Musings of a Lady

Friday, June 27, 2014

Le Modiste: Update on the Regency outerwear

Let's see where was I?  Oh, yes.  I have made and nearly finished a spencer.  I have also started another pelisse.  I seem to be on a roll - smile.  The spencer is made of a deep midnight blue cotton twill and I have lined it in silk and made some of the details in the silk as well.  My inspiration is:
Woman's Spencer Jacket and Petticoat | LACMA Collections


A spencer by American Duchess.

So far my spencer is working out deliciously well.  I played with the sleeves a bit and decided to attach the Van Dyke cap sleeve to a band over the upper, silk, puff sleeve.  The buttons will be single breasted.  The cuffs have tab closure and they will have covered buttons.  I may permanently close the cuff opening since it is big enough to get my hand through.  Here are some progress pictures:

The sleeve to your left, is with out the band. The right with the band.  I liked the right.

Attaching the cap sleeve to band.
Back detail in progress.

Making the button detail.  I bought balsa wood discs to cover.
Back detail with buttons covered in silk. (Mmmm...didn't realize Carmel has left his furry mark).

At this point the blue spencer just needs the button holes and the buttons attached to be done!  I, of course, have started multi-tasking.  A new outer garment is in full swing.  I found a yellow faille with a damask and embroidered rose pattern.  This pelisse is being made for fashion and practicality, but the color is to make my Mother happy.  She is always on me about my colors.  I wear, black, grey, brown or dark blue for everyday.  My Regency wardrobe at this point is headed in that direction much to her chagrin.  She liked the minty celadon pelisse and as I pulled out black fabric, a silver grey for new dresses, she groaned.  Yes, I like to please my mother from time to time, but I also thought it would be cool to have a bright yellow like these period inspirations: 

There is something really jolly and fun about the color yellow but so hard to work with if you don't have the right yellow or the coloring for it.  I am lucky to have found a good yellow and I do have the 'coloring' to handle certain yellows.  I did have a hard time getting a good picture of the fabric.  For some reason the yellow's intensity faded in certain lights.  It is a rich, egg yoke color or for you artist types, a nice yellow ochre.

The fabric - can you see the damask roses in the same thread color b/w the pink-green roses?

This fabric is a modern blend - yep, not period but here is where practicality comes into the picture.  I chose it because I wanted to have a pelisse I could throw on if it is raining.  I know that wool is okay in the rain but if I get mud on it, etc, I won't have time to get it cleaned properly on the trip.  So, this yellow one I will wear no matter what, it will be a fashionable piece, but if it is wet outside and gets muddy or other icky thing - I can throw it in the wash and not worry about it.

My construction inspirations are these pelisses and redingotes:

I like the capelet detailing on the 1790's Redingote above.  The picture below is from Rocking Horse Farm Patterns and I liked the closed cape and standing collar but in the end opted for the flat collar and capelet as in the 1790's example.

This lovely 1806 also had a capelet that was gathered a bit in the back.  I started with a full circle pattern that I draped. It was toooo ripply for me, so I cut it down and although a little wonky (my opinion) it worked out to meet the design expectations I had from the  1790's example.

Capelet and collar attached.
At this point I need to add the waistband and skirt.  I tried to find an appropriate green trim for this garment but just couldn't find something I liked.  I did have a pretty green bias tape but I only had a couple of yards and being of a vintage variety I couldn't find a match anywhere.  I was really frustrated.  I let the garment sit a a day or two and while I was out the other day, ran into a pretty chocolate silk.  Yummy!  It worked!  So, the detailing will be in chocolate.  The question is should I decorate the capelet in a similar way as the 1790's example?  Or leave it plain?  I had made up the capelet before I decided to trim with the chocolate silk...yes, that is the way I operate sometimes...after the fact. Sigh.  What do you all think?  I was thinking of putting chocolate trim at the wrists of the sleeves and maybe some detailing at the back and the buttons.  Any feed back would be fabulous.

Okay, onward.  Lots to do.  I wanted to give an up date and check in with everyone.  I hope everyone is having fun this summer and enjoying fine weather.  We have our usual June gloom (fog in the mornings) but the days are fine and lovely.  

Next up:
Finish both Spencer and Pelisse.
Take a hat making workshop from Lynn McMasters using her new pattern:
Preparing to make two ball gowns.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Le Modiste: Update - Regency wardrobe in the making

Phew!  I am finally on vacation and can concentrate on my wardrobe for the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, this September.  In my last post I was working on a pale celadon green, wool pelisse.  It was a success!  I wore it to a Tea given by the Greater Bay Area Costume Guild along with the Laughing Moon dress I made in April.  Here are some images:
With my BFFs at Tea.  The brown dress is also a Laughing Moon examples.

Even though it was a cool morning that day, I was glad we were done by 3 - it became a sweltering day!
The picture of myself in the pelisse isn't the best but the only one I have in context.  Anyway, I am now working on the next pieces.  You know, once you get into making Regency clothing, you see all sorts of possibilities!  I can't take it all on the trip but, I will try!  LOL.

I am currently working on a spencer, another wardrobe necessity.  I have a brush twill cotton in Navy which I have lined in silk of the same color.  The shell is done and I am preparing the sleeves right now.  The design is a mix and match of different extant example and yes, a 'BBC film' image.

I used a two piece sleeve and added a puff of silk.
 I plan to put a decorative dagged or Vandyke epaulet on top of the silk, similar to the design below of Miss Elizabeth Bennet of P&P.

This satin spencer from the Museo de Traje is the inspiration for the neck line.

As a note:  I don't tend to make replicas as I find it tooo stressful to make it exactly as it should be.  One day I will one day, but given I have a limited amount of time - though I am on vacation - I am doing my usual picking out of exciting details that appeal to me and fashioning a garment from those extant ideas.  I am also, not doing the main construction by hand. I am however, doing all the finishing by hand, including putting in linings, buttonholes, etc.

As of now, I have enough day dresses.  I want to make more of course as each time I make one I get a better feel for the cut and fit and I find more exciting fabric to make others.  What I need right now, however, are the outer wear pieces (pelisse for the rain, spencer and perhaps a caplet). Additionally, I need hats that will pack and two ball gowns. After that it is all icing on the cake. Oh, wait, there is a night gown and wrapper, another chemise and a few chemisettes!  Oh, dear, I better get busy.

I should have something to post by the end of next week.  My goals for the remainder of June is to finish the spencer, start and finish the first ball gown.  Lots to do...Cheers.