Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Project 1 - 1860s Outerwear

Project 1: 1860s Outerwear
Materials from the stash:
  1. 2.5 yards of 25 inch wide brown paisley printed velveteen, some sort of cotton blend, purchased from the Goodwill as-is thrift store, circa 2005
  2. 1 yard of brown cotton velvet, also from Goodwill as-is store from 2005
The Dickens Christmas Faire is a yearly tradition at the Cow Palace

I switched to my default plan, Butterick Pattern 5266. This pattern has a decent shape and with some modifications could easily make a similar silhouette to mid-1860s outerwear.

Since I was limited by the amount of my paisley velveteen I had to shorten the pattern to just below hip level. I also chose to leave off the cape and shift the shoulder seams further back to a more appropriate Victorian seamline.

In general I was going for a garment that resembles the one in this photograph from the excellent book, Dressed for the Photographer by Joan Severa.

Here's the final result. The paisley velveteen blend wrinkles horribly in storage but with enough ironing manages to look good for a whole day.

near San Francisco. I always dress up in Victorian costume to attend the Faire. Although it is inside the arena it is not heated and is often cold. This year I decided to make a jacket to wear over my silk gown. The initial plan was to use a pattern from the book, 60 Civil War-Era Fashion Patterns by Kristina Seleshanko, these are reprints from Peterson’s Magazine, and do not contain instructions other than the text that was published in the original. This book is not for the easily frustrated. Despite my many years of costuming and numerous small scale mock-ups I could not figure out some of critical parts of the pattern that I was trying.

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