I spent hours looking at screenshots and trying to figure out what the leather armour underneath the Hunter coat actually looked like, so when Bioware added new casual outfits to Skyhold, I was ridiculously pleased that this was one of them! I spent about a week taking screenshots and making sketches before settling on a pattern and it took me about three weeks to get it wearable for MCM Birmingham, even though it still needs a fair amount of work (and lots of buttons!) before it’s finished. I tend to hand-sew as much as possible, partly because my sewing machine is ancient and prefers eating fabric to stitching it, but mostly because I find sewing by hand relaxing, so making anything takes me ten times longer than it actually needs to!
If I ever remake this, I don’t think I’ll go about construction in quite the same way again. I knew that I was going to need to put a layer of wadding in it to give it some weight but I didn’t have any to hand and I didn’t want to keep putting it off until I could get a new roll delivered, so I started with the outer layer.
I think I spent twice as long doing the “decorative” stitching along the outside of the seams than I did putting it together. Over-sized, messy stitches were surprisingly difficult – I tried to channel my inner Sera and imagine what her attempts at repairing her equipment might look like, but she must have been working really hard in tongue-sticking-out concentration to impress the fashion-conscious Madame de Fer!
I managed to get the wadding and the lining fitted, and with a week to go I started panic-sewing the straps. Although only six are visible on the front, I assume that a seventh is covered by Lavellan’s belt, and there are two on the lower back. Fortunately, I was planning to wear it under my coat and wrap, so I figured I could get away with four in the interim, which I managed just in time for the con.
I’m slowly but steadily working on the rest, so I’ve got three straps, some more decorative stitching and a shed-load of buttons to sculpt, but it’s coming together – hopefully I might have it done by the time our next convention rolls around!
I was a little disappointed that I didn’t think to take my coat off and get a picture of it at Birmingham, but I did get a post-con selfie!