Yo waddup, my peasants? It’s ur gurl with another dress project after–like– ten years!
I’m super disappointed in myself, I haven’t made anything since May with that yellow chintz gown. RIP my goal for 8 dresses this year! Ah well, performances and becoming internet famous got in the way (thank you, Met Museum security team. Don’t you ever change). I seriously thought I lost my sewing mojo, it was low-key depressing tbh. I’m SUPPOSED to be making an 1860s dress but those things look scary to make and while I will have to make it, I’m gonna procraftinate because that’s what I do best… That and procrastinate…I was getting bored with the lack of anything new and really wanted to make something quick that was long sleeved for winter because the busy season is upon us and I only have my purple polonaise and my riding habit as options, so I needed something. Well, I had given Erik some pink silk satin I used for lining my fairy godmother pelisse and he never used it– so I took it back! He had this fabric for two years, he has no excuse! Pink isn’t really his color, anyway. Blues and greens look so much better on him, it brings out the color in his eyes. Anyway, I only had two yards or so of it, not enough to make a gown, but enough to make a jacket… And that’s when it hit me…
I should make a jacket! I don’t have any jackets (that fit me. I got fat because I’m actually a trash panda) and jackets are so underrepresented in the fashionable aspect of living history! Oh yeah, it’s gonna be fetch, sooooo fetch!
So I could have gone a few ways about this; I COULD have used the JP Ryan jacket pattern, but everyone and their grandma has seen or worn one and I’m not here to reproduce something everyone has– I don’t stan for that– so I turned to extant garments for inspiration! I wanted to keep the jacket firmly in the 1770s to use for Hearts of Oak events while also keeping it versatile enough for the 1780s…
Oooh and hold the phone– there’s a jacket in the Nordiska Museet that’s literally the same color as the fabric I’m using! I then saw a few prints of thots rocking long sleeved jackets in the early 1770s, so it does seem this look is versatile. Gotta love historical thottery!
I see it again in 1776!
Going towards 1778, I start to see longer sleeves on jackets more, though it’s still not that common.
And, finally, in 1781, long sleeved jackets became all the rage for fashionable ladies!
Long story short, I can make this jacket work for the 1770s and 80s. For my pattern, I didn’t really have one that I wanted to use so I did what I do best– other than procrastinating– and Frankensteined pattern pieces together. I used the Larkin and Smith English gown bodice front, the JP Ryan caraco false stomacher, the Wingeo levite back, and the JP Ryan riding habit sleeves. My patterns are very much like myself, all over the place and horribly disorganized #noragrets. For the first time, I tried the Voldemort stitch or what reenactors like to call “the stitch with no name” but I’m calling it the Voldemort stitch because no one seems to want to say its name! Besides the “stitch with no name” sounds pretentious to me.
I dig using the Voldemort stitch and regret not using it before because boy does it cut my sewing time down! I had that bodice up in NO TIME at all! I avada kedavra’d the crap out of this project… Until I had to deal with the sleeves… which I may or may not have sewn on backwards once… Okay I did, fight me.
I lined the jacket in indigo polka dot chintz fabric and lined the sleeves in a lightweight wool because my arms get cold if I don’t have anything other than a heavy cloak covering them; this proved to be one of my rare intelligent decisions because it was cold and miserable this weekend and only wore my silk pelisse to match the jacket! In the end, the project was a quick but necessary success; I got my sewing mojo back and got a cute outfit too!
To accessorize my look, I went with my standard dormeuse cap (I really want to make another, more ruffled small cap), my Harlots levite sash, rose breast knot, sheer neckerchief, and Signofthegrayhorse earrings– which are SO fetch! I sew a few Galerie des Modes prints of women rocking neckerchiefs tied in a bow, so I had to do it! I mean, I have bows on my waist, why not?
The bow/crisscross neckerchief isn’t necessarily a French thing, as I came to believe; there are a few examples of British and American images of women rocking the crisscross neckerchief!
Turns out that style is just one of many ways to tie a neckerchief among the fashionable! Anyway, peasants, I’m out. I have a heavy brocade gown to sew for my girl Kelly, a Museum Monday to write, and two more concerts to perform. I’m looking forward to wearing this jacket more often because it’s soooo FETCH!