Sewing Saturday – My New Lab Coat

Yeah, I know. I’m not publishing this on a Saturday. But I did the sewing on Saturday. Last Saturday, in fact.

But I was also slightly (ok, very) sick at the time, so I only took pictures and didn’t do much else (aside from the sewing, of course.)

Truth be told, I actually didn’t sew much that day either, except for four buttonholes and four buttons. What I did instead was paint.

But let’s go back to the title. What’s this about a new lab coat?

I work in a lab. I’m a geochemist. Lab coats are basically obligatory. The problem is, lab coats tend not to fit well. No matter what size you get, they’re ill fitting and you have to roll the sleeves – which can be a problem.

I’ve been known to do a little sewing, so I decided to make a lab coat that was fitted exactly to me. And since I would make my own lab coat, this one would be… special.

I decided to make it modeled after a medieval tabard, and paint it with the heraldic arms (or device) of Herongarde.

The Arms of Herongarde - more or less

The Arms of Herongarde – more or less

It turns out that lab coats are fairly easy and cheap to make. An inexpensive cotton-poly blend fabric is all that’s needed. (I probably doubled the cost of mine by adding the paint.)

I used my tried-and-true personal pattern that I use for all my period clothing. This coat is tailored to fit me, and only me. I’d better not gain any weight!

On Saturday, I decided it was time to paint the device onto the fabric, using specially made fabric paint. While I was at it, I also painted the device onto a blue T-shirt I bought.

First, I had to get the heron onto the fabric. To do this, I employed a printed copy of the heron and a light box from my old slide photography days.

Tracing the heron onto the fabric.

Tracing the heron onto the fabric.

Ready to start painting.

Ready to start painting.

Then I began to color it in. Yes, with a paint brush.

The back of the lab coat.

The back of the lab coat.

The front of the T-shirt

The front of the T-shirt

They’re both essentially finished now.

A T-shirt and a lab coat bearing the arms of Herongarde

A T-shirt and a lab coat bearing the arms of Herongarde

The final steps now are to hem the lab coat, draw in some details in black paint on both, and give them a proper wash. And then, I’ll be the coolest kid in the lab!

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