The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

So, my latest project that I've embarked on is a dirigible pirate ensemble.  I was wondering if any of you out there have experience with making an overcoat.  Are there any good patterns out there?  I went to Joann's, but wasn't too thrilled with any I saw.  Also, I'm looking for fabric suggestions, I'm thinking a medium weight canvas with a sateen liner.

The plan right now is to waterproof it after I finish, but I also have questions about that.  I've been looking around and am thinking of a beeswax/mink oil finish but I desperately need some advice from someone who knows what they're doing.  Anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated!

Views: 300


Replies to This Discussion

I recommend waxing it BEFORE lining it, otherwise the wax will wick into the liner, a messy proposition at best.

Consider an old overcoat for a pattern. Find something that fits, take it apart, and go from there.
You MIGHT try, they have patterns, but mostly mid-19th Century and earlier. They MAY have some late 19th Cent. patterns, or might refer you to someone else.

As for the wax finish, the same stuff used for Australian Outback coats would work very well, is readily available, and not priced TOO badly...about what it would cost to make up your own on an experimental basis...after all, why re-invent the wheel? You'd probably need two cans, as it would be soaked up by the fabric.
Thank you kindly, good sir. Especially for the waxing tip, it would be incredibly disheartening to lose a finished garment. As for the wax itself, good idea, though it is satisfying to invent something, even if someone else has already done so :)
Here is an interesting article that I came across while looking for information about the waterproofing, it seems like someone had already embarked on a similar project...

I think the ready wax stuff would probably work great but I enjoy the process of making the coat and I think it will give the coat more character. I found the article on a discussion thread on some motorcycle site. Here's the link...

And I just found what looks to be the perfect pattern. Link...
Looks likes a decent pattern.

And thanks for posting the link!!! I've been trying to find patterns for riding clothes. This is exactly what I am looking for!!! :)
My pleasure! Check out this one as well, its a source page for different sites to find patterns and fabric, there are some really great places. It isn't just riding stuff either, most of the pages have Victorian patterns as well.
I advise extreme caution when working with linseed oil! Oil-soaked rags WILL likely eventually burst into flame (did the experiment, it's true) spontaneously! It's burned down many houses and shops in the past.
Place oily rags in a water-filled bucket, then IMMEDIATELY dispose of in the trash in a METAL can away from buildings and habitations, cars etc. Linseed-oily rags often start dumpster fires, BTW.

Wax in itself is not inherently flexible, and flakes off. Beeswax is more compatible with cloth than paraffin. Linseed oil provides the solvent and lubricant in the mix, remember however not to smoke around your garment!
"Boiled" linseed oil as supplied in stores nowadays is NOT boiled, it has chemicals added to it for drying purposes, toxic at worst. REAL boiled linseed oil is available, check your local woodworking supply stores, and magazines like Old House Journal for suppliers.

We used real ORGANIC linseed oil (not boiled) on a job, I'm a timber framer/building/historical restorer, and it's what we used on an 1840 church on Nantucket nearly $70 a gallon, not cheap!
Thank you, its nice to have the experience of others in your mind before embarking on a project. I won't be starting it for about a month or so, but I'll post updates and the finished product. Keep the advice coming though. Its highly appreciated!
Maybe, that is actually one of the difficulties in doing all this, I won't be back home for another month. I don't recall them having much, though I wasn't looking specifically for coats last time I went.
Sweet mamma jamma! The second link is gold! I love personal projects to avoid cost, but those prices are incredible! I'd spend that much on fabric, accessories, etc alone, not to mention man hours, but there is the satisfaction of making your own, decisions...
If you are interested in realism, The materials you suggest are good, but the only real combat crews I am aware of wore extremely warm long coats with fur lining and a fur lined cap that came down to the neck. If you live in a warm climate, like myself, you may want to just simulate that by putting a strip of fake fur around the edges, so it looks fur lined without actually being lined with fur. If you are somewhere cooler, then actually lining it with fake fur would be best. The German one went down to the calf, long sleeves, can't recall if it was single or double breasted, with a collar that would pull up aorund the neck for warmth and the pilot's cap was also longer than usual and fur lined. It gets cold at high altitudes! Besides, the only country that actually used this much was Germany, and to a lesser extent Britain in WWI, so they were in a cold area to start with. Obviously a carribean airship pirate would have lighter materials, but would still get a bit cold if they moved around at high altitude much, ergo the need for a coat at all.


© 2017   Created by Hephzibah Marsh.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service