Saturday, July 14, 2012

Regency tailcoat - Jane Austen Festival

I have made two Regency style tailcoats for J-L, she is modeling one on the right. They were great for my first attempt but the pattern was an OOP Burda 'historical' 1830s style that I adapted. I got the 'look' as you can see, but there are many 'faults'.

First fault of both jackets are that they are too small, my bad, I used old measurements, opps and J-L had 'grown', so what was meant to be double breasted front became a fashionable unbuttoned coat of the period. The second black velvet evening tailcoat was adjusted and buttons up. But ...

Both are too hot for her, both are fully lined in silk, so they breathe but when she is dancing or on a very hot day, its murder.

So for Bath I am making two new jackets, one black silk damask for evening wear, with black silk damask knee breeches. The other is a very dark green silk suiting which is light weight and has a beautiful hand. Both jackets, as is period, will be unlined with the exception of the tails. So hopefully they will be cooler and unlike the gentleman to the far right, perspiration might be held at bay when dancing.

I am using the Country Wives Regency Tailcoat pattern. I'm not doing the M-notches and I am using a different collar, the standing collar of the period that I have created it for the Regency dustcoat, J-L prefers it, as do I, far more Scarlett Pimpernel.

Scarlett P\impernel
I created the toile and it went together like a dream, its a great pattern, well designed, good, if minimal, markings, but the pattern notes are not brilliant, many assumptions, things glossed over, I found them a good guide as I knew all the techniques, but it would be a steep learning curve for a beginner. The toile mirrors the Country Wives pattern exactly with no changes. I used the rolled collar for the toile.

Back, this is sitting on my size 10 dummy, so looks too big, the back did need to be taken in to have a better fit by about an inch on the three back seams.

Front fits well, it was too long so I took off two inches

Sleeves are good, but way too long, I took four inches off them.
Onto the fashion fabric, its a lovely black silk damask, narrow width, with a one way pattern that meant I had to cut the right and left sides separately, remembering to turn the pattern. The fabric comes from a local second hand shop, there was 10 metres of it, a great find.

First cut for right side

Second cut for left side
Putting the silk damask together, it was a dream to sew, I was most surprised and very pleased!

So the first task is to add the side pockets, I don't do welt pockets often, so I practised on the toile to remember the process.

Creating pocket in jacket side front, no idea why camera has turned the fabric gold!

Pocket bag added

Flaps added

A view with flap held up
 Next step is to add the front padding and for me, this is the lining as well. I interface the piece with modern interfacing. I didn't want to add bulk to J-L's chest area as nature has provided her with enough natural padding <grin>. I'm not sure about the interfacing, its feeling a tad stiff, I need to see what its like on.

Adding the front chest padding/lining.
As I'm not lining the jacket I extended the interfacing around the jacket front 'corner', I then turned the 1/2 seam allowance down the bottom of the jacket and I will add ribbon to the straight seams and catch stitch it down as a facing.

Facing turning the 'corner' on the jacket front
 Next step is putting on the back pieces.

Back section added, pleats pressed in

Front view of tails
I stitched up the sleeves next, a two piece sleeve with a cuff attached and then put them aside to do the collar.

Attaching cuff to sleeve
 I was going to use a different collar shape, but it didn't work, so I used the pattern's rolled collar that had worked so well with the toile. I used a silk linen that I had in my stash for the under collar.

Rolled collar looks like a mustache!

Attaching rolled collar to jacket body

Pining collar to neckline

Back collar attached

Front collar attached

Side collar view
Final fitting photos follow ...

Very pleased with the fit and cut of the jacket, now for all the hand sewing, buttons and button holes.

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