Stash-busting 18th century Caraco (part 1)

I found this fashion plate on Pinerest in early January an knew immediately I wanted to make something similar for an 18th century Tavern event I planed to attending in early February (unfortunately life happened and I ended up not going, but at least now I have a costume if the opportunity arises again).

German maid, evidence of patterned jacket worn with solid skirt - kopiaI made the skirt and shortened my apron to match.

Then it was on to the jacket.

In the book “Skräddaren sömmerskan och modet” by Rasmussen, I found the description and pattern for this jacket called a “Kofta” which translates to “a kind of soft jacket”. IMG_5036With it’s short front, tails/peplum at the back and long sleeves, it was perfect!

For pattern I used the “Kofta”-pattern combined with my new favorite 18th century pattern, the “1790s Redingote” from Nehelenia Patterns.IMG_5030

I made a franken-pattern, using parts of this and parts of that to get the shape as I wanted. IMG_5039

Then I cut and made a mock-up.
IMG_5063 IMG_5069
IMG_5061The fit was surprisingly good, and all I needed to do was to lower the neckline a bit (I made the decision to make a wide neckline instead of the high one from the fashion plate), and trim the peplum a bit.

Then it was on to the fabric.
Keeping in with my New years resolution, I decided to go through the stash before heading to the store.
That turned out to be a really good thing, since I found exactly what I needed – A soft yellow cotton with purple stripes in a odd (left over) length, that would be on exactly enough for his project. And a purple cotton lawn I previously used for mock-ups, which would be great for lining and interlining. IMG_5044Then I realized that this project would fit perfectly into the HSM/15 nr 3 – Stashbusting, and did a little happy dance (to my hubby’s surprise).

I cut the pieces one layer at the time, to make sure to line all the stripes perfectly. IMG_5079Laying the first layer up side down on the second layer makes it possible to perfectly match everything.IMG_5082

I basted the whole garment together for a first try on.
IMG_5142 IMG_5134
Some minor alterations like shortening the sleeves and lower the neckline a bit more was all that needed to be made.

I stitched the pieces together using period techniques (stitching from the outside),IMG_5148 making sure to line the stripes properly.

IMG_5150From the inside you can see the purple interning and boning channels sewn into the seam allowance.

IMG_5147I love the look of the bodice like this – perhaps I need to make a waistcoat from this pattern.

To be continued…

1890s winter Undress

Here we go again, with a peek of my historic underwear:

1790s Winter LayersIMG_5760Fully dressed in Redingote, petticoat, belt sash, gloves and hat.

IMG_5768Taking of the accessorizes we can ses the Redingote in full.

IMG_5769Without the Redingote we can see all the white layers beneath – The skirt in full view and the fichu tucked inside the skirt.

IMG_5778Removing the skirt we find the petticoat and the complete fichu.
I also wear a quilted petticoat (you can spot the green waistband above the petticoats).

IMG_5791And underneath there is a bumpad, worn over chemise, stays, stockings and shoes.

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.














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

















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.


A Blue 18th century Redingote (Part 1)

I’ve been totally in love with Jens (from “Festive Attyre“) Redingote since I first saw it about a year ago. 8312358697_ce6e37752b I knew at once I need something similar.

The problem was when…

A year ago I put the picture on my “to do in 2014“-list, and there it waited…

I found this fabric on sale last winter, and thought it perfect for this project. IMG_5580
But I had so many other things to make for the HSF14, and when I could have had time I was already longing for spring and thinner clothing.
So I pushed it forward to the HSF14 nr 15 – Outerwear.

I bought this pattern in July determent to get the ball rolling in good time for he challenge. IMG_9316But as work got really busy after summer that didn’t happened.

By then I had a new goal – to make it for the HSF14 nr 22 – Menswear.
Well, I did start working on it in October.

I traced the pattern and cut and stitched the mock-up.
IMG_3929 IMG_3915
IMG_3912I was really surprised of how well it fit straight out of the package.
It’s not usual to get a nice back like that on the first try.

But then life once again caught up with me, and I had to take a break from sewing.
I postponed the 22 challenge completely, deciding to try to finish it on my Christmas leave.

And between working on my two Christmas dresses, I actually got the fabric cut and the interlining basted.IMG_4020My creative chaos. This is how I sitting in my chair watching series while pinning, stitching and sorting the pieces in different piles.

Sometimes around December 26th, I realized I would never finish within 2014 – and I had so much new stuff I wanted to make for 2015.
I made a 18th century hat as a late entry for the menswear challenge, and felt rater like a failure.

But then the Dreamstress revealed the challenges for The HSM15, and there it was – challenge 2/2015 – Blue!
That was exactly what I needed to finally finish the long awaited Redingote.
(even though I got distracted by the much quicker Mars entry).

Anyhow, here is what I’ve been doing on the evenings for the past month.

IMG_4226Stitching the long seams together using my sewing machine.

I decided to make more rounded shape for the corner on the collar instead of the patterns more square one.IMG_4228Shaping the collar.

IMG_4841I also needed to lower the arm hole a bit to keep it riding up my armpit.

A first test on the dress-form
IMG_4906 IMG_4769

Once the lining and sleeves was attached, I put it on to try the fit.IMG_5005 I can’t say enough how pleased I an with the sizing on this pattern.
The only thing I needed to change was the length of the sleeve.

The center front marking matched up perfectly. IMG_5050

I then spent a few evenings stitching all the reinforcing/decoration on the collars and cuffs.IMG_5051

Then I stitched the ling down. IMG_5053

I couldn’t find any metal buttons I liked (like the ones Jen have), so I decided on fabric covered ones instead.IMG_4242Covering regular buttons in fabric.

Once the buttons was finished, I needed to decide how to make the buttonholes. I tried a few ideas like, regular hand worked, piped or bound. IMG_4860Testing the hand worked button holes on a scrap piece.

And how to space the buttons
IMG_5028 IMG_5029
decisions, decisions…

To be continued…

A Skirt is a Skirt

A skirt is a skirt by any other name…

Petticoat or not to petticoat – that is the question…

Ok, enough silliness.
Last weekend I’ve made a 18th century petticoat/skirt.
Here in Sweden “Petticoat” means – “under skirt” or hoop-skirt if you’r talking wedding dresses, and a skirt is just a skirt – nothing else.
But in historic sentence these two seems to be interchangeable (at least to me, since I’d always had a bit trouble keeping the two apart in English).
But I then I read in “Cut of womens clothes” that after 1660s “the underskirt was always called a petticoat”.
Does that mean you can call the same garment “skirt” or “petticoat” deepening on the way it is worn at the moment?

German maid, evidence of patterned jacket worn with solid skirt - kopia
I’t was such an easy and quick project even though I made it by hand.
One day in front of the computer watching series, and it was done.

IMG_5108I bought this brown fabric for a steal from an online fabric sale – convinced it was a striped cotton twill (as the website claimed).
But once delivered it was more like a heavy polyester made for suits and pants. Darn it.
Well, the price of sending it back would be more then the fabric itself, so I decided to go ahead and make my skirt anyway.

It worked surprisingly well, if you don’t count the bump in my fingers from pressing the needle through, and the heaviness of the fabric gives the skirt and hem a nice drape.

The construction is really simple using two width of fabrics and cartridge-pleating them to a narrow waistband.

I also made sure to hem it quite short, to mimic the length of the fashion plate.IMG_5099










Fabric: 2 m of brown polyester “twill”

Notions: thread, Hook and eye.

Cost: about 40Sek (6 Usd) all and all – I told you, a steal 🙂

Time: About 5 hours of hand stitching.

Final thought: I like the drape of the skirt and the pleating looks really nit, even though I would have wished for a thicker fabric.
I think the skirt will look great combined with the new bodice/jacket and accessories I’m working on, for the “peasant fiest” I’m hoping to attend in about two weeks.

18th century skirt foundation (A.k.a Panniers of pain)

For the HSM challenge 1/2015 – Foundation, I knew I wanted to make 18th century panniers to go under my in progress robe a la Franchise (more on that on a later note).

And since I already had all the material (fabric, metal boning and bias tape) in my stash I started by looking for patterns.1740 panier waughThis pattern from “Corsets and Crinolines” looked good but seemed to be much bigger then I needed.
And I’ve heard from others who made it that it is in fact huge!

I was thinking something more along the lines of this picture.be103b0e94eebfb2dae8a3a825eb33b6That seems easy enough. So I figured I didn’t need a pattern after all.

So on to the tapemeasure I whent, and started cutting the fabric.IMG_4876A green sort of linen/polyester kind of fabric, here cut in double pieces.

Once all seams was stitched together and felled, I started working on the boning bias tape for the channelsIMG_4884 I marked where I wanted the bones to be, and stitched the bias tape on top of the chalk lines.IMG_4888

Then I made a running stitch and gathered the top to be set in the waistband.IMG_4891

To get the oval shape on the panniers I attached rows of ribbons to be tied horizontal across the hoops.IMG_4933

IMG_4902Inside of the panniers before inserting the boning.

I used my regular go-to metal pipe cleaners for boning. IMG_4903 The shape of the panniers whit the bones are somewhat circular…

And the edges of the top most bones makes a slight worrisome edge.IMG_4904

Finished in one night, yay!

Eh, no….


Once tied together the top hoop made the worst shape ever.

Darn it.
How to solve this?
I posted a quick question on my facebook page and in the HSM facebook group, and over night got lots of great suggestions.

Then I started experimenting.

I removed the diagonal bones at the top.IMG_4916 IMG_4917Better, but a long way from perfect.

Once he bones was removed I noticed a excess of fabric at the top front and back. I played with pinning it into a giant dart thous removing the upper bones ability to push out.IMG_4920 IMG_4925There was lots of width to take out.

But once pinned in darts and tied into place the pannier keeps the desired shape.IMG_4929

The problem was I thought of the whole panniers like a big circle/crinoline tied into shape. But what I failed to grasp was that to keep the top hoop close to the body at front/back and wide at the sides I needed to shape the top of the fabric. – just like in Waughs pattern….

Once decisive on the actions on how to save and finish the panniers I also decided that the pale green color was a bot bland. So I turned it inside out and stitched the darts from the opposite side to give it a ore interesting look (including removing all the ties and re-attached them on the new inside). IMG_4930

The finished panniers: (Yay)IMG_4943










Just the facts:

Challenge: nr 1/2015 – Foundation

What: A pair of 18th century panniers.

Pattern: None, I just measured and cut.

Fabric: 1,5 m of green linen from stash.

Notions: Thread, 7 m of metal boning, 7 m of brown bias-tape and 5 m of white cotton ribbon.

How historical accurate: Not much. The fabric is wrong, the boning is metal and I sewed most of it on my sewing machine. It looks pretty good though.

Time: About 8 hours – 2 of which I worked on correcting the upper hoop.

Cost: I would guess about 100 Sek (16 Usd) but everything came from stash so I’m not sure.

First worn: Only around the house for photos. But I intend to wear it with my up-coming Robe a la Franchise at the first chance I get.

Final thoughts: This was meant as a quick project, and as usual those are the ones which causes most trouble. But thanks to some minor experimenting and tips from the HSM hive mind I managed to complete them without to much bad words.