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!

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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 smoke-fire.com, 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...

http://www.woodcentral.com/cgi-bin/readarticle.pl?dir=smalser&f...

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...

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=184809

And I just found what looks to be the perfect pattern. Link...

http://www.suitability.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=5400
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.

http://www.equinewebdesign.com/links/links_sew-your-own.html
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 recently....at 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!
I've finished one of these before...I bought such an aussie coat guys for a theatre production a few years past. 20 bucks at a antique thrift store. I needed 10 of them, but could only find one. I made all ten after deconstructing the one. After disassemble it was only about 5 pieces total and makes for easy dissassemble with a seam ripper & a pair or sciccors. if you start with a good origanal you can also deconstruct the lining too :D. Take the waterproofing advice for sure. You don't want a chat with a pissed off fire engine crew or roomate :P.

Good Luck with the project
Share pics when ya finish :D
Mine was closer to the second & I actually wear a WW2 army coat here in Denver in the winters...gotta remember it gets cold in the dirigible LOL. I found mine at an army surplus....got any good ones in your neck of the woods?
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.

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