For my gray wool paletot (early 1860s style jacket) I drafted up the pattern from my black sheer widow's dress bodice. I knew pattern shapes for long, half-fitted (period term) paletot but ended up with some crazy sharp turns at the waistline and strong bias skirt edges.
After I sewed up the muslin and dressed my dressform with hoop and skirt and paletot muslin, I promptly took a break. Oh no - it really didn't fit. Or rather, the bodice back part did, the front seemed way too big (no shaping at all) and the lower part was too tight over the hoop. sigh...
On my break I studied a massive amount of CDV's and orginal articles (over 1000!) brought to me by my friend Bridget.
(One a funny side note - I found one, just one, CDV of a woman (clearly female) with a side-part hairstyle. Now, that was a man's favored hair parting, but if I wanted to stand out in my Civil War group I have proof that at least one woman who did it.)
Anyway, I changed my trim options several times (remember I have 4" rayon fringe and rattail cord to play with). I found NO original paletots photographed or in CDVs that had fringe along the hemline. Sleeves, yes. Bodice, yes. Hem, no.
After an hour of studying I decided to go tackle the fitting.
Tools: scissors, pins and extra muslin pieces, oh and colored pens and a pencil.
Here are the final fitted shots:
Look at the front - you can see space between the waist and the sleeve - excellent!
Fitted back and hem lengthened: