Vintage Pattern Envelope and Pattern Sheet Detail: Vogue 1940s bias cut coat

Vogue no. 8262 was available sometime during the 1940s. The design is deceptively simple and looks like a quick and easy project. Once you review the pattern details you might think twice. The coat front and back pieces are cut on the bias and has bound buttonholes, a roll collar and bound pockets. I would have to think twice about making this coat on the bias because the recommended fabrics like wool and silk crepe can be very expensive. As a thought exercise I find the study of this design very useful in considering other ways to achieve the look without the angst bias cut fabric can induce. There is the stretching and sagging that might occur due to mishandling. The coat does not have a lining so that makes it simpler in some ways.

The pattern envelope describes this style as:

“Coat, beach robe or long monk-like hooded house robe. Bias front and back worn hanging free from shoulders, or belted at waist with wide novelty or corded tie belt. Long loose gathered-at-top sleeves. The small shaped c0llar and inset pockets are optional.”

There are no belt loops for the coat which would make using a wide belt impractical if you plan to take the coat on and off throughout the day. I think If I were to attempt to recreate something like this I might cut it on the straight grain using the basic pattern for a tent coat and add more flares to the pattern. Instead of bound pockets I’d make in-seam pockets so that the flow of the flares is not interrupted.

The pattern instruction sheet is very brittle and torn in some places. For this reason I could not scan the entire sheet. I’m posting here the portions about the sleeve stiffener and shoulder pad since these details are helpful for recreating a period look. This coat uses a sleeve stiffener (a/k/a sleeve head) that is sewn into the cap of the sleeve. The shoulder pad is home made using cotton batting and a lining fabric to cover it. The pattern does not specify how many layers of batting to use nor does it give a height for the finished shoulder pad. Since the sleeve head is used I’d think a very thin shoulder pad about 1/8″ to 1/4″ high would be sufficient.

This pattern was a gift my late Mom gave to me. I know that if she were younger when she selected this she would have liked to wear view D as a house coat. The loose style and flowing silhouette would be flattering for any figure type. This simplicity and adaptability of this coat are typical of what my Mom considered a style that can move with you through the years and still work well.

BYW version of the illustration

Pattern alteration instructions

Instructions for making the sleeve head

Instructions for the shoulder pad (note the triangular shape)