In the early 1900’s the cars were open to the elements and offered no protection from the dusty and unpaved roads. ‘Motoring’ was considered an outdoor sport and people needed something for warmth and protection for their clothing. Loose and full length ‘car coats’ fit the bill.
By midcentury they had become what they are now, a loose, shorter jacket, casual and easy. Something you’d throw on for a trip to the grocery store, pick up the kids from school or wear to a football game.
I love the idea of a looser, softer jacket and have been wanting to add one into my collection. After a few tries, here she is, car coat jacket #1!
It’s sewn from a beautiful meisen kimono silk with bright red, orange and peach ‘kiku,’ or, chrysanthemums. I added a contrasting collar for some variety by using a print of cherry blossom flowers in a deep purple and cream.
This gorgeous fabric is the perfect example of the meisen technique. An amazing fabric, it’s first woven, then printed with the design. Then, unwoven and finally, rewoven so that threads do not line up exactly and the designs end up with soft, blurred edges.
The collar can also be worn up. And it’s a car coat, so of course, it has to have pockets. They’re hidden on the sides.
I was pleased with the first one. It did exactly what I wanted, it’s comfortable and loose but has enough shape so it’s flattering.
Next up, a pieced version.
I’m using this oh so cool speckled kimono silk and am piecing it with a beautiful red and white stripe. I wanted the little pieces of the striped fabric to be flying apart, as though they had been thrown up into the air on a windy day and fell scattered about.
I’m still working on the left side of the front, the other front pieces are finished. Next up, the back, sleeves and collar.