My sewing friend Carla Fracchia and I worked together recently at The Sewing Workshop in San Francisco. Her mother came to visit the class one day and brought along a fantastic gift for Carla–a vintage magenta silk-satin couture opera coat. It was magnificent and worth examining.
Carla’s grandfather was at one time President of I. Magnin, a very prestigious San Francisco department store. As you might imagine, Carla’s grandmother wore the best of the best, including this beautiful coat. (Just to give you an idea of the company her grandparents kept, Carla’s godmother was the legendary Irish designer Sybil Connolly). The coat was made by Monte-Sano & Pruzan, a New York-based company known in the 50’s and 60’s for its fine workmanship and expensive garments.
Carla’s quite petite, so the coat will have to be sized down for her, but it’s totally doable. What a beautiful (and inspiring) garment!
My thanks to Susan Bertolli (another sewing friend!) for modeling the coat, and to Carla for the photographs.
The front of the coat.
The back of the coat.
The beautiful pleats at the elegantly-placed top back edge.
And, I love the undersleeve gusset; the sleeves are on the bias, giving a lovely roll to their bottom edge.
Please note the nicely-covered snaps and the very elegant base of the bias rouleau closure.
The I.Magnin label
And the Monte-Sano & Pruzan label
Hair canvas, used throughout, is responsible for the shape of the garment and the beautiful roll lines of the pleats and the center front edges of the coat.
And here I’ve replicated the closure. It’s easy to do, and elegant to look at:
First, a bias tube is created. Then it’s shaped and held carefully with pins. It’s carefully…
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