Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Hand-Sewn 18th Century Jacket In A Day!

On Saturday, I had an 18th century event I wanted to attend. . . And on Friday, (yes I mean the day before!) I decided that I should turn this fabric:

Into this jacket:

In just the one day, and with doing the entire thing by hand - no machine involved!

Well, this is how far I got on day #1:

Not too shabby! I was able to get up the next morning and finish it enough to be able to wear it. . .

I really feel like this went pretty well, considering that I did not make a mock-up before cutting in to my fabric! I should have probably shortened it overall just a bit, as I'm pretty short-waisted and there's wrinkling there telling me it wishes to be shorter, but it's nothing too extreme. . . Really, I think the only things I need to fix are to move the shoulder strap, and rotate the sleeve. The pattern (which is the JP Ryan jackets pattern) had me lining up the sleeve so that the sleeve seam lines up with the bodice seam under the arm. This is not correct! If you do that, the nook for your elbow will be sticking out of the side/front of your arm. And that's why you see the end of the sleeve being all wrinkly on me! So, I'll need to rotate the sleeve a bit, and then I think it will be just about perfect.

All in all, I'm super happy with it! And now I know that I can hand-sew an entire 18th century jacket in less than 24 hours. In fact, I kept a little log of all the time I spent on it, and it actually came to 13 hours and 6 minutes! It actually should have taken a little longer than this because I didn't finish the second half of the jacket as nicely as I did the first half, and I've yet to make eyelets. . . Just for kicks, when I go to do all that, I'll have to track that time too!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New stays are getting there. . .

Last night, I finally stopped procrastinating the part where I overstitch the panels together by hand, and sat in front of a good movie and went to town. It's almost done! Just a little more to go on the wedge-shaped pieces.

And then, I even remembered to wash out the markings before going to bed, so that it would be dry today in order to put boning in. . . Which is what I need to go do right about now! ;)

Friday, September 21, 2012

New stays!

So I went a little crazy the other day and decided I needed new stays for an event I'm attending a week from Saturday! And that I also need other things, such as an apron, a flat cap, and maybe even a new jacket. . . What can I say? The 18th century sewing bug has bitten - and hard! It was around this time of year many moons ago when I first started falling in love with reproducing 18th century, so every year around this time I start getting obsessed with 18c all over again, and I'm sure that is helping me feel inspired to take on so much just now. ;)

As much as I'd love beautifully period-correct, hand-sewn stays out of fine fabrics, with a deadline like that, I had to be sensible and take short cuts. That said, I also want those period-correct stays some day. So here's my happy medium, so far:

I did thus far by machine. This is a different construction method than I typically use. I'm used to constructing cover layer and lining layer separately, sewing them at CF and CB, and then flipping them, and sewing boning channels. What I've done here is turn the raw edges for each panel inwards, and sewn the cover layer to lining layer, and sewn all boning channels. . . (And the blue you're seeing is the washable marker, which I'm about to wash out - not stitching lines. I was boring and did the stitching in white. But hey, my previous stays are cream, and then pink with white, so I had no boring white stays yet!) So now, I'll whip the panels together by hand. . . And then I just need to wait for some missing boning lengths to arrive, and then it's just binding and eyelets. (Neither of which technically need to be done in order for them to be worn, so even if that boning arrives at the eleventh hour, I should be okay!)

Oh, and for the record, this is the newer JP Ryan stays pattern (the one that has straps).