Musings of a Lady

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Le Modiste: Draping an 18th century Riding Habit.

Hello!  Where has the time gone?  Here it is the beginning of March!  When you need the clock to slow down and exercise a meandering pace, it goes into a sprint!  Well, many things have kept me away from my posting and once again, I beg you pardon and hope to restart my regular postings.

Well, without further ado.  I attended a workshop with nine other ladies to drape and hand stitch an 18th century riding habit.  I chose this portrait to interpret:

The Countess of Effingham with Gun and Shooting Dogs by George Haugh 1787

The session began with practicing hand sewing techniques.  One particular stitch we did that I had not done before was a stitch that seams together decorative facing with the fashion fabric with a visible, functional but decorative top stitch.

This was followed by making the sleeve pattern for the jacket.  Our instructor brought a basic sleeve sloper with a slightly bent shape - we cut it out in muslin much bigger than the pattern and then with partners we adjusted it to our arms with habit shirts on.  The pattern was laid it out and a personal pattern was made. The sleeve is a two piece design of the period, but at this point we didn't cut away the underarm curve of the under sleeve as that would be done when the sleeve is fitted to the jacket.

Next up was the waistcoats - which were draped and would be later used to create the jacket pattern as well.
Draping the waist coat pattern.

Draped pattern to be developed.

Later based on the waistcoat, we developed the pattern of the jacket.

This particular period of riding habit, between 1770 and 1790's, didn't have a waist seam, so the jackets were tricky to drape to prevent wrinkles forming about the waist.  Unfortunately, none of my pictures came out of me being fitted in the jacket. I am really bummed about that.   However, pictures of my friend, Mia, came out to demonstrate the sleeve fitting:

I wasn't really happy with the way my jacket is fitting.  It may have been I was tired and it was an intense but wonderful two and half days of sewing with the gals.  However, the sleeves are in - well, they pinned in and need sewing up.  And yes, I haven't touched it since the beginning of February.  Sigh.  I do plan to take this up again, a little later on in the spring as I am determined to finish it. But, I have to concentrate on other projects at the moment.  So, I will keep you posted on the progress.

My current to do list:

Regency chemise - at least one more
Re-work a Regency dress I have that is too small in the bodice and I have enough fabric to redo it.
In search of appropriate fabrics for my Regency wardrobe for the Bath trip in September.

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