Monday, December 1, 2014

Historical Sew Fortnightly #22

After my massive, nearly a year long project was finished (and which I still owe photos), I figured I'd take a break from sewing. Step away from the machine, do other things for a while, and probably let the rest of the challenges slide. I didn't even have an idea for the Gentlemen challenge, so a break would be had. Except, I made that Regency turban. And the burgundy linen was fantastic to work with. And a matching spencer would fit the challenge and be awesome. So within a few days of getting back from BurCon, I was onto my next project.

I didn't have a pattern, but I soon realized that modifying my bustle era bodice would be a lot easier than trying to adapt a modern coat pattern since my bustle bodice already fit and had the curved back seams that were popular from the 1700s through to 1900s. (Possibly earlier, but I haven't really looked at the 1600s.) I extended the front shoulder pieces by two inches, and subtracted them from the back. I cropped it short and added two inches to the hem circumference so it wouldn't be overly tight. I followed Sensibility's instructions for constructing a spencer, but used Tea in a Teacup's idea of interlining it with cotton flannel. (She also gave me the inspiration of adding awesome shoulder thingys.)

The jacket is burgundy linen blend, interlined with cotton flannel and lined with thin muslin.
Close up of shoulder cap, which has brown piping at the shoulder seam and yellow trim along the edge.
Spencer closes with hook and eyes. Front edge is piped in upholstery trim and left over yellow trim from my turban. Buttons are textured metal, and the bottom edge has the burgundy tassel fringe that I tried to use on my turban.
The side back seams are piped in brown, and a tab is piped with the trim from the front edge and sewn down with buttons.
The spencer while worn. The shoulder caps flare out slightly. The sleeves have tabs on them, trimmed in the last of the yellow soutache from the turban and sewn down with buttons. The sleeves are extra long and reach my knuckles, and are finished with brown piping.
The back. I should have added a half inch to the back armscye, as it has a tendency to pull. The back tab pulls in the waist slightly, and the extra fabric is stitched down in pleats to prevent shifting.
With matching turban

I am super proud of this jacket. This is the first time when making my own pattern that I felt like I did everything in the right order. Normally I'll realize I should have done something earlier and have to finagle it to get it to work. The trims went down in the right order, the jacket fits wonderfully, and all the little details really pull it together. I even did a fish eye dart at the elbow of the sleeves, AND clipped the flannel close to the stitching so it isn't bulky. I've taken to wearing this spencer on a regular basis, and have plans for it. I've added buttons to the interior, and plan to pick up more linen, interline it and trim it, and attach it to a band that can be buttoned to the inside for an instant pelisse. I'm also going to make a matching petticoat to combine with the spencer for a period riding habit.

   I apologize for weird formatting, Blogger is being an asshole.
The Challenge: #22 Gentlemen

Fabric: Burgundy linen blend, red and brown cotton flannel remnants, muslin remnant

Pattern: Self made, adapted from my bustle era bodice

Year: 1800-1810. I picked and chose bits from styles I liked for a generally earlier Regency silhouette.

Notions: Cotton thread, metal buttons, polyblend piping, hooks and eyes, four kinds of yellow polyester trim and a burgundy polyester trim.

How historically accurate is it? The style and cut is good. The outer fabric should be pure linen, as should the thread, and I'm not sure how accurate cotton flannel interlining is. All of the trims are polyester, and it was machine stitched. Let's say 40%.

Hours to complete: 20 - 30.

First worn: About a week ago, to the grocery store to get ice cream. Not yet worn as part of a historical costume.

Total cost: The fabric was $11, the interlining was two remnants, total of about $5, the lining was $3. Most of the buttons were bought on clearance, though I did pay full price for one pack, total $5. Trims cost the most, but I think in total the spencer cost me around $40.


1 comment:

  1. Ooh, no wonder Leimomi put this in her favourites, it's jaw-droppingly lovely! (I'm not sure that's a combination of words one would normally use, but it describes my feelings perfectly. :D)
    I love all the details in it, the braiding, buttons, tabs... everything.