true Ulster.
  • Generally, the Ulster is cut rather roomy and hence may look a little bulky sometimes. In order to give the silhouette a little more shape, the Ulster usually has a belted back (aka half belt) with adjustable buttons so the wearer can change the degree of the waist suppression. For comfort and ease of movemnt, an Ulster has  long pleats in the back. Sometimes you can also see a belt that goes completely around and buckles in the front – just like a trenchcoat.
  • A genuine Ulster is made out of tweed, more specifically Donegal Tweed. This heavy tweed – starting at about 22 oz. per yard (about 600 g per meter) – was originally invented in Donegal County in the province of Ulster. It is characterized by its rustic, hand-woven look as well as its multi-colored dots.

So, grab your measuring tapes and prepare to get some measuring done soon!

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Supplies list

I guess it does make sense to give an overview of the materials I’ll be using once I actually start sewing. So here we go:

  • 5.80 m of alfatex’s 100% wool tweed (see below)
  • Lining: Not decided yet, possibly this serge from folhoffer.eu or this thick one from tolkostoffe.de
  • Interfacing: Thinking about using some medium weight interfacing, like this one here, to give my rather light tweed more body.
  • Front interfacing: Hair canvas
  • Volume fleece: Depending on how the fabric falls and whether or not it appears warm enough, I might use this Vlieseline fleece, as well.
  • Plaque for padding

Sources & Inspiration

I've been keeping my eyes open for some of the great sewing folk out there in the web to post about their attempts at and experience with re-making the COAT.

Only this week though I finally found jessamygriffin's lovely, adorable, simply irresistible blog on LJ which was what had me decide that I was really going to do this – and made me believe that this was not just another completely daft idea I should drop again as quickly as possible…

So I'll collect the web sources I will or might use here:

And these are my books and other non-web-based resources:

  • Der Zuschnitt für die Herrenschneiderei – System M. Müller
    Cutting in Men's Tailoring – System M. Müller
zuschnitt_book

First steps taken

Well, I have no illusions about getting any serious sewing done before the summer holidays but I’ve started looking for and collecting materials.

After hours spent searching for a halfway decent fabric over the last few days I could’t believe my luck when I found this one on alfatex yesterday! I mean from what I read in different forums the original fabric has been extremely elusive so far and finding a good substitute is one of the major problems for those who tried replicating the coat!
The alfatex tweed looks a LOT like the original I think but I’ll let you know if it’s as good a match as it appears to be on the photo.

I’m slowly getting the impression that the buttons will actually turn out to be the biggest problem…

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