Pattern: Self Drafted "Gabriella" jacket Fabrics: 100% cotton, all parts. Measurements: Chest: 35/36" Waist: 29/30" Hip: Free Hem: 39" Front, 42" Back (bumroll or rump) Back Width: 14" max Bicep: 13.5" max Summary A 3rd quarter 18th century Caraco jacket with comperes panel front closure and silk covered buttons. The jacket is fully edge trimmed with narrow box pleats that use the stripe print of the cotton. I stitched all the trim down by hand. The buttonholes are also hand worked, and the buttons are silk covered wood forms. The jacket is fully lined in unbleached muslin. The sleeve linings are set in by hand with slip stitching, so there are no raw or exposed seams anywhere inside the jacket. And because everything is cotton, this jacket and petticoat can be machine washed (although the ironing afterward to get the pleats back into nice order probably wouldn't be worth it. I would recommend hand washing anyway). The Trim I did do something new--at least for me--on this caraco with the trim. This is the first time I decided to apply pleated trim without the methodically math of making everything perfectly balanced. Of course I'm referring to the pleating method of "divide in half repeatedly until everything is pleated down in uniform increments." This time I just started with a long length of prepared cotton, with the edges already pressed under 1/2", and then I did all the pleating around just by sight. Doing this way, I realized, has two big benefits. One, it was less boring and irritating. Two, the end result is more "natural" looking, or perhaps period accurate because that obsession with precision in clothes wasn't the big thing in the 18th century. If anything, super even pleats, especially if the trim is contrasting, can make a garment look cheap and inaccurate because the trim will appear store-bought even if it isn't. Otherwise, there isn't much to be told on this ensemble. I've made this style many times before using the pattern I've been tweaking and adjusting for a years now. If you search the blog for "Gabriella" you will find other posts of jackets made from the same pattern, some with slight alterations. FINISHED
I made a new 18th century jacket this week, mainly because I wanted to have something new to wear at Isokyrö 18th century fair. I finished t...
I realized yesterday that there are many garments I've never posted. Even some that I had shown or talked about progress with! I'm still in the process of taking pictures of everything I've made, so here are a few different styles of jackets that I've created over the last three years: Caraco Jacket, based on this original in the V&A. The fabric is a cotton chintz from the Williamsburg collection that came out a few years ago. My biggest issue was the unusual shape of this garment. It was clearly made from either wide fabric, or was short enough to use it lengthwise. Unfortunately not the case with mine, so there are some hidden seams in the back. The fronts are fairly normal. The bodice and skirt are one piece. The facing is folded back and opens up below the waist. The side seams have pleats inside of them as well. There is a separate stomacher which is pinned on, then three sets of tabs extend across it. I wove the kerchief between them. The sleeve cuffs are pulled up by a cord over a button, with a small pleated trim. The back is the unusual part. I must admit I spent hours looking at the photos of the original, mapping out the chintz they used to see angles and possible seams. The center back pleat is just like a Robe a l'Anglaise, but just one instead of the normal two. What gets weird is that the sleeves are of the same piece as the back. Why? I have no clue, but it was a fun challenge to drape. There's no center back seam, and a small tuck is taken at the waist to shape it. I need to make a few alterations to the petticoat, it being too short and a little narrow for my taste. Bedgown, patterned from Diderot. I know there is a commercial pattern based on this, but I was curious to see what alterations had been made from the original. If you've ever seen it, the most obvious thing is that mine is a great deal shorter. The exterior is a worsted wool with a heavy linen lining. I wish the sleeves were longer, but I was using leftovers and ran out of fabric for that. The front ties with linen tape, and you would usually wear an apron over it. It's really all one piece with the seams up the sides, very geometric design. The back has a very deep box pleat that opens at the waist. I'm still struggling on how to make the collar part of the main garment and get it to lay correctly. The longer you cut the collar in back, the further down you're cutting into the back neckline. The modern patterns fix this with an added collar piece, but I wanted to see if I could follow the instructions exactly. It works, but pulls a little funny. Would probably fit a woman with 18th century posture better since their shoulders sit further back. Fitted jacket, from the Snowshill collection in Janet Arnolds book. I did make the cuffs a little smaller. The front pieces have gores put in to allow for the hips. I think mine needed to be a little larger and definitely taller. The cuffs are simple pleated bands, whipped on. The front pins closed. It's just a light weight linen, meant to be a good summer weight. The back has excess in the skirts at the seams, cut with extra "pie" wedges to create the fullness at the hem and not the waist. I'm still struggling to keep them looking decent, but I think it's the fabric. Short gown, which I don't really know provenance for. I've made dozens like it for where I used to work, and it's one of their fairly recent designs (so it's well researched I'm sure). It's very simple though, being a singular piece and unlined. There are facings on the sleeves to allow them to fold back. The center front laps over and pins shut. Edges are simply rolled to be finished. This is my lightest garment, made out of complete necessity for a Virginia summer. The back has pleats sewn in similar to a Robe a l'Anglaise to fit the garment to the body. There is a small piece used inside the back neckline to face it, rather than rolling the pleated edge. By far one of the easiest things I've made. I cut one out for my mother and handed her this as an example, which she completed easily in a weekend. She's a beginner to historical costumes, only having made a petticoat and apron prior to it. A quilted waistcoat isn't quite a jacket, I know. I did a post on this a while back, but these are much better images. Based on an original at the Atwater Kent Museum. Sharon Ann Burnston wrote an article about it here. Mine is a cotton chintz with linen lining, bamboo batting, and linen tape binding. A very simple design, it could be worn around the house for lounging, or along with stays for warmth. I sometimes wear it under a gown, occasionally over if the gown is not large enough to accommodate the added width. It isn't meant to be worn on it's own however. Namely, it's not a bodice!! I wouldn't wear it as the image shows in public.
With our guild's upcoming 18th C Picnic in Balboa Park this coming Saturday I finally kicked myself in the butt last month to replace my earlier red floral linen caraco that was too short-waisted for me. Every time I raised my arms or stood up from a chair, there was a gap between the jacket and the skirt. I actually tried to find some more of the linen to remake one but had no luck since I bought it about 5 years ago. I had lucked out buying this fabric while at Michael Levine's in the LA Garment District after Costume College. Sally Queen was there giving a private shopping tour of 18th C fabrics and overheard her saying this was perfect. So after they left I bought some. And I bought the solid red linen to go with it for a petticoat aka skirt. For this picnic I wanted something quick to make and my new JP Ryan short jacket pattern fit the bill. I'd seen a couple of them with the lacing in front and thought that might help with some of the fitting problems I've had with those front closures. I've made a couple versions where I used hooks & eyes on the side or in the center but always had to cover it with ruching. I'm also not a pinner, ie pinning it closed as you historically would. I like the varieties on this jacket that are possible of using different colored ribbons, a contrasting stomacher, or a reversible one. So I chose the pattern pieces to do View B but with the ribbon closure that shows on D. I'm going to wear my red linen skirt and hope to use it multiple times with other fabrics. I decided to use the cotton fabrics I bought in Williamsburg a couple years ago, both of which will go with my red petticoat. After checking the fabric amounts, I had 3 yds of the blue and 5 yds of the red. Obviously I bought the red to make another longer caraco or Anglaise. So instead of wasting that on a short jacket, I decided to just do the blue one. And whenever I get a brown or blue petticoat done, I can wear it with that too. At the bottom of this page on the Silly Sisters site you can see some other lovely fabrics to educate your eye on what to look for while searching for your own. http://www.sillysisters.com/clothing2.htm I've seen similiar fabric patterns at Michael Levines in the LA Garment District where I bought this blue and brown floral patterned cotton. If I ever get a blue petticoat made I can wear both the blue jacket and this with it. I found this beautiful 1770s short jacket in the Cora Ginsburg Collection and this would be an easy fabric to find if you wanted to copy it. I liked both the short jackets and caracos (they're longer) because they use less fabric than the Anglaise or polonaise, are less work and time consuming, and you can use them with different colored petticoats for a variety of looks. *Edited to add- I recently learned that both the short jacket and caraco are used interchangeably with caraco being the French term.* This pattern only had three main pieces plus the stomacher (the center panel that is separate from the bodice) and the sleeves. How much easier is that? I didn't have to alter the waist length on this one like I did on my previous Period Impressions caraco. In fact the only alteration I did was my usual enlarging the upper arm portion. I made my muslin first out of a good cotton muslin and decided to use that also to flatline my bodice. With it being so horribly hot lately I just wasn't feeling like cutting another flatlining fabric out, plus another lining. Yes, I am lining this because it needs a little more body and for once I'm going to bag-line it. I know, I always say I won't do that and just do facings all around. But this time I'm going for quick and easy. It's also closer to the period correct way of finishing it. Even with the three layers of cotton it's not bulky. My first caraco was made with my Victorian-bodice-mindset and I flatlined it in twill and put boning in the seams. I was a real newbie at Georgian/Colonial fashion. This was also the one I wore to Colonial Williamsburg and was told that the neckline should be just above the nipple line, not halfway up my neck. This pattern was the generic size and you were expected to alter it to your own body. So I can thank Janea Whitacre there for that wonderful bit of advice. And then seeing my friend Barbee Mullin's bodices that were wafer-thin set me on a different path too. I have to say going to Colonial Williamsburg was a great learning location for my costuming. So no more binding myself in the dress. I'll let the stays (corset) do that. The three pieces sewed together very quickly although the pattern doesn't have the usual notches that I'm used to. It does have little lines that I'm assuming are for matching the pieces because it was a little confusing as to what side of each piece went to what. You'd think with only three pattern pieces it wouldn't be that hard. but if you've separated them and set them aside and then later pick them up, they're not very obvious as to what they are or what side they belong on. So here's my tip: make a light pen or pencil mark in your seam allowance telling you that it's a center back seam or side back to center panel, etc. Or maybe make up your own notches. Ok, so all pieces were sewn together and my shoulder seams were wider on the front bodice on the armhole side. I just trued it up cutting off a little wedge. This pattern has two back styles so I'm thinking the front bodice portion is the generic size for them. When I sewed the muslin together all the pieces lined up properly but after I sewed the fashion fabric and flatlining together both sides of the lower portion of the jacket was longer than the front portions. Stretch issues?? Maybe, because I'm sure I did stretch the muslin down to get the ends to fit and ease them in. But the final length on the bottom was a 3" difference. Because I'm doing the baglining of the jacket, it will at least make it easier to deal with finishing those edges. I'm guessing this is just part of the style or maybe I'm supposed to trim it because the pattern doesn't say anything about it. The directions are minimal. The pattern is mostly a no-brainer on construction other than a few things you obviously are already supposed to know. I may have to wait for another trip to Williamsburg for some more great tips. In the meantime, I'm leaving that 3" difference alone and letting it be part of the jacket. It kind of folds into the flared portions. I'm doing View B as opposed to View D. *Now that I'm writing this, I again remembered that the front of the jacket is the generic one because this pattern has two lengths so maybe I was supposed to trim off that extra? But I wanted the longer length. Honestly I don't know. I'm not really that knowledgeable in Georgian fashion. While looking at some other short jackets I noticed a similar uneven bit. So I'm rationalizing that it's part of the way it pleats. At least until I learn otherwise let's call it done. * I took this to a sewing workshop with Shelley Peters to work on the sleeves there and once again had issues with them fitting my upper arms. I had enlarged it but I still had too much fullness in the sleeve caps. Shelley tried a few different things but in the end she asked why do I try to pleat the fullness in and it never gets it spread out smoothly when I could just gather them and ease it around. ?? Umm, I don't know, I guess because I thought it was easier than having to run it through the sewing machine twice on each side to gather it? Maybe leftovers from working on later time periods? So I basted a gathering stitch and guess what? They went in much better~ Not perfect but better. And they're done. Now I have to decide if I'm going to do sleeve ruffs to go with the cuffs I made next. Next up were the eyelets on the front that I'll be running my ribbon through. I think I read somewhere that people are using grosgrain ribbon for extra strength but I don't think I'll be able to find a blue or red one. I had all intentions of putting grommets in while at Shelley's class using her grommet setter but on asking one of my friends online, I was quickly chastised that grommets weren't used back then and I had to do handsewn eyelets. Darn. So I dug up a video online on how to do them. http://www.ehow.com/video_12303912_make-handsewn-eyelet-fabric.html And found a photo tutorial also. http://www.elvenhippiegypsy.com/Eyelets.html One of my blogging friends, Laurie, who often goes to Williamsburg, had a couple posts on making her 18th C jacket and I picked up a couple ideas from her, like her eyelets and how they looked on the inside. Notice there's no cut thread between each eyelet? Not sure why but methinks maybe so you don't have knots and makes it look cleaner. To read more on her jacket- http://teacupsinthegarden.blogspot.com/2014/03/pink-floral-on-blue-18th-century-jacket.html I was finally down to two weeks before the picnic and still had to do those eyelets. I started making the holes with my awl and stitching them with two strands of embroidery floss but as fast as I stitched, the holes closed up. I have arthritis in my thumb and the more I fought this, the more it hurt. After getting two finally done and putting some Fray Check on so the holes would stop shrinking, I had to set it aside. It just hurt too much. And I still had 8 more to go. One evening Shelley stopped by on her way home with her grommet setter and we did it. Then I covered them with my embroidery floss stitches so they wouldn't show. I'm sorry all you historically correct people but I have my limits. I put it on my dressform to see if it’s going to work. I think so. I bought some royal blue 5/8" ribbon and pulled out my bodkins I bought a few years ago from Silly Sisters and laced it up. Umm, no. Not going to work with a ladder lacing. It needs to tie at the top with a pretty bow, darn it. So I did a crisscross lacing starting at the bottom and was able to lace it on top. Historically the stomacher is pinned to the stays to hold it in place and you wear your jacket over it. I'm a newbie and that's not working for me. I won't tell you what I'm doing to do that but you won't be able to see it, and right now that's all that's important to me. I get to wear it. Photos of it on me and everyone else at the picnic will be forthcoming next week. ~~Val~~
Countess Olympe asked the question,
Countess Olympe asked the question,
Countess Olympe asked the question,
Countess Olympe asked the question,
In her post this morning (well, morning for me, at least), fellow blogger Carolyn posed the question of why closures on womenswear are right over left, while those on menswear are left over right.There some commonly given answers to this, and her commenters, including yours truly, faithfully provided these: 1. men dressed themselves, women were dressed, making this closure easier for their usually right-handed maids or 2. It was a decency thing, this way the person helping a lady onto her horse, or holding the animal while she was mounted side-saddle couldn't peek between the buttons of her riding clothes. Those are the ones I knew. But they raise questions. Which way would you sit when riding side-saddle? How about the closures on the maid's dress? And when did this closure-rule start anyway? I could do something to answer the last question. I own a book on 19th century fashion, but as I had expected, all the clothes in it closed the way we would expect now: left over right for men, right over left for women. Luckily, I own another book on historical costume: the great 'Costume in detail' by Nancy Bradfield. This book is almost literally overflowing with detailed drawings of clothes from 1730 to 1930, also showing the insides and undergarments which you normally don't get to see. I can recommend it if you're a clothing, pattern and history geek like me. What I found there was interesting. This ladies' riding jacket, dated between 1720 and 1750, closes left over right. So does this unusual button-fronted stomacher from 1766. And this coat from 1828 as well. The jacket and the coat both seem to be utilitarian garments. Obviously cut for women, but less decorative than the fashion items of their times, obviously ment for outdoor activity and inspired by menswear in their details. Of course, the normal dress of the 18th century was open-fronted with petticoats underneath and a stomacher covering the chest between the edges of the dress. There simply were no overlapping closures in fashionable ladies' clothes. The buttoned stomacher is pictured with the comment that it's a highly unusual item. The coat is from a time when, after a few decades of empire-line dresses, the dress waist was starting to return to the position of the natural waist. Of the empire-line items, there are no clear images showing button closures, but surplice bodices are closed left over right. After 1835, small waists and big skirts are back and this time, they are often separated. 'Dresses' are now in many cases bodices with separate skirts. And these bodices are sometimes closed at the front, with buttons. And if so, they are closed right over left, like in this 1865 example. So, that's it then. The 'button-rule' is apperently a 19th century invention, made when buttoned clothes for women were starting to become common for every day wear. It seems that, historically, button closures entered womenswear as a menswear inspired fashion. Much like the left over right button flies on women's jeans today (other women's trousers with fly fronts usually close right over left and what's the point of a button fly for a woman?) They were copied as they were as long as they were only used for special outdoor kit, but it seems that when they started to be seen a lot, a 'female variation' was made. Does anyone know whether it is really in the Bible that women are not allowed to wear men's clothes? I know people believed this in the Middle Ages, and for some time after that. It was one of the reasons Joan of Arc was convicted as a witch and a heretic. That would explain the need to differentiate. (of course I'm aware that in many christian groups today, women don't wear trousers. I just don't know where biblical law meet time-honored tradition in this case) Well, that's my twopence on the button-rule. I hope I satisfied some curiosity, but I think I mainly raised more questions. I welcome your insight in this matter!
The 59-year-old looked like she was joining Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in her Beatles inspired jacket and Lennon shades.
There are few women in this world who can resist the charm of flowers. Flowers have always been a symbol of beauty, and women, irrespective of age or origin are enraptured by their very presence. As you know, I'm constantly instagramming the latest peony in bloom. It's difficult to verbalise why I find so much joy in gazing at pretty blossoms - but I don't think I'm alone in that!
My latest project is this 1790s jacket inspired by a 1790s jacket from the Imatex (Centre de Documentació i Museu tèxtil) here: you can access lots of stuff there, if you want to look at the 1790s jacket, go to advanced search, then search for Register number 11551, then go to "full record" and voilà you can see pictures and read a despription in Catalan. I don't really understand catalan, but I think it's a children's jacket (they say) and the pictures do explain the rest. I call it the "Imatex jacket" (for obvious reasons). What threw me a bit was, that I couldn't find many fashion plates depicting similar jackets. The ones that could be called similar were from fashion plates in the 1780s, but I suppose that doesn't mean much. The following 3 pictures show the original jacket from the IMATEX collection. original Imatex 1790s jacket original Imatex 1790s jacket original Imatex 1790s jacket. This is the view of my pattern: I've used the JPR Anglaise pattern as a start and then worked away on it. The sleeves are from Wingeo 207, but again, altered quite a bit (as I am NOT a giant). and these are the fabrics silk repp in light cream with dots, silk damask in light blue/beige, ivory silk taffeta (for lining). Soutache apricot (not pictured) :) I've used peach coloures soutache (2,5mm wide), about 12 metres. At first I was really sceptic about it, but I've used a colour scheme thingy on the internet called Paletton and determined the complementary colour to my blue-grey-brown silk was, in fact, peach. Wow, they did know what they were doing abck then. :) So I dived in head first and attached the soutache. I am NOT a peach person... really. But I like the result. ;) My biggest problem (apart from sleeves, right and left, buttonsholes patience and stuff like that) was to get fabric for the sleeve buttons matching the soutache - apricot IS A NIGHTMARE! I did manage after months of repetitive visits to the fabric store (selfless...). :) And here are pictures of the result: I am planning to make a matching hat like this for it, but have not got the materials for it yet (apart from the feathers and the black ribbon...)
Someone looks coooollldddd.It's cold outside. Really cold. Really wet. Really windy.It can safely be assumed that back in the 18th c it was also cold, wet, and windy, particularly in countries like England, which are known for this sort of charming weather.There
Jacket and petticoat ca. 1718 From the Museu del Disseny
Countess Olympe asked the question,