Friday, March 7, 2014

18th Century Jacket-Pink Floral on Blue

For my daughter's upcoming birthday I handsewed something she has been looking forward to. Last summer while I was choosing for myself a lovely 18th century pink floral on blue print at the Mary Dickenson Store in Colonial Williamsburg, my daughter decided she'd love to have some too. The last of her birthday money from last year would be just enough for an 18th century jacket.

For this birthday, while she was busy with college, I've been handsewing it. I took measurements off her previous lavender jacket I had sewn. I used a drafted pattern from Costume Close-Up that Rebecca of A Fashionable Frolick had gifted us years ago when we first met and I was first starting our colonial wardrobe. That pattern practically fits my daughter "as is." I used all period techniques from Costume Close-Up, which includes using an ingenious 18th century method that involves the sewing of 3 panels of fabric at the same time, 2 of the fashion layer and one of the linen lining. This is detailed in Costume Close-Up and is quite fun to do! I took a picture of how it looked with 3 layers completely sewn with one stitch, but unfortunately I accidentally took a picture of the inside of Costume Close-Up too. Oops. Anyway I highly recommend this book by Colonial Williamsburg's Linda Baumgarten because it is full of many details as to the construction of 18th century garments. I tend to learn in layers and I think I nailed the bodice portion. However for the sleeves I resorted to typical modern type hand sewing, since I felt a bit overwhelmed with life at the moment and couldn't quite conceptualize the proper method. Therefore this garment is almost nailed in technique, but you'll see from the photos that the inside of the sleeve is more 21st century than 18th.

Here are those 3 in 1 stitches from the outside...

Handsewn eyelets...

I love handsewing. I sewed this while watching the Olympics.

I modeled the jacket with my  petticoat. When we bought this my daughter said she'd like a rose colored petticoat to go with this jacket. We need to look for that color fabric. However I took that cue and purchased rose colored grosgrain ribbon for the lacing.







Now for the HSF details:

HSF 2014

The Challenge: #5 Bodice

Fabric: cotton reproduction print from Colonial Williamsburg

Pattern: drafted from Costume Close-Up

Year:18th century

Notions: thread, ribbon

How historically accurate is it? highly accurate, 100% hand sewn

Hours to complete: lots

First worn: Colonial Williamsburg

Total cost: $20


  1. I've almost finished a short jacket using JP Ryan's pattern and while looking at the back of the "peplum" (don't know if they call it that in this time period like the Victorians) I saw an irregular edge and thought I was supposed to even it out but now looking at yours, I see it's part of it and folds in. Whew! I almost cut mine off!
    *I know I'm behind in reading your posts but this one would have only helped me today, so its all good*

    1. I don't recall having heard the word "peplum" in this timeframe. Most of us describe that as the cute swallowtail look! I'm glad you didn't cut it off because that is the cute part of the jacket!