Saturday, 6 April 2013

18th century - adorable jacket!

I just need to share this with you!! I have just stumbled across the most adorable jacket. But see for yourself! here's the link: Original 18th century jacket - casaquin -watteau pleats - 1770s/80s

these pictures are from the above page, isn't this just wonderful?!!! *OMG* squeak!

Stays - the Reconstructing History 833 pattern review

I have decided to make a new set of stays. Despite the fact that I could just make another pair of the JPR Stays adjusted to my "after-baby-shape" (I seem to have shrunk...), I have started on the Reconstructing History pattern #833... they seemed rather interesting. An open/stomacher version, a regular front, wide front and a late 1790s high waist one. The pattern pieces do NOT correspond with ANY of the stays pictured on the envelope of the pattern though and you have to do lots of improvising. I don't think I needed to buy a pattern for that... if I want to draft a pattern myself I don't buy a pattern (applied logic...). Well, anyway, I copied my size and the different versions and startet on the mock-up.
At first this suggestion to make the stays cut in one piece out of cardboard  (as the mock-up) seemed quite alright, but I have to says I am not completely happy. I also have to make quite a lot of changes. The pattern seems to assume that the side and front of your body is rather the same measurement (sort of round or square shaped, or trianguar or so, weird anyway), but I find I am rather elliptic. Thinking about it, I think most people are... The front is really really slim (about 30% smaller than me and I am more on the petite side...) so I had to widen the front piece considerably (and I just wanted a regular width for a mid 18th century version). The side pieces are relatively wide and then the back is superwide which means I have to remove about 30% width of the back and side sections at least. Also I find the instructions quite sketchy. I feel a bit like the general idea of what sort of pieces stays at different times were made of was thrown at me but to actually make something of it is left to me entirely. 
Also I find the tabs disturbingly long (about 10cms, and totally different (in proportion) to the pictures). Anyway, I find it a bit hard to find the motivation to go on with this pattern. I am thinking about using this pattern for the stomacher version only (there's probably a reason why that is the only picture on their homepage). It seems a waste to have bought a pattern and not do anything with it... maybe it's me, but I can't really recommend this pattern, I would even go so far to say keep your hands away.. I will do the fitting for the stomacher version and keep you updated, but if you are planning to do a set of stays, go for the JPR or Period Impressions ones, they all need careful fitting but those are minor to what I am facing at the moment. I am also going to try the NP13 Diderot stays pattern, I will let you know if there is any progress. For now, I say toodle-pip and I am grumbling along. ;)