{JennylaFleur: Dress Diaries}

1780s pierrot jacket


Pierrot Jacket
a jacket of the late 1780s

draped by me, sleeves based on Tailor's Guide riding habit pattern

poly stripe, cotton (lining)

A traveling costume created for
Coaching Day at Stratford Hall.

Completed 2008.




The Results:


August 2008
At Costume College.
More photos from this event can be found here.



 {photo courtesy of Sara}

{photo courtesy of Aubry}


April 2008
At Gunston Hall's Coaching Day event.
More photos from this event can be found here.






The Dress Diary:

When I began this project little did I know that it would take so long and go through so many variations before it was completed!
It took over a year, thanks to some snags and had a change of design and fabric before it was finished but the results are stunning,
if I do say so myself. *grin* I hope you aren't too confused on the windy and often bumpy journey that is the diary of this project!


January 01 2007


Tonight I sat down and figured out what style of jacket I want. After some research and scheming I decided to go with something rather different than my Ruffled Jacket. I wanted something based on the blue jacket trimmed in pink from Mary Doering's collection and the Northern Society of Costume and Textiles Revolution dress pattern. I knew I'd have to change the NSoCT pattern quite a bit so I decided to just drape it, using that (and a 1790s bodice from 18th century Embroidery Techniques) as my reference.


I first traced the old Ruffled Jacket pattern onto my toile fabric for reference. I then took my measurements and stuffed Narcissa to approximate them. Then the draping began. Once I got it to a point where I couldn't do more on Narcissa (she is only so helpful with the 18th century shape), I took the toile off, pressed the pinned seams and tried it on.


I'm pretty pleased with the back. It needs to be more fitted through the waist but the little peplum looks good. I think it's a bit long and might need to be a bit wider but I don't know.

I'm surprised (and a bit dismayed) at how much work the front bodice piece needs. It's the same bodice I've used on all my 18th century things for heavens sake! I expected a bit of taking in (the ruffled jacket IS too big) but this was much more than that. I've had to pretty much re-work the whole thing. *sigh* All in all a good night's work though. I should un-pin, mark new seams and transfer to toile #2 but it won't happen tonight. I'm tired and my headache is coming back. *grinds teeth*

I think part of the problem is the stays. I think I really need to work on that new pair before I go any further with this jacket, or any of my 18th century projects for that matter. I just don't like the way the old ones are fitting or the shape they are now giving me. Bah – back to not being able to do anything without tackling underwear first. I really want to work on pretty! I also don't know what I want to do with my stays. Do I want to try and correct my issues with these or try a new pattern? I love the Diderot (or did when they were new) but I'm intrigued with the Leloir in my new Cut of Women's clothes or perhaps a later, like 1790s pair. *ponders*

March 2008

When projects go bad ... The Redingote is just not working. *sigh* So after coming to that realization, I spent most of today going through files & books trying to find something I can actually finish on time. It took a little time but I now have a slight glimmer of excitement about the stupid event once again. I've decided to make a perriot jacket and matching petticoat along the lines of the one in Kyoto FI. Not quite "riding attire" but it will pass for a traveling costume

*drum roll* The lovely striped fabric! I'm using this lovely avocado green and chocolate brown stripe I had ear-marked for a Regency Spencer. However my 18th century need is greater at the moment! I still can't believe I never thought of making a perriot jacket out of this, I guess because I'd planned on making a Spencer out of it for so long. Tunnel vision strikes again. It was a gift from the generous Elizabeth - thanks again so very much!

March 23 2008


Toile #1, using the jacket toile I started working on last year. Not bad at all. Looks like I was right about some of the fitting problems being due to the stays. Now that I have new stays, with a slightly later shape, most of the fitting issues have disappeared. Very cool!

The back peplum needs a little more "umph" and the front needs some shaping. I also want the stripes to be slightly on the diagonal, so I'm going to change the front grain a bit (using my red stripe anglaise pattern as a guide).

March 25 2008

My new jacket toile is going quite well - so glad I switched projects. The more I look at my green and brown stripe the more excited I get. I think this will be super fun to wear. *shakes head* I just can't believe the idea never occurred to me before, the fabric has only been sitting on my shelf for ages.


Toile #2. Looking pretty good. The back hem needs a little shaping but I like the extra bits I added. The armhole is a little high. You can just see the marking for the "zone" front. On to the sleeves!

Since the bodice toileing is finished and the sleeve is getting there, I laid out everything to see if I have enough fabric for a matching skirt. I do - yay!

April 7 2008


Last night I got my green striped petticoat cut, seamed, pleated and the waistband pinned on. Today I have added twill tape ties, and sewn it up. It's now hanging in my closet awaiting a hem - yipee.

April 9 2008


I traced out the sleeve from the Tailor's Guide riding habit pattern. I cut out a toile of the pattern as is and tried it on. Overall I like the sleeve pattern, better than any of the other 18th century long sleeves I've tried so far.

It needs length, both above and below the elbow. The cap in the back needs a bit of shaping to fit my bodice's more narrow back look but overall not too bad. I've made my marks on the toile and that is as far as I've gotten.

April 12 2008


Last night I got a new toile for my sleeve cut out and cut & seamed my flannel under-petticoat. Today I have got to get this outfit further along! So I started by sewing the new sleeve into the bodice toile and trying it on. It looks pretty good. I need to add a little to the largest part of my arm and take away some at the very top. I think I also need to add another 1/2" to the very top so that it doesn't pull so much at the shoulder strap.

I'm also going to take the time to cut a new bodice toile. The fabric I used on this one is rather thin and loosely woven, not great toile fabric in fact. It's really starting to stretch out and since my fashion fabric has no give to it I want to double check everything (and the sleeve fitting) in something stiffer. I have a feeling it will save me heartache later on ...

*trots down to the stash for some new toile fabric*

April 12 2008

So yeah, that new jacket toile. It doesn't fit at all. It looks like crap and I don't know how to fix it. The last toile fit and now it doesn't? The sleeves are also not working.

I hate sewing.
I hate Coaching Days.
I hate the 18th century.
I hate this crap.

I think I'm losing my costuming touch. I'm beginning to think the recent good stuff (ie Poe & Pearl dress) was just a fluke. Whatever happened to things just being challenging, why is everything just a disaster now?

April 13 2008

Thanks for your encouragement and kind words to my ranting post my dear friends. I needed that.

I allowed myself an LJ rant over the thing but not the following pity party. I persevered with the jacket's bodice toile and refitted it right after I got off the computer. I have to admit as I started to work on it I was crying from the frustration of it all. I've never done that before, usually I throw it across the room and sulk.

It took several tries, lots of taking on and off and tweaking, but I got that sucker re-fitted and looking even better than before (when I thought it was finished). Proof there is a God and He loves me. A lot.

Once that was done I took a break to do some necessary MK work, take a long hot shower and eat the yummy sushi Daddy went out and bought me. I felt much better after all that. So about 8pm, instead of in the morning which had been my intent, I started work again on the sleeves. They went pretty well (thanks in part to the work I'd put in before discovering the bodice was wrong) and the toileing was done by 10:30pm - finally!


The finished results. I will be tweaking the sleeve slightly but no need for another toile. I picked apart half the toile but I was out of tracing interfacing (apparently) to trace my master pattern. So I decided to make it an early night and get the interfacing on my way on home from church the next day. Which I did. :>

April 16 2008

I worked on the jacket a little yesterday ... not sure where the rest of my day went. I traced my toile into an interfacing master pattern (I have a feeling I'll be using this one again) then cut out the fashion fabric and lining. I started sewing things together but didn't get too far. I was just too tired and not in the mood last night. So I went to bed.

April 17 2008

Cutting it out was an adventure as I had the remainder of my fabric in two pieces. It took some fiddling but I got it to fit on one so I have a nice big left over piece. 'Cause you never know when you will need some striped fabric.


I've been working on it a few hours at a time this week but really knuckled down today. It's all done except for the sleeve hem and hooks & eyes - yay!

April 19 2008

Last night I cranked out 3 petticoat hems and finished the handwork (sans hooks and eyes) on my jacket. I think three hems in one night must be a record - I'm rather proud of myself.

I tried the outfit on and oh my gosh it looks good! But I will make you wait to see the whole enchilada next weekend. B is going to do my hair so it will look fabulous too. I love having her home again.

April 28 2008

Coaching Day - we made it! I'm sorry I've been so silent here lately but here is the proof of why! I'm so happy, not only did we get gowns made, trimmed and accessorized but we finished days ahead and got some sleep in-between. Last year's 24 hour sewing marathon taught us the importance of sleep!

B and went a little crazy and had way too much fun taking pics, can you believe we took over 350?

This all-day event required us to get up way too early but we were determined to have fabulous hair. Bridget, ie the hair goddess (TM), did our hair for us (I finished off hers by pinning up her curls in back).


We all have some padding in the form of rolled and scrunched black nylon netting. I was really tickled the idea worked as it's so cheap and lightweight. Yay!

I couldn't be more thrilled with my outfit. I felt very much the pretty, pretty princess. The fabric was just perfect (thanks again Elizabeth!), the muff so fun to hold and the hat heavy but wonderful elegant. I so love this later style. I should have laced my stays a little tighter at the top but was too lazy to do so once everything was on, oh well.


The day was on the chilly side (yay for those flannel petticoats we made!) and it misted/rained lightly throughout the day. The gray skies didn't dampen our spirits, even if it made curls fall and pics more challenging to take. Despite the rain, it was a wonderful afternoon and a really fun event.

Oh and yes ... want to guess who made it into the local paper today? Free Lance Star



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