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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Novelty Print Jacket · 1780s Style

Next up in my installments of 18th century garments: my Fabulously Colored 1780s Jacket!

I have such a hard time not being extremely critical about my 18th century clothing, and this one is no exception.  I love the jacket, but my accessories really need to step up a few notches!
So please- turn a lenient eye, and let me know if you have some ideas on improving the look! :-)

Why is it that I only remember my need for updated accessories when I actually put on the garment at the event?!  At any rate, here's the outfit in its current state.  Maybe at some point it will get a bit of a refurbishment. ;-)

I absolutely love this fabric (purchased from Colonial Williamsburg) and I knew it would be perfect as a jacket.  It happens to go with almost every single one of my petticoats, so the variety in colors definitely payed off!

I made this jacket 3 years ago, but this past December was the first time I was able to wear it in a seasonally appropriate setting!  So nice to be happy for the long sleeves, rather than gritting my teeth through an 85° day. ;-)

The jacket is trimmed around the sleeves and peplum with a gathered self-fabric trim.  This ended up being the most time-consuming method of trimming I've ever done, but the effect was worth it. :-)

The back seams release into box pleats at the waist and are accented by (ironically nearly-invisible) covered buttons.

You know how I was saying that I forget about all the fixes I need to make to my outfits until I'm wearing it?  Well, I completely forgot that I needed to pack my bum roll for our trip.  This jacket positively begs for a little extra "oomph", so I was desperate for a substitute.
Enter: socks.
They're perfect!  In fact, so perfect that all of us ended up safety-pinning socks inside our petticoats all week long. ;-)

Ahhh, the silly things you do for fashion.

Closing with pins down the front, like usual!

I used J.P. Ryan's jacket pattern as a base, lengthening the sleeves as referenced from period sources and changing the armhole shape so that it joined in at the intersection of the back/strap/side back seams.

That angle where the peplum starts and the front point begins is such a bear!  Too low and it runs into the skirt pleating and bunches up.  Too high and the skirt waistband shows!  It's just unforgiving!
I ended up getting it *almost* right, but it's still a tad short-waisted.  I've discovered the wonder of using straight pins to corral all my unruly bits, and a little pin at this point does wonders!  No more constant fiddling throughout the day!

My original inspiration came from this print, Cries of London: Knives, Scissors, and Razors to Grind.
The end result, however, took advantage of a little creative license and used other garments for additional inspiration, as you can see. :-)

· As always, lovely pictures by Kathryn! ·


  1. This whole outfit is positively beautiful!! The jacket is perfect!! I love the fabric, and the colors are fabulous. That is so funny about the socks!! Whatever works, right? :)
    I can't wait to do some colonial sewing soon! I feel like I need to study up on it first though, I'm pretty clueless about even the techniques used to make the garments.
    Lovely ensemble, Lily!! The pictures are so beautiful too - Williamsburg is on my "Someday" list! ;)

    1. Thanks, Esther!

      I'd highly recommend reading any books by Linda Baumgarten that you can get your hands on- those will help you get in the right direction for techniques. :-) There is a wealth of information on the 1770s available, so it's a great period to learn about!

  2. Beautiful job on the jacket! The love the pleated trim and print. It really looks wonderful paired with that petticoat! As for accessories try adding an apron, like the white one you worn in your earlier post. Also a wonderfully ruffled and ribbon trimmed cap. Larkin and Smith have added some new ones to their shop. The "Phyllis Wheatley" would look grand!
    Another accessory to consider would be mitts but they might not work as well with the long sleeves of this jacket.

    1. Thank you, Emily!

      And once again, thanks for all the suggestions! :-) I wanted to wear an apron (usually do), but forgot to pack the one I was planning on. I love the idea of making some new caps- pathetically, I only have one. :-P

  3. I love the tucked-in waist with peplum! This outfit seems straight out of a story book, and I mean that in a complimentary way. :)

  4. Lovely jacket and pictures! What a fabulous fabric for mix-and-match potential.

    I must remember that tip for pinning down the point! I had the same issue with my swallowtail jacket being slightly too short at the same juncture.

  5. I have a jacket with a peplum that starts further back...and learned the first time I wear it, that a straight pin works wonders. Keeps the waistband from showing, keeping everything in place. Love the color of the petticoat.

  6. The gathered trim is just lovely. And I love it paired with your red accessories and green petticoat. So pretty!

    the Middle Sister and Singer

  7. Lovely! The print is so striking in it's colors. And I LOVE the color of the petticoat. It's an unusual shade of green, but one that I love!


  8. I squee'd to myself when I saw this! Besides being so beautifully and just perfectly wrought I love how peppy and cheerful the print and colours are! It looks a positively joyous little outfit! And your workmanship is exquisite.

    1. Carolyn, thanks so much! What a sweet comment! :-) I've been enjoying reading your blog- your historical clothing is exquisite, itself! :-)

  9. Lovely! You did such a good job! I think you should lower your expectations in this case, it looks great as it is! Your have such talent my dear!

  10. Love this jacket! I was looking at that fabric yesterday for a caraco jacket and it is so nice to see it made up into a garment! It made up my mind I am definitely getting that fabric. Wonderful job on it - I love the gathered self trim!

    1. I highly recommend the fabric! I love it more each time I wear it. :-)

  11. Beautiful! I love the vibrant colors on that print!

  12. The trimming is so much fun! And I love the colors!

  13. I love Your costume :) The print, and color, mmmm :D

  14. Exquisite, and so beautifully made. The entire outfit is a dream. Kudos!



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