Monday, December 31, 2012

Finished Just in Time! 1790's Jacket

Well, I have been reconfirmed in my opinion that people are like fabric.  You can see it and it looks good at first but once you start working with it, it goes the wrong way, does everything except what you want it to and tries to thwart your best-laid plans and you end up despising it.

Thus was the case with my fabric. I have had it for a few months. I fell in love with it when I saw it. It was so pretty and silky and soft and such a lovely silvery-blue color. I was so excited to use it for my 1790's jacket. But I found out quickly that this fabric is evil. The label said 100% cotton but I swear there is something else in there. The fabric does not hold a crease well yet wrinkles easily. It moves and grows and shortens and expands and does not stay in place with the normal amount of pins. Instead of acting as 1 with my lining fabric it acts as its own separate thing. It was horrible to work with.

I had to ditch the style I originally wanted since the pleats looked very odd in this fabric. They stuck out from the back very weirdly indeed. To salvage it I had to cut the jacket off at waist length. I gathered and attached a peplum to the back of the jacket instead of having a peplum cut as part of the bodice pieces. I was inspired by this 1780-1795 era jacket, from Williamsburg:

I had to sew everything on the jacket at least twice except for the eyelet holes. For some reason nothing came out right the first time. The double ruffle I wanted to add around the neckline came out looking very clownish so I had to redo that and ended up just using ruching at the neckline.

In the end though, I am pretty happy with how it looks. Since the fabric has almost zero "give", it is very tight to wear even though the sleeves are cut on the bias. But since the cut is close to the body it is still comfortable to move in.

The center front edges are boned because I meant the jacket to close edge to edge. For some reason the waist came out a bit large so the front edges overlap a bit at the waist but it is not that noticeable from a distance.

For the pictures I am wearing it with my 1840's corded petticoat, my bum pad and my brown cotton hobbit petticoat.

I discovered that the petticoat bands sit around my natural waist which is a bit longer than the waist on this jacket.

I'd like to eventually make a sheer airy white petticoat to wear with this jacket and I will attach suspender straps to it to keep it up at the right level so you don't get glimpses of the waistband!

Anne is wearing one of Malachi's baby caps and the little gown I made Malachi for the Jane Austen festival last year. It is really *not* that big on her! She is growing quickly.

This was my last sewing project of 2012! It is hard to believe. I wish all you darlings a very wonderful and happy New Year!! May this coming one be the best yet!



  1. I am wowed by the perfect fit. Also by your determination to finish it despite the fabric's unwillingness to cooperate. I would have given up.

    Anne is so sweet. She looks like your boys, but with a definite femininity. It's neat to finally see the girl version of Sarah + David. :)

    Happy New Year to you all! Wishing you many blessings in 2013!

  2. Thanks Emily! Hey - I noticed a while ago you made your blog private. I keep checking it hoping it is now un-private but alas, it still is. I was told to contact the blog author to gain permission to see it. If you are giving permission to interested readers, could you get ahold of me at david _sarahmeister @ mtco. com? (If not I totally understand!! I just would love to keep up w/ you and your blog if its possible!!)

  3. I'm glad you were able to finish the jacket--I can really identify with that sort of fabric!

    I'm curious to know what kind of suspenders you will use for your petticoat and how you will do them.

    Great job, and Happy New Year!


  4. First: Sarah, you look so, so radiant in these pictures! The jacket looks great and fits you beautifully.

    Second: I miss Emily's blog as well! Emily, if you are reading this, I completely understand if you need to keep your blog private. But your sense of humor is sorely missed! I hope the blog re-opens some day.

    Happy New Year to you both!

  5. Despite all the issues you've had with that evil fabric, the jacket turned out truly wonderful.
    You're right, the colour is really beautiful and I guess it would look stunning with a sheer white skirt.

    Happy New Year to you and your family,


  6. What a gorgeous outfit! I love those soft colors together and the shape of your jacket is charming. Beautiful work!

  7. A perfect fit! It looks absolutely delicious on you...if I'm allowed to say that about a garment.:)

  8. Dear Sarah Jane,
    In this case, evil is not as evil does, for the fabric acted badly but ended up looking great as a garment!

    The picture of Anne is precious! Those happy eyes...

    Hugs and happy New Year,



Thank you for your lovely thoughts!