Saturday, April 26, 2014

Draping an 18th Century Jacket

So, now you know I made a jacket for the Historical Fortnightly Sew UFO challenge. :-) However, explaining everything I did to get to a jacket would be very, very long for one blog spot. Due to this, I've split it up into three posts. Here's the previous post on how to draft a sleeve. This post is focusing on the body of the jacket. The pattern I end up with can easily be modified to be used for a robe a l'anglaise as well.

First, you need a piece of cheap fabric. I used about a yard or so of muslin and cut a hole slightly off center. You want more fabric to the back than the front so it will hang evenly on the dress dummy. As you can see below.

Also, any undergarments you will be wearing with the outfit you are draping needs to be on the dress dummy as well. In this case, my hideous stays. I made sure they closed on the dress dummy the way they do on me. :-) Important to make sure this outfit will fit me the same way it does the dress dummy!

The next thing I do is take two pins (you will need a lot of pins) and just put them a bit loosely right at the underarms. This is so I can see where I need to cut the armsyce first -this helps a lot with final visualization.

The arms do not need to be perfect at first, as you can see below. Just visible.

After cutting away the armsyce, I pin the sides loosely at the sides - just tight enough so I can see a humanish shape. 
Since I do not want the seams directly on the side, I've pinned the seam further back - where it will end up on the final pattern.
Once that's done, I started "pinching" the back where I want the seams to be for the 18th Century jacket.  This follows the general pattern lines for most late 18th Century jackets and dresses (think Janet Arnold).   I've also pinched the shoulders in this picture below.   I change it later on.  And yes, those are my scissors sticking out of the dress dummies neck.  You'll need them often and close at hand to cut off excess fabric.
The entire back is pinched the way I like it for the back panel piece.  It might look a bit uneven but that isn't a big deal - I only ever use one side for the pattern and throw the other side away.
Now to play with the front!  I've pinched the shoulder seam in this photo.  I've also started on the side panels and cut the neckline!

This is a much better photo of the side "pinching".  I also have cut a bit more of the armscye.  I tend to keep cutting it as I go since the fabric will continue to get tighter around that area.
For this photo, I've cut the neckline lower and shaped the left side of the jacket waist to where I want it.
What the final pinched back looks like.  I wanted to keep a "skirt" for the back of the jacket.  I've cut away all the excess fabric on the right side. 
This is what the fabric pieces looks like once I took them off the dress dummy.   I ended up cutting the skirt off for this project and making it a separate piece. 
Here's all the pieces placed together so you can see how the back, sides, and front work together as a flat pattern.  
I hope this was somewhat helpful!   Next, the actual UFO project!


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