One of the things I love about following costuming blogs & pintrest sites is that I find out about so much that I didn't know about. I was taking a facebook break from sewing on Saturday and someone posted an album of pictures of the Georgian national garment, the choka.... and it was obsession at first sight for me!
I knew Jay needed one (even if he wasn't so sure) and I set about scouring the web for a pattern. Normally, my google fu is pretty formidable but a couple of hours and the best I could come up with was a comment on the Reconstructing History facebook page asking if there were any plans for a pattern and a pic of a cutting diagram from a book (no measurements of course) from gdfalksen.com. With the limited time I have to sew (and the amount of other projects I have planned) drafting something workable from the cutting diagram was not something I was looking forward to. And let's not even talk about the applique on the front. That was going to take a lot of experimentation.
Finally, I decided the chokha would have to be a long term project and decided to call it a night. Still, visions of chokha danced in my head as I went upstairs and I decided to check out the out of print Folkwear 503 pattern for a Cossack coat that I'd bought kind of on a whim from Amazon Dry Goods a couple of weeks ago. I vaguely remembered the coat being the same shape as the chokha.. maybe it would be a jumping off point and save me having to draft from the diagram.....
Rummaging through the men's pattern bin in the sewing room, I find the Cossack coat pattern... and damned it I don't realize that it's not just a good starting point to work from... it is a chokha, down to the applique on the front (for which directions are included in the pattern).
The serendipity for this (considering that I haven't had any interest in Russian/Eastern European for years and the pattern is out of print) is mindboggling. I clearly should have played the lottery on Saturday.
There may be a chokha in Jay's future after all...whether he wants one or not! :)