A long awaited Spencer Jacket (HSM 3/2017)

I finally did it, the one thing I’ve been talking (and thinking about) for about 4 years.

I made a Regency Spencer!

Yay!

I’ve been wanting one since I first got into this hobby.
Doing the occasional regency dance recital in our often les then agreeable Swedish climate (I’m thinking of you – dance recital oct 2013), I felt I really needed someting more then a shawl and mittens to keep the cold of my back between shows.

So in planing this years HSM I (as usual) added the wish to maybe this year would be the year when I finally made that jacket. Not getting any big hopes up, what with a baby, starting work again, and another big costume all wanting my attention.

inspiration

But somehow I managed to get inspired, and to whip it out in between baby’s naps and other projects costume fittings.

I started by trying to decide which of my two Spencer patterns to use. Full of indecision I actually patterned and made mock-ups of them both.
Laughing Moon 129 “Wrap front Spencer”
 
I like the fit, and I LOVE the back peplum, and it was fairly easy to get together.

Period Impression 461 “1809 Spencer jacket”
I like the fit of the bodice, even though it felt a bit long and the peplum in the back was so wide it kind of got lost. Something that would be easily fixed, and I do love the way the waistband goes cross the sides and fasten on to the back piece.
I’ve also heard a lot (and not the good stuff) about the sleeves on this pattern, so I decided to try 2 different styles. The left sleeve is the original, which was bulky at the top, narrow at the wrist and twisted along the arm. For the left sleeve on my mock-up I used the previous patterned “Laughing moon” sleeve, which surprisingly fitted both my arm and the sleeve-cap much better.

After some debating back and forth my boyfriend decided for me, and I went with the “Laughing moon” style, with the fold down collar and the nice sleeves.

Then I busted my stash and found a lovely burgundy colored wool I bought for a Regency gentlemen tailcoat a few years back. I figured I could always get more fabric if I ever felt the need to make that (like that’s ever going to happen…).

Not sure if it was the reference image that inspired me or not (probably), but I also decided to make the collar and cuffs out of some black wool I got a whole bolt of in my stash.

So as usual, I cut the fabric, pinned and stitched the main pieces together. bodice stitched together.

I made the sleeves

end stitched, cut, turned and attached the collar.I haven’t padstiched anything since fashion school, and it felt great doing it again.

I inserted the lining, and clipped and turned the bodice.

Then I tried it on.  Sorry for the pore quality mirror selfies

That’s when I realized something was of with the collar.
 Jupp, thats my boobs, and a VERY un-evenly attached collar

After some carefully re-measuring I discovered I’d stitched it on more then 1,5 cm uneven.
Crap!
After some hesitation, where I tried to figure out how to fix the problem in the easiest way possible, I un-picked the stitches a few cm around the “to long” edge, and turned in the amount of fabric/collar needed to make it even. Then I hand stitched it closed again. That’s what you call cheating, but there was no way I would un-pick the whole collar, with the seam-allowence already cut and jacked.

I also needed to re-stitch the points of the darts a tiny bit lower, to get it to sit nicely over my stays.

Then I finished it up, by attaching the sleeves and adding hook & eye for closure.

It was around this point, when trying to iron the collar to lie nicely, I realized I’d totally forgot to make the the inner facing on the front edge.

Doh… 😦

That would explain the white lining peaking out way to much.
Serves me right, for not wanting to waste time or tracing paper on linings and facings, but simply using the main pattern pieces for everything.

Well not much to do then to use force (which meant several rows of stitches and a whole loot of steam) to try to get it to lie nice.

The finished Spencer:

All the facts:

Challenge: Nr 3/2017 “The great Outdoors”

What: a 1800-1830s Regency spencer.

How it fit the challenge: It’s a wool jacket meent to be worn outdoors. The color (and my accessories) also makes it perfect as a riding outfit.

Pattern: Laughing Moon 129 “Ladies wraping front Spencer”

Fabric and notions: 1,5 m burgundy colored wool, scraps of black wool, 1,5m white cotton for lining, thread, 2 pair of hooks and eyes.

How historical accurate: So so. The Pattern and material are all good, but it is made entirely by machine using modern construction techniques. Strictly speaking it would be a 5/10, but since people of the period wouldn’t notice the machine stitched seams unless they were rely close I say 8/10.

Time: About 6-7 hours. It took me a week to make du to needed to wait for baby to sleep, but I’m confident I could whip one up in less then a day if I could work without interruptions.

Cost: Everything came from stash, but bought anew it would have cost about 150-200sek (20Usd).

First worn: Late mars for photos.

Final thoughts: I love it! I felt so nice in it, and would love to wear it as a piece in my modern wardrobe (Hm, maybe it will work well with jeans and a t-shirt…). It was also very fun and fast to make, and I’m already thinking about making a few more.

Bonus pic of me (multitasking) trying to get some blogging done in between mock-up fittings.

1900s Autumn Suit – Photoshoot

To get some photos of my new Edwardian wool dress, I took the opportunity to use my fiancees workplace as settings and my sister as photograph.

I’m wearing: The brown/plaid wool skirt, lacy shirtwaist, wool bolero and my Titanic hat (with a quick fix-up) Underneath I have my S-shaped corset, petticoat, chemise, corset cover, stockings and black “American Duchess” Gibson shoes.

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IMG_9011Photo: Maria Petersson

1900s Brown Bolero Jacket

The night before the photoshoot of my new Edwardian shirtwaist and skirt, I decided I also needed a jacket
(I know – Crazy!).

So while adding buttons to the blouse, I also drafted a quick pattern from “The Edwardian Modiste” by Frances Grimble, which I’ve been eyeing for quite a while.
20150915_074642_resizedSuch a cute jacket/bolero.
Then I grabbed a piece of soft wool, which of course matched the beige in the plaid skirt perfectly, from my stash and begun cutting and sewing.

It all went so fast and within, half an hour I had a functional bolero.

Then all I needed to do was to hem the sleeves and bodice and to decorate it.
I altered between some dark pom-pom trim and the simpler soutage ribbon in soft nougat. The later won the fight, and my only regret is that I didn’t had enough to also trim the sleeves.

IMG_8882The bolero from the inside – all edges left raw.

I also added a hook and bar to wear it close if I want to.

The finished bolero:
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Just the facts:

Challenge: HSM/15 nr 9 – Brown

What: a 1900s bolero jacket

Pattern: I drafted my own using “The Edwardian Modiste” by Frances Grimble as a guide (basically a front + back bodice and a wide sleeve cut apart at the top)

Fabric & Notions: 0.5 of soft light brown wool, thread, hook and eye and 2 m soutage ribbon for decoration.

Time: 3 hours! Such a fun and quick project.

Cost: 45 Sek (6 Usd) – a leftover scrap, to small for anything really, I bought on sale a year ago.

How historical accurate: Not sure. The pattern is based on a actual pattern, but I might have modernized both it and the construction techniques. The internal seams are machined and all the finishing are done by hand – like in the period. The fabric is plausible and the silhouette are about right so I would guess about 7/10.

Final Thoughts: I love it so much! I could wear it to the office right now (I might have to reduce the sleeves a bit first though). The fabrics so soft and the shape is just lovely. The only thing i ca think of that’s not perfect is that I didn’t considered the stiffness of the wool when drafting the sleeves – thous making them a bit to wide. They will probably look better in a more drapery fabric.
I might also add some more trim later on when I find something I like.

The whole outfit:
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And since you always need something on your head I draped some leftover fabric on an modern straw hat, to get that big Edwardian hat shape.IMG_8884

Next up: The photoshoot

1900s Brown Plaid Skirt

As soon as I laid eyes on this fashion plate I knew I wanted it
(and of course the costume ;-))0aa238a070b160e1062e58eda9df1551

Jen at Festive Attyre made the most fabulous recreation of it a while back.auto4And even though I knew I could never match her skill or perfect Edwardian look, I really wanted a similar look.

So when the HSM challenge 9 – “Brown” approached I scouted out my stash for the perfect brown and plaid wool fabric, and got to work.
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I drafted the pattern using Nora Waughs “The cut of women’s clothes”
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I cut the pieces on the bias, carefully matched the plaid to meet at an angel at the seams.
IMG_8788 IMG_8790Matching the plaid

I used some white cotton for the foundation and stitched bias-tape to make boning channels to get that nice body-hugging look of the corseted skirt of this era.
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The skirt closes at the front with hooks and eyes, over a placket and secured with another pair of bones.
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I finished by hemming the skirt using a 10 cm wide strip of beige cotton for hem-facing.
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And that’s it.IMG_8823The skirt from the inside

The finished Skirt:
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Just the facts:

Challenge: HSM15 nr 9 – Brown

What: A 1900s brown/plaid walking skirt.

Pattern: I drafted my own using Nora Waugh’s “The cut of women’s clothes”

Fabric: 3 m of plaid wool an bits and scraps of cotton for interlining and hem-facing.

Notions: Thread, 2 m of bias-tape, 2m of boning, and hooks and eyes for clouser.

Time: About 10 hours – the fabric matching and hand stitched hem took more time then usual.

Cost: About 200 Sek (32Usd) – all material came from stash but I bought this fabric on sale about a year a ago with a similar project in mind.

How historical accurate: Pretty good. The fabric and pattern are all good. Even though most of the skirt is made by machine the finishing are hand-stitched, as it should be fr this period. I did use some modern techniques on the foundation piece. I’d give it a 7/10.

First worn: Will be worn for photos on October 4th.

Final thoughts: I like how it came out, both the sweep of the skirt and the pattern matching looks really nice, but I’m not completely happy with the raised waistline and I might go back to tweak it a bit later on. But a ll in all it’s a nice piece to have in the costume wardrobe.

 

Outlander Photoshoot

As soon as the last piece was finished, I took my new “Outlander” costume out for some photos.
My fiance helped me, and I must say he did a splendid job both photographing and keeping up the good cheer.

I’m wearing: My new 18th century woolen jacket & skirt over stays, petticoats, bumpad and chemise. And a modern knitted shawl, linen cap, knitted mittens (which where gifted to me by the lovely Helena – Thanks again, I love them) and a basket for accessorizes.

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18th century Outlander Garb

After studying the various looks of the character Clare in the series “Outlander”, comparing them to the fabrics from my stash I decided to go for the simple laced up jacket and skirt that’s became symbolic with the series.4714dc59393b6c63c5000f447531e4c3

I started by making a skirt out of some plaid wool I found in my stash (which I’ve bought on sale about a year ago).IMG_8618

The construction is really simple, since it’s basically two widths of the fabric sewn together and gathered to a waistband.IMG_8623I used some linen scraps for he hem facing and hooks and bars to close the waistband.

The finished skirt: IMG_8646

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Then I started on the bodice.
Using the pattern from the yellow caraco jacket, only changing the front to accommodate a stomacher instead of button closer, and adding a peplum at the bottom edge.

I used some leftover beige wool for the jacket, interlining it with some linen scraps and dark green wool for the stomacher – all made to match the plaid of the skirt.20150906_105227_resized

It went together pretty fast even though I made it completely by hand.IMG_8629

IMG_8628The peplum being attached.

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Trying the jacket on my dressform.

I attached the lining made from two different pieces f left over cotton sheets. IMG_8640

Then it was time for the eyelets to be made, using a separate fabric strip attached hidden under the boned front edge.20150919_183851

The finial thing to make was to ad channels and boning to the stomacher.IMG_8685

The skirt and jacket ready to be packed for the photoshoot. 20150920_125242

The finished outfit/jacket:IMG_8657

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Just the facts:

What: A 18th century jacket and skirt.

Pattern: The jacket is my own draft (yellow Caraco jacket), and the skirt is just two rectangles stitched together.

Fabric & Notions: Skirt – 2,2 m plaid wool, thread and hook & bar.
The bodice: 1 m beige(left over) wool, 1,5 m white cotton for lining and interning, m cotton cord, thread, buttonhole thread, 60 cm plastic boning.

Cost: Everything came from stash but 300 sek would be a fair calculation.

Time: Pretty fast for a complete hand made costume – about 20-25 hours for the whole outfit.

Final thoughts: I really like this outfit. It’s warm and cosy and I really enjoyed wearing it for the photoshoot.

The “Outlander” outfit:IMG_8652

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1900s simple Brown Skirt

About a month ago I got invite to a historical “Fika” (meeting over coffee and sweet bread) in the old parts of our town.
The dress code was “18th century to early 20th century”.

I decided pretty fast I wanted to wear my winter Suffragett outfit.

Then, about two days before the event, my sister got the day of from work and decided to tag along.
She didn’t had anything particular to wear, and would use what ever I had in my bins that would fit her. Even though we are sisters we unfortunately don’t at all have the same body type. So after some thinking and going through my costume wardrobe in my head, I decided I would not settle for something les the perfect for her. But instend make something she (and I) could feel prod about.

So the day before the event I made her a 1900s walking skirt.

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Inspiration pictures 

I choose a leftover piece of fabric in my stash (1,4m of fish-bone, polyester wool imitation in brown and white).IMG_6144

Using the whole width of the fabric  cut a two gored skirt.IMG_6116I wish I’d had more fabric so to make the skirt fuller, but this would have to do for now.

I stitched the whole skirt on my sewing machine, starting with the darts.IMG_6119

The waistband folded over some cotton for strength and to make it non stretchable.IMG_6118

Once the waistband was stitched on, I decided it looked way to bulky, and would ad to much to he waist and there by disturb the slimness of the corseted line.IMG_6123

So I ripped it of, and found some cotton stay tape in my stash to use instead.IMG_6126

I stitched it on, folded it over and hand tacked it down.IMG_6128

Not being sure about the final length, I made sure to do a wide hem that would be easy to alter later on. IMG_6130

I finished of with some hooks and eyes for the clouser.IMG_6150

Finished:IMG_6142

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Just the Facts:

What: a 1900s walking skirt for my sister.

Fabric and notions: 1,3m of wool imitation, thread, 1 m of stay tape and two pairs of hooks and eyes.

Time: About 3 hours.

Cost: Nothing since everything was form stash.
But if I was to buy it all new, it probably would have cost at least 250 Sek (32 Usd)

First worn: on mars 15 on a historical “Fika”

Final thoughts: I’m really happy that I got to use the fabric for something so perfect, and I think the skirt looked great on my sister.
Even though I wish I had had more fabric to make the back pleats a lot fuller and thous the skirt more pretty.

Sneak a peak of the final outfit for my sister.
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18th century Red Riding hood

About a month ago I decided I needed to make myself a 18th century cloak/cape

4d7ebb3a5de7f11a4aff68e52445404bLove this picture

I decided to use Baumgarters Cloak pattern from “Costume close-upIMG_5888

IMG_5883Sewing Empire made herself one of these too, and writes a good sumary about her work on her blog.

For fabric I used an old roll of red wool I got for free a few yers ago.   IMG_5870The fabric are realy coarse and I never thougt I would ever be able to use it for anything, particularly not for a garment.

For lining I dug into my scraps bin, and found a dark red linnen leftover from a gown I made several years ago.IMG_5878The amount I had was just enough for the hood.

I didn’t traced the pattern, but measured and cut everything from memory. IMG_5868

Then I did the same with the hood.IMG_5874

The construction of the cape was really simple and straight forward.
The only tricky part was the hood.IMG_5890Picture of back of hood from “Costume close-up”.

In the description it’s said to be pleats giving the “fan” shape, and after some fideling and testing, I figured out how to make them behave as in the picture above.IMG_5893 IMG_5895
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From the inside

Once I knew how to do it the lining was really easy to assemble in the same way.IMG_5899Even though the look of the folds in the thinner linen was a bit different.

IMG_6082It is huge, laying on the floor like this.

Finished:IMG_6061

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Just The Facts:

Challenge: nr 3/2015 – Stashbusting

What: a 18th century wool cape

Pattern: Baumgarters “Costume Close-ups” Cloak pattern

Fabric: 3 m of red wool (upholstery fabric) and 40 cm (scraps) of red linen for lining.

Notions: Thread and one hook and eye.

How historica accurate: So, so. The colour and look of it are right, but I doubt they would have used this type of coarse wool for anything other then isolation. I did handstitch the hole cloak but i used syntetic tread – since thats what I had in my stash. All in all I give it a 6/10.

Time: About 5-8 hours – it went pretty quick and only took me about a day to finish.

Cost: Basicly nothing – The fabric was gifted to me and the rest was all leftovers or old stash.
But if I would have bought everything new I guess 300-400 Sek (40Usd)

How it fits the Challenge: It is made completely from stash fabric and scraps. And since I never thought I’d be able to make something from the wool I’m extra happy that it turned out so lovely.

First Worn: On Feruary 28th, for photos.

Final Thougts: I Love it! I felt so pretty and coosy in it, and only wish I would have reason to wear it all the time.
And since I do have fabric left, I’m are already thinking on making one for my sister.

A Blue 1890s Redingote – photoshoot

We had so much snow this year, with snowfall just about every night for weeks.
But go figures, just when I finished my Redingote, and set a day for the photoshoot, the weather changed and in just a few day everything was gone.

Well, not much to do.
Me and my sister did go ahead and did the photoshoot anyway.

I wore the Redingoat paired with my black riding hat and slightly modified white skirt. I also wore a white fichu and belt, my 18th century corset, quilted petticoat, 2 bumpads, hedgehog wig and black leather gloves.
I was perfectly warm and cosy the whole shoot, and I was surprised how much I liked the whole outfit.

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IMG_5732Photo: Maria Petersson

A Blue 18th century Redingote (part 2)

In my last post (part 1) I begun to tell you about my latest entry for the HSM – a blue Redingote.
Here are the rest of it.

Once the lining was inserted I got to work o the lower front edge. It is always a bit tricky to get the button edge right and when the garment are double breasted and have a rounded edge it is even more difficult.IMG_5453But after lots of pining and folding (and some cutting of excess) I managed to get the edge to look like I wanted.

About the buttons (where I left of last time) I decided to cheat, and use hook and eyes.IMG_5516I could not decide on 10 or 8 buttons, so I wanted to postpone the decision to sometimes in the future. Without buttonholes the dress look a bit strange but I can still change my mind and make them at a later point.

I put the jacket on my dress form to get a better view and to pin the skirt on. IMG_550110 buttons and half a skirt.
It would even look great without the skirt as a jacket. Maybe next time (or if I decides I need the skirt fabric for something else…)

I pleated the skirt into 1,5 cm big pleats hiding a lot of excess fabric at the back pleats.IMG_5508

Then I prick stitched the skirt to the bodice.IMG_5521

 The final thing to do was to hem the skirt, and to give it a final pressing.

Finished (lots of pictures):IMG_5555

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Just the facts:

Challenge: Nr 2/2015 – Blue

What: A 18th century Redingote

Pattern: Nehelenia Patterns nr E21 – 1790s Redingote.

Fabric: 4 m of light blue wool, 1 m of white cotton for lining and 0,5 m of thick linen for interlining.

Notions: Thread, Buttonhole thread, buttons (10 big + 4 smaller), 8 hooks and eyes,

How historical Accurate: So so. The fabrics and pattern are pretty good, but I used modern construction techniques and made lots of the work sing my sewing machine and polyester thread.

Time: A lot. I would guess about 15-20 hours since it’s lots of hand stitching in tere.

Cost: ca 400 Sek (ca 65 Usd)

First worn: On February 21 for photos.
But I would love to wear it on an winter event in the future.

An anecdote: This is probably the one garment I’ve been re-starting (mentally if not psychically) the most times, and I’m so happy I finally managed to finish it (and not even hate it).

Final thoughts: I love the pattern, and definitely will be using it as a base for more 18th century gowns. But If I could do it again I would have made the overlapping in front wider to get a more distinct double breasted look.

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