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Gotta love when you start something a year ago and finally finish it almost exactly a year later. Such is life I suppose. Since beginning my “career” as a reenactor/living historian, I’ve had one plain blue jacket. It’s nice; it doesn’t show the dirt. Before I fully jumped into sewing, I purchased one because I thought making a jacket would be “too difficult.” I guess you could say I took my time with this one, though it feels more like some little bumps in the road to smooth sewing set me back. But there is no greater feeling than putting in that last stitch and slinging the garment on your dress form to take photos!!! Yay!!

Here it is!!

My main role at most events is a middling class impression. Therefore, all of my garments are wool or linen. (I’m easing out the cotton “for now” ones I made when I started the hobby). For now I’m leaving this jacket untrimmed. But I can see adding some embellishments in the future. I used the JP Ryan Jacket pattern view D and ended up adding an insert to each side because even though I’m narrow/slender, whatever size I cut for myself somehow did not fit me. I added about an inch on each side of the front opening to give it some overlap. It pins with straight pins down the front. Originally view D was supposed to have a stomacher and lace up the front. But that just seemed like too much work. Ha. It’s entirely hand sewn with linen for the fashion fabric and lining purchased from WM Booth Draper.






I loved the pointed tails on view D. I also love working with stripes and getting the lines to match up in the center back!





Here is a view of the side bit that was added. At least it looks nice with the stripes.

It’s fully lined. Also evident in this pic: me too lazy to even put my stays on the dress form.




I’m also really proud of myself because last year a friend told me about this neat way to line sleeves by sewing just one seam. I was a little hesitant because I really did not want to mess it up. I looked at a few pictures online and visualized everything and what not. Then I just pinned and double checked the fit and everything and then started sewing away. When I went to flip the sleeves – it worked!!!!!! It was seriously the easiest way to line sleeves for 18th cent garments and I can’t imagine doing it any other way now.





And now a bit of preliminary research for embellishment…

I love the matching fabric pleated trim and contrasting color ribbons. I really do. A lot.

Sometimes the petticoat was worn with a jacket instead of a full gown over it. One type of jacket was essentially a shortened robe a la francaise. In this form, it was called a pet-en-lair. Here is a pattern. Here is another illustration. The photo at left is of a garment in the Manchester Gallery collection from 1780-90.

From Costumer’s Guide from Manchester Collection