I love original garments. I love fashion plates. I love reproducing the garments in them. I love patterns pulled from extant garments. I don't love ending up with the exact same garment as everyone else who made the pattern. My solution to the is problem is having a standard set of patterns that I know fit me and pulling pieces of different patterns to create different looks.
My current project is a Federal Era redingote/pelisse. I cut it out last year for the Treat of Ghent event in Camden, SC. I was then told by a well meaning friend that American women didn't wear them. I reached out to several friends in the museum field and we came to the conclusion that American women did in fact wear coats. There is a late 18 teens pelisse in the Agreeable Tyrant exhibit attributed to a Michigan woman. There is also a pelisse in the collection of the Charleston Museum. These coats were enough for me to determine that it was in fact OK for me to proceed with my pelisse.
Looking through fashion plates and extant coats I decided to use a gold silk faille that I had been holding on to for years. Not my color, but extremely fashionable for Regency or Federal Era clothing. As far as style, I wanted something for late teens. I liked the renaissance style puffed sleeves on the Agreeable Tyrant pelisse. I also have a fashion plate in my collection that shows a coat in the same color, but with a crazy lining. I would have recreated the fashion plate if I could only find a silk print like the plates. I decided to settle for a gold pelisse similar in style to the two coats combined. Oh, but where to find the pattern? I had pattern 216 by Fig Leaf Patterns which almost exactly like the bodice of the Agreeable Tyrant pelisse. I decided that was the perfect place to start. Now on to the skirts! I could draft them myself, but why reinvent the wheel? I pulled out pattern 220 also by Fig Leaf Patterns to make the skirts. I used the pattern last year to make a ball gown and I liked the gored skirt which was roomy, but flat across the front (avoiding the everyone looks like they are expecting in Regency gowns look). I cut the front panels individually rather than on the fold like the pattern suggests to create the two front panels.
Now here is where the coat turns into a fantasy garment. I was watching the Witcher (yes, I am a science-fiction/fantasy goofball) and loved the fur trim on Yennifer's coat. I remembered I had an old 1970's fur coat that was falling apart that she thought I could use for something rather than throw it away. I did go back to the originals and fashion plates rather than go completely off of the deep end. I found several fur trimmed pelisses in my own fashion plate collection and a fur trimmed extant in Napoleon Empire of Fashion by Cristina Barreto. (Here is the back view. I couldn't find the front view in a shareable link. ) I decided to do a fur collar, a small fur cuff, fur down the front, and around the hem. The old coat would amply supply all of this with some remaining left over for future use.