Jane Austen´s World, Part 5

Since my last post I have been frantically sewing myself a costume for a ball in a different era (1680!). The film costumes are going back to Cosprop in London in less than two weeks, so I must hurry to walk you through the exhibition. (How on earth could it take me the lenght of a summer to do it?!)

The exhibition ends in the spirit of a Jane Austen novel: with a wedding reception. Three couples are lined up in the grand salon: Elinor and Edward, Marianne and Brandon, and Elizabeth and Darcy.

Jane Austen film costumes, Skokloster castle

Skokloster Castle

The painted baroque ceiling is stunning.

First, Jenny Beavan´s beautiful costumes from Sense and Sensibility (1995). The story ends with the wedding between Marianne and Brandon. The other couple to walk out to the cheering wedding party outside the church is Elinor and Edward. Despite all those unexpressed feelings between Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars (superb acting by Thompson and Grant!) they end up getting married. Elinor is elegant in a printed muslin roundgown with a velvet spencer and a bonnet. Edward is dressed in black and white: black tailcoat, waistcoat, breeches and stockings. White linen shirt and cravat, and shoes with buckles. Nothing extravagant or avantgarde here, rather conservative and suitable for a country clergyman. They will settle in the parsonage on the Delaford estate and live sensibly – although comfortably – on 900 pounds per annum.

Costumes from Sense and Sensibility 1995. Skokloster castle.

The Ferrars, Elinor and Edward. Sense and Sensibility, 1995. Costume designer: Jenny Beavan and John Bright.

Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant as Elinor and Edward in Sense and Sensibility, 1995. This is of course the final scene outside the village church. Most people probably think it is a double wedding, but it is not. Elinor and Edward are already married and are acting as officiant/best man and matron of honour. (Explained by Emma Thompson in her film diaries.)

Costumes from Sense and Sensibility 1995. Skokloster castle.

Costumes from Sense and Sensibility 1995. Skokloster castle.

Costumes from Sense and Sensibility 1995. Skokloster castle.

Nice details on Elinor´s velvet spencer. The bows could be vintage. The roundgown has a delicate bobbin lace along the neckline and sleeves.

Sense and Sensibility 1995. Exhibition in Skokloster castle.

The bow in the back is never seen on screen but is a nice touch.

Sense and Sensibility 1995. Exhibition in Skokloster castle.

Costumes from Sense and Sensibility 1995. Skokloster castle.

The back, when we dressed the mannequin.

Have you noticed that Elinor is wearing this gown twice? It is first seen in one of the London scenes when the girls find themselves in a pickle, and Brandon turns up to help them. Emma Thompson in Sense and Sensibility, 1995.

Costumes from Sense and Sensibility 1995. Skokloster castle.

Elinor´s bonnet with all the trimmings.

Sense and Sensibility, 1995

Elinor and Edward in Sense and Sensibility, 1995.

Costumes from Sense and Sensibility 1995. Skokloster castle.

Edward´s suit. Very late eighteenth century, The restricted light makes it difficult to photograph black wool.

Costumes from Sense and Sensibility 1995. Skokloster castle.

Costumes from Sense and Sensibility 1995. Skokloster castle.

Elinor´s gown has a long train. This is still the 1790´s.

Costumes from Sense and Sensibility 1995. Skokloster castle.

Costumes from Sense and Sensibility 1995. Skokloster castle.

The table is ready for the wedding breakfast.

Marianne´s story is different. She falls passionately in love, gets her heart broken, and finds (a different sort of) love again. Dashing Willoughby is forced to marry another girl but loyal Colonel Brandon has been around throughout the story, and turns out to have qualities that go beyond the age gap. (In the beginning of the story Marianne finds Brandon a boring old man, he is at least 35!) This has been discussed for two centuries by now. Is she attracted to his quiet, gentemanlike manner? His interest in poetry and music? Or is it his estate Delaford and his fortune? Anyway, Marianne is fitted out in a magnificent gown in gold embroidered silk and tulle with a long train. The scene is over in a few seconds, so blink and you miss it.

Marianne and Colonel Brandon: Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman in Sense and Sensibility, 1995.

Colonel Brandon chooses to marry in his regimentals. He is transformed from an ‘old man in flannel waistcoat’ to a dashing husband. Earlier we were told that Brandon served in India, where ‘the air was full of spices’… Film scenes are seldom shot in sequence, so the wedding scene was Alan Rickman´s first day on set.

Costumes from Sense and Sensibility 1995. Skokloster castle.

Wedding costumes, worn by Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman as Marianne and Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility, 1995. Photo courtesy Jens Mohr.

Sense and Sensibilty 1995. Costume exhibit in Skokloster Castle.

Marianne´s gown and Colonel Brandon´s regimentals. The uniform consists of a red wool jacket with short tails, green cuffs and centre front. The jacket has gold trim and gold buttons, and a gold epaulette. White pantaloons and black hessian boots. A black silk stock and a deep red sash. (The sash was re-tied to the right after this picture was taken.)

Costumes from Sense and Sensibility 1995. Skokloster castle.

The open robe is in cream net fabric with straw worked standing collar and a long train bordered with open work straw braid and heavy gold and silver beading. The underdress is a cream gauze over silk, studded with tiny silver stars.

Costumes from Sense and Sensibility 1995. Skokloster castle.

So much work went into this gown!

Costumes from Sense and Sensibility 1995. Skokloster castle.

The net overdress with straw embroidery. This type of work was popular in the eighteenth century and several garments survive in museum collections.

Costumes from Sense and Sensibility 1995. Skokloster castle.

Marianne´s bonnet is a delicate veil and flowers on a wire frame.

A young Kate Winslet wearing the costume. Sense and Sensibility, 1995.

Costumes from Sense and Sensibility 1995. Skokloster castle.

Not the best picture, but here is a view of the back.

Costumes from Sense and Sensibility 1995. Skokloster castle.

Epaulette on Colonel Brandon´s uniform.

The final wedding clothes are from Pride and Prejudice, 1995. A spoiler alert is superfluous since we all know that Lizzy and Darcy end up marrying. Now, that IS a double wedding in the adaptation. (The weddings are mentioned only briefly in the novel.) Jane and Lizzy, the oldest Bennet girls, marry Bingley and Darcy. Dinah Collins designed the costumes.

A double wedding: Charles Bingley and Jane Bennet, Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. Pride and Prejudice, 1995. The familiar faces behind them look very solemn, but most of them, except miss Bingley,  are extremely thrilled.

Pride and Prejudice 1995. Costume exhbition in Skokloster castle.

Elizabeth´s and Darcy´s wedding costumes, Pride and Prejudice, 1995.

Pride and Prejudice 1995. Costume exhbition in Skokloster castle.

Lizzy is wearing a lace edged, v-necked silk pelisse over a striped silk dress. Darcy´s attire is correct morning wear: navy tailcoat, cream silk waistcoat, white moleskin pantaloons, and shoes (pumps).

Pride and Prejudice 1995. Costume exhbition in Skokloster castle.

Pride and Prejudice 1995. Costume exhbition in Skokloster castle.

Decorative enamel buttons. A snap button keeps the little ‘belt’ in position.

Pride and Prejudice, 1995. Costume exhibit in Skokloster castle.

This is how it works: The pelisse and dress are partially sewn together. The striped skirt fastens with hooks and eyes to the gathered/pleated bodice.

Pride and Prejudice, 1995. Costume exhibit in Skokloster castle.

Pride and Prejudice, 1995. Costume exhibit in Skokloster Castle.

The enamel buttons are decorative as the bodice has hooks and eyes. There is a supportive under-bodice with a draw-string.

Pride and Prejudice, 1995. Costume exhibit in Skokloster castle.

Machine seams…

Pride and Prejudice 1995. Costume exhbition in Skokloster castle.

Gathered sleeves on Lizzy´s pelisse.

Pride and Prejudice, 1995. Costume exhibit in Skokloster castle.

The fine lace continues around the back. The width of the skirt is gathered in two deep pleats.

Pride and Prejudice 1995. Costume exhbition in Skokloster castle.

Lizzy´s bonnet. It was created by milliner Louise Macdonald.

Publicity still of Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, 1995.

Pride and Prejudice 1995. Costume exhbition in Skokloster castle.

Darcy´s morning suit.

Pride and Prejudice 1995. Costume exhbition in Skokloster castle.

Darcy´s silk waistcoat and cravat. The linen shirt has a ruffle. (It is a challenge to tie a decent cravat when the mannequin lacks any type of neck…)

Pride and Prejudice 1995. Costume exhbition in Skokloster castle.

M-notch lapel.

Pride and Prejudice, 1995. Costume exhibit in Skokloster castle.

Darcy´s moleskin pantaloons. The fall and the waist buttons with two metal buttons respectively.

Pride and Prejudice, 1995. Costume exhibit in Skokloster castle.

Darcy´s watch fob with heart-shaped pendant.

Pride and Prejudice 1995. Costume exhbition in Skokloster castle.

Would you know it: There is no watch! A safety pin holds the fob (ribbon) to the waistcoat. Movie magic…

This costume is often seen in a set of publicity stills. Different pendant on watch fob, though. Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle in Pride and Prejudice, 1995. (Early still with a different wig on Ehle.)

Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice, 1995. Darcy is wearing a grey cloak in many pictures. I suppose there were several takes.

‘Three daughters married!’ A winter wedding requires an abundance of swan feathers. Alison Steadman as mrs Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, 1995.

It has been a privilege to study these famous costumes in detail. Of course they didn´t know it back in the 1990´s, but today they are regarded as relics in the Austen-Regency-costuming community. Not everything is historically accurate, but the astounding work they did back then continue to inspire us. Is there a particular costume that you were inspired by? Out of the ones above I´d pick Darcy´s outfit any day! Elinor´s clothes may not look very special, but they are extremely well made, so I have a soft spot for them. But why choose at all?

Regencygentleman

Looking a bit grumpy because the show´s near the end… This particular day I had a couple of guided tours and acyually managed to tie a decent knot.

Next post will be about some of the costumes I made for the staff and visitors to this exhibition. And I ought to post some pictures from the ball…

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A Pair of Habits à la Française, 1811

Last time I wrote about the upcoming Jane Austen exhibition. With less than three weeks to the opening, the Cosprop costumes are arriving tomorrow! It will of course focus on the famous film costumes, but they are supplemented with a handful of extant garments from our collections. The fictional Mr Darcy, Mr Ferrars, and Colonel Brandon are sort of visiting Count Brahe, the real life owner of Skokloster Castle.

There is plenty of remarkable textiles in the Skokloster Castle collections, such as clothing, bed hangings and tapestries. Most of them date back to the seventeenth century when the castle was built, but there are some very fine garments from later eras, and specifically from 1811, so no wonder that we take the opportunity to put them on display this summer.

In 1811 His Excellency Count Magnus Fredrik Brahe was appointed Swedish envoy to the imperial court of Napoleon. Count Brahe was the highest ranking aristocrat in Sweden. He held many honorary titles and a vast fortune was entailed to him. Nonetheless this meant a great expence to him. His entourage included the countess Brahe and his handsome twenty-year old son. The witty Countess Aurora Brahe charmed the French society and Napoleon named her “La Belle Suédoise”.  In Paris the count ordered two formal suits à la Française for the celebration of  the birth of the King of Rome, that is Napleon’s son, Napoleon. The baptism was held in Notre Dame on 9 June 1811. It was a grand affair, and as ambassador Brahe was required to wear court suit. Napoleon had revived the extravagant embroidered silk suits worn at court before the revolution. If the provenance was unknown these could easily have been made twenty years earlier.

From the digital database: Count Brahe´s two court suits seen here with a livery probably worn by his valet to the same occasion.

His Excellency, Count Magnus Fredrik Brahe (1754-1826). Painting by Carl von Breda, Skokloster Castle.

Countess Aurora Wilhelmina Brahe, “La Belle Suédoise”. This miniature portrait was painted by Jean-Baptiste Augustin in Paris, 1811. Private collection.

Protected by white cotton covers, safely tucked away in our textile storage…

…are these stunning suits. This is the one in lavender grosgrain silk. The tailcoat has nine decorative buttons down the front, and three working button holes. Inv no 11930, 11931, 11939. Link to the database here.

View of the rear.

The lavender suit. This is the most formal of the two with elaborate silk embroidery, including cording, silver spangles, and glass sequins.

The embroidery is marvellous!

A closeup of the waistcoat. I discovered just now that some of the sequins have been lost.

Interesting seams over the shoulders. This indicates that pre-embroidered sections were pieced together.

Notice the cord and the button on the collar? This was either to hold a cloak or the ceremonial sword.

Notice how the embroidered flowers are cut in half by the side seams?

Let us take a look at the brown and green suit. Inv no 11945-11947. Link to collections database here. The embroidery is less formal, executed in silk thread only, without the glitter, but nonetheless very decorative.

Interestingly the upper buttonholes on both coat and waistcoat are nonfunctional. Again the condition is remarkable, but the suit was probably only used on that one occasion.

The silk is woven with small irregular dots. It is currently laid out on a large table.

Could have been made yesterday.

The breeches are green silk velvet.

Buttons and embroidered kneeband. Unexpected use of gold thread and sequins, since there is nothing of the sort on coat and waistcoat. I wonder why?

A glimpse of the inside. This is centre back. A string through one hole on each side of a gusset makes the waist adjustable. The garment is lined with a fine linen, Surprisingly, white linen is used on the waistband.

The white silk satin waiscoat. The collar is about 80 mm high.

These waistcoats came as a “waist shape”, a pre-embroidered length of silk that was cut and assembled by ones tailor. The emboidery was designed “à la disposition” and was easier to carry out on flat silk instead of a garment.

A Waistcoat shape, Victoria & Albert Museum.

Silk intended for a coat. Notice the embroidered circles that would cover the buttons? The Metropolitan Museum.

These suits are a testament to the skilled embroiderers who created such incredible work. Sadly there is no record of receipts or labels so their names are lost to us. They also evoke Napoleonic imperial splendour and aristocratic duties during the early nineteenth century. They will no doubt make a contrast to the no-nonsense Austen gentlemen.

A Coat, a Stock, a Shirt, and a Waistcoat: Extant garments

Nordiska museet (“The Swedish Victoria & Albert museum”) has a fairly new permanent costume gallery, but space is limited and the costume collection is extensive, so obviously there is much more in storage. So imagine the thrill when they arranged a handling session last week with garments from the empire era. Needless to say I was there early, but there was already an exited crowd outside the door. It was nice to find several friends among them so we chatted while waiting for our turn.

Nordiskamuseet-e1405678871911

Nordiska museet, Stockholm

The chosen garments were laid out on tables and anybody who wanted to take a closer look was provided with cotton gloves. (Yes we were actually allowed to touch them, supervised by the helpful conservators.)

The first thing that caught my attention was this elegant stock:

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Stock, ca 1820. This pre-tied cravat is in a remarkable condition. The silk taffeta is practically undamaged. Follow this link to the Swedish museum database for more information.

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Inside view of the stock. It is thin and weighs almost nothing. It is stiffened with paper.

It was great to see this dark blue tailcoat (1820-40). A tailor-made masterpiece like this should be seen on a person or at least a mannequin,  laid out on a table did not quite do it justice. Anyway, the coat had many details that are characteristic for the era: m-notch lapels, double-breasted closure, slightly gathered sleeves, bell-shaped cuffs with one button – understated elegance. Again the condition was so good it could have been brand new. Here is the link to the database (where I borrowed the image below, because it was difficult to take any decent photographs).

Nordiska museet coat 1

Nordiska museet coat

Neat buttonholes and prick-stitch. The lining is a wool and linen blend.

nordiska museet coat

Interesting to see the angle where front meets tail. Notice the short v-shaped seam? I suppose it is there to prevent the coat from loosing its shape and to protect from wear and tear.

A not so well preserved garment was this striped silk and linen waistcoat:

Nordiska museet waistcoat

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Nice details on collar (above) and pockets (below).

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I also noticed that the back, made of linen, was unlined. A showy piece of garment, rather than something to keep you warm!

One highlight was this shirt, or THE shirt. It was of a very fine quality, both in material and the way it was made, most likely by a skilled (professional?) seamstress/tailor. Every stitch was incredibly fine and most seams were flat-felled.

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The shirt has a ruffle along both sides of the opening.

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The gathering was microscopic.

nordiska museet shirt 2

The shoulder seam and view of the neck.

nordiska museet shirt

Closure: the shirt was never buttoned, but rather tied with this narrow ribbon. Notice the neat finish of the inside of the collar.

Something for the ladies: an evening gown, ca 1815-20. A fresh light blue silk, with cream-coloured trim.

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In this weird photograph I wanted a look at the inside of the bodice. Here the bodice is folded forward over the skirt.

There were three or four other gowns, chemises, a couple of frilled caps, and a pair of slippers.

Insights and conclusions? Well, as always I have the deepest respect for the amount of work that went into making clothes before industrialisation. You could not just walk in to a shop and buy clothes off the rack. It took some time and consideration to invest in new clothes. People in general had to make do and mend.

I am always impressed by the fine materials that were used and the microscopic yet perfect stitches they were able to make. And it is interesting to see the unfinished seams and surprisingly crude stitches on the inside. (We do like shortcuts, don´t we?)

Books, the internet, reproductions, and film costumes are good sources, but seeing the primary source – the real thing – with your own eyes is invaluable. (As long as you are aware of the limitations in terms of styling, proper underpinnings, posture, hairstyles, social status, etc.) But if you, like me, do not own a costume collection, do visit a museum now and then!

Another Waistcoat, part 3

Ladies and gentlemen, the waistcoat is finished! I have yet to wear it, but here is some picture proof to show you the result. Last time I was nearly there, but since then I made the collar, pockets, buttonholes, and general tidying up. About 95% is hand sewn. To speed the process I resorted to using the machine on one or two seams.

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Cutting the collar: striped cotton x 2 with linen interlining. It is about three inches/eight cm high and is not folded down. The linen is cut without seam allowance since it should only be sandwiched between the outer layers. I opted for vertical stripes rather than horisontal – as opposed to the actual waistcoat. Right or wrong? I thought it looked better.

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And here it is, sewn onto the waistcoat, meeting the lapel. The right end of the collar looks terribly uneven here, but it is acceptable inrl.

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The finished waistcoat: not a masterpiece but it will do. The lapels are a bit intimidating with their size and all that stripey-ness.

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The back in two layers of gauzy cotton/linen. Tabs in self-fabric ensures a better fit. I may have to sew an additional button on the inside to prevent the front from sagging as you can see here.

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Lapel and buttons.

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Another closeup. Hand-worked buttonholes! Functional pockets! (Although a closeup reveals the welt has the weave running in wrong direction – apparently the only difference between the right and wrong sides on the fabric – but who can tell…)

 

The finished waistcoat is not a masterpiece and I am not sure if it will ever be a favourite, but it will do for a picnic or two, and other events this summer. And it is nice to have a new addition to the wardrobe that wasn´t thrown together minutes before an event (says the master of procrastination). Are you on schedule with your current costume projects? Or are you one of those fellows who is occasionally sewn or stapled into a frock or other garment?

Another Waistcoat Part 2

Last time I presented this new project. A striped waistcoat with two rows of self covered buttons. It is not a major undertaking but do you think I managed to finish it? No. But I have at least sewn a little.

I am using a version of the flatlining technique (there seem to be different methods out there!) that is rarely seen today (except perhaps in haute couture). Before assembling the garment, main fabric and lining are joined together and are treated as one layer. The separate pieces of the main fabric are sewn together with corresponding piece of lining, right sides together. The right side is then turned out. This gives more weight to my rather thin main fabric and it makes neat edges on at least three sides. To assemble the waistcoat the pieces are whip-stitched or seamed together. This is the same method I used when making the pink linen waistcoat.

Waistcoat Williamsburg

Inspiration: Waistcoat, striped pink silk 1780-1800. Origin: Europe or England. Pink and cream silk satin with horizontal stripe, linen lining. Double breasted style with lapels and standing collar. Horizontal pocket welts. Waistcoat is cut straight across at waist. Back of plain linen with fitting ties. Colonial Williamsburg.

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The two front pieces are nearly done. I am saving the bottom edge and top of lapel for later.

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The inside: facing and lining.

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A peek between the layers: (from top) lining/facing, interlining and outer fabric.

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The back is cut from a thin cotton-linen blend. It looks hand-woven (althouhg it is not) and reminds me of cheese cloth. I certainly don´t need another warm garment and this fabric lets the heat out.

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The back is treated in the same way as the front pieces (with the exception of interlining), two layers are stitched together, then turned right side out.

I have very little time at present, but my plan is to present the finished waistcoat in the next post…

Another Waistcoat

I made the bold decision to start the new year with a waistcoat. It is not a project of gigantic proportions, but something to keep my hands busy these dark nights. Striped fabrics were fashionable for several decades during the neoclassical period from the late eighteenth century until at least the 1810´s, or so. Gentlemen who wished to be a la mode could invest in a waistcoat with the stripes running either vertically or horisontally. With this in mind it is obvious that my Regency wardrobe is in desperate need of a horisontally striped AND double-breasted waistcoat. I found this fiercly elegant waistcoat online through Colonial Williamsburg. Who can resist it? I like that the buttons are relatively small and self-covered and placed in two neat rows, not too far apart. I also like the simple collar and the elegant lapels that are just there, without making a statement. If you want more details visit the Williamsburg website here.

Waistcoat Williamsburg

Waistcoat, striped pink silk 1780-1800 Origin: Europe or England. Pink and cream silk satin with horizontal stripe, linen lining. Double breasted style with lapels and standing collar. Horizontal pocket welts. Waistcoat is cut straight across at waist. Back of plain linen with fitting ties. Colonial Williamsburg.

A different waistcoat. (From where? Had this image for ages.) It shows the adjustable tabs even though it is unnessecarily bulky.

Costume Parisien 1811.

Come January and all, I am reluctant to spending a lot of money. Now, modern gentlemen´s shirts are often striped, aren´t they? After a look in my closet I found this rarely used Italian shirt. Heard of Alessandro Fellini, anyone? I guess it was rather expensive at some point, but I was not emotionally attached to it and decided to repurpose it.

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Many fine details on this shirt. Figured I would not likely wear it again, but the striped cotton is nice and the colours match my coats and breeches.

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Carefully cutting the pieces. The back had just enough material for the waistcoat fronts.

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The cotton is rather thin, so I decided to interline it with mustard linen, to give it some weight. Seen here with a strip of heavier linen to give support to the buttons.

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Inside of right front sewn here with the facing. It needed some piecing, so there are two seams following the stripes and one vertical seam.

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Again the right part, folded along the seam with the linen interlining sandwiched between the striped layers.

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There is a lot of work left to do, but couldn´t resist starting on the buttons. The cotton is woven in diagonal stripes, so I decided to use this effect here.

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I think these metal buttons work fine. Fortunately they are not too expensive. I need at least a dozen.

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Lapel and button.

 

Now for some more linen to cut the back!

New Waistcoat

Last weekend I finished the buttonholes and yesterday I sewed on the buttons. So all work is done, and I got myself a new waistcoat! If you care to read about the process I managed to write five (!) installments for this little project. Click on links here, here, here, here, and here.

Photo by Regencygentleman aka Mr Tigercrona

Getting ready for some quick photos.

Photo by Regencegentleman

The idea was to make a rather plain and comfortable waistcoat for summer picnics. There was just enough of this pink linen for the typical 1790-1820’s style with short waist.

Photo by Regencygentleman

Six metal buttons. They are just ordinary modern buttons from the fabric store, but have that suitable neo-classical look.

Photo by Regencygentleman

I found the exact match of cotton embroidery thread. I used two strands for the buttonholes and one strand for the prick-stitches.

Photo by Regencygentleman

Closeup of collar and lapel.

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Waistcoat: collar

If you are under the impression that I have been lazy, you are (seriously but not entirely) mistaken. I have spent several hours these last weeks working on the waistcoat, and now I see the light in the tunnel. I promised to be detailed with the construction of the collar, so many photos today.

Photo by Regencygentleman

I started by measuring the length of the collar. I stood in front of a mirror wearing the waistcoat to decide how far the collar would go. Marked with pins at both ends.

Photo by Regencygentleman

Then I cut my collar. Three pieces (from top): outer fabric, heavy linen for interfacing and linen for lining.

Photo by Regencygentleman

The interfacing is stitched to the outer fabric. Note that interfacing follows the shape more closely. The excess fabric will be trimmed later.

Photo by Regencygentleman

Same piece seen from the right side. Observe that the outer layer has an inset piece of linen in order to save fabric. This will end up at centre back, and will be hidden beneath the collar of the coat.

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The collar (three layers) is then sewn together on three sides. Seam allowances and corners trimmed, and the entire thing turned right side out.

Photo by Regencygentleman

Three layers. The part I´m holding here is then pinned to the waistcoat…

Photo by Regencygentleman

… like so. Right sides together. I started at centre back on both pieces…

Photo by Regencygentleman

… and up to the marking (the needle) at the front.

Photo by Regencygentleman

This is after I sewed with a small backstitch through waistcoat and two layers of collar.

Photo by Regencegentleman

This is where the collar ends. The remaining part of the front forms the lapel. Here it is folded and pinned along same line as collar seam. The linen looks very green.

Photo by Regencegentleman

And seen from the inside. Seam allowance on collar and interfacing pressed upwards. The seam to the right is the shoulder seam.

Photo by Regencegentleman

The lining is folded down and pinned, then whip-stitched.

Photo by Regencegentleman

Next: Adding facing to the front edges. There was just enough pink linen left for this. I folded and pressed the front edge and then carefully whipstitched it in place. The top of the facing (with original hem) then covers the raw edge of the lapel.

Photo by Regencegentleman

I still thought the inside of the collar a bit messy so I decided to add a strip of linen to cover the seam with the added bonus of giving extra support to the collar.

Photo by Regencegentleman

There!

Photo by Regencegentleman

Closeup to show inside of collar and lapel.

Photo by Regencegentleman

Closeup of collar and lapel.

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Almost there! I need to add buttons, buttonholes and prick-stitch all edges.

 

Even more sewing…

The waistcoat is nearing completion, save for closure and collar. I have sewn the two front pieces to the back at shoulders and sides. Since all three pieces already had finished edges I was able to quickly whip-stitch them together. This is how I did it:

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Whip-stitching the side seam.

 

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Side seam is done. When laid out flat the stitches work as the spiral in a binder.

 

This technique is possible when all pieces have been sewn together separately, outer fabric with lining, right side facing right side, then turned inside out. Now you have lined pieces with neat edges since the seam allowance is hidden between the layers. The garment is then assembled in the way I described above. Somewhere online I saw a linen shirt (or shift) done this way, only that the edges were first hemmed and then whip stitched. Is perhaps easier than using the backstitch and then binding the seam allowances? Does it make sense? Have you tried this? And if so, did it work?

Sewing…

Over the last days I have made some progress on the waistcoat. When I wrote my last post there was spring in the air and it felt so right to start on a summery linen waistcoat. Not anymore. Nearly freezing, and even snow a couple of times. Well, I pulled myself together, and over the last days I cut all the pieces, and started to sew. I really enjoy hand-stitching and could not imagine to do this particular garment differently. (Only if time was pressed or similiar…)

Photo by Regencygentleman

Front pieces cut and stitched. There is a seam along the entire left side. The strip of sturdy linen is sandwiched between the layers for interlining. It is necessary to have some structure along the buttons and button holes.

Photo by Regencygentleman

Both layers of both front pieces sewn together along both sides, then turned right side out. It is historically correct to treat outer fabric and lining as one piece. The edges appear somewhat uneven, but they are yet to be pressed.

Photo by Regencygentleman

The back: sewn together along the curved lines, both (identical) layers are then pinned together (right sides together) and stitched along the side and armscye.

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Difficult to see (as if I was sewing by candlelight), but right side done. Left side to go.

 

Photo by Regencygentleman

A closeup of my hand stitched seam.

Next step is to turn right side out, press the edges, and then pin the back to the front pieces, check fit, then baste together sides and shoulders. Must not forget to baste the hem. Then start on buttonholes and collar!