Welcome back to the Edo period coat restoration project! Last week was particularly busy at my day job, but I managed to sneak enough time over the weekend to fabricate the replacement toggle I wanted to add to my coat.
I needed such a small amount of cotton twill for the base of the toggle that I decided to just order a sample. Via Fabrics from Chicago on Etsy has a tremendous selection, and was so reasonably-priced that I ended up ordering two different colors to ensure I got the right shade. It is a bit lighter than the extant ones because I was unable to clean them! From arm’s length or further away, though, it’s a really good match – and the texture is spot-on. For some reason the iron-on interfacing I was trying to adhere refused to do so, however. So I just pinned the pieces together and the tacking stitches to affix the toggle base to the coat served to attach the two layers as well!
Then it was time to spend just HOURS cursing paracord and its slippery texture and tendency to twist constantly. 😦 Still, at the end of the experience, I had a completely passable sibling to the extant toggle, and I’d managed through no small amount of good fortune to align them perfectly. 😀
So why add this in the first place? Well, although I do have some speculation that the extant toggle could have been used to hold the coat open to clear access to the wearer’s swords, it does seem from photography that likely it had a partner toggle on the other side of the coat to fully close the flaps against the weather. In trying on the coat, I can confirm that without the additional toggle, the coat opens constantly which rather defeats the point!
So the real question is, then: who wore it better?
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the creation of the last piece of passementerie for my coat! Up next is the lining, which will all have to be hand-sewn in, and after that only the collar and hem facings will remain! So join me next time as I finally make my coat cozy and warm! ❤
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