Something New In The Works

Lately I’ve been tuning up my tailoring skills and learning some new ones while making this circa 1899 jacket. Because we’re located in Southern California, I decided to make this as more of a light jacket-bodice than a full-on jacket. The work on this has been painstaking and I’ve been at it since mid-November. This will eventually be part of an 1890s walking suit. Here’s a few progress pictures: 🙂

Close-up of the lapels.

Rear view- the seam lines are extremely curves per the style of the time.

Here’s some construction detail pictures. The marking and preparation work took as long, if not longer, than the construction. 🙂

Interior of the back bodice. The pieces were individually flat-lined and yes, some didn’t come out as even as I would have liked due to shrinkage and miscalculation on my part. However, the edges will be covered.

Interior of front and side front pieces. The front pieces have been lined with a “canvas” of muslin with hair canvas on the lapels.

Finished front piece with pad stitched lapel.

Pad stitching the hymo lapel pieces.

Laying in the canvas and hymo.

 



Something In The Works

And now onto something new- an 1890s jacket-bodice based on an original French design. Stay tuned for more! 🙂

Laying out the fashion fabric and marking for cutting.

Cut out bodice pieces thread markings.

Sewing on the canvas to one of the front jacket facings. Hair canvas was previously attached to the canvas before mounting the canvas to the fashion fabric.

Mounting the canvas to the jacket front facing pieces. The canvas is being hand-stitched on to minimize movement.

 

 



Trending Patterns For February 1887- The Kensington Jacket

Fashion history has always been both a source of inspiration for our designs as well as providing a window into past times. When considering the fashion history of the late Nineteenth Century, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the magnificent designs of Worth, Doucet, Pingat, and others rather than consider what regular people wore. During this period, there was a growing market of patterns that were becoming available to the home sewer and marketed through publications such as Peterson’s Magazine, Demorest’s Family Magazine, and The Delineator, to name a few. In many cases, the patterns were designs licensed directly from major designers such as Worth (although they tended to downplay their involvement). Below is just one pattern for a jacket-bodice that was offered as a premium in Peterson’s Magazine


Featured in the February 1887 issue of Peterson’s Magazine was a pattern called the “Kensington Jacket. While we’d love to believe that this was the start of  a new fashion trend, unfortunately it wasn’t but rather a variation on the jacket-bodice style trend that had been developing for some time (the name was probably just an identifier for marketing purposes). That said, let’s take a look…

The pattern itself was included with the February issue (unfortunately it wasn’t scanned in the electronic version that we downloaded) and here’s a little description:

We give, this month, a “Kensington Jacket”— a very stylish affair, and suitable for late winter or early spring. It is quite an improvement, as will be seen, on the jackets of last fall.. Folded in with the number is a “Supplement,” with the several parts of this jacket given, in diagrams, full size. There are, as will be seen five pieces, as follows :

1. HALF OF FRONT.
2. HALF OF BACK.
3. SIDE-BACK.
4. SLEEVE
5. COLLAR AND REVERS

…The velvet revers can be worn either open or closed, thus making the jacket single or double breasted, at pleasure. The material is fine cloth, the revers being of velvet to match. Fancy oxidized silver buttons are the prettiest, if they can be had.

As with many Victorian Era sewing patterns, this was a fairly utilitarian garment that can be made in a number of different styles in different materials and with all manner of trim. We’re tempted to track down an original paper copy that (hopefully) still has the pattern; it would make for an interesting project. 🙂