Tuesday, February 24, 2015

18th Century Caraco


This was a UFO project.  I started this jacket last year as a button front.   It ended up way too big so I threw it into the UFO pile where it languished for the past few months.   However, once Williamsburg got closer, I knew it had to be taken out and given another chance.

This was after I ripped off the front panels.  It's still way too big and I had to figure out how to take it all in.
This was part of the problem.  I have no idea why I extended the side into the neckline like that.  I really don't.  But that inch and a half on either side needed to go.

So I folded it to create a line (yeah, I know it's wrinkled.  It will get better, I swear!) and then chopped the upper front sides off.
The back gape.  It still gapes but not quite this badly.  I know what I did wrong and it's more trouble than it's work to fix it completely.

I took the entire thing apart, repleated the back, folded the center back insides over to take another inch off there, turned the front panels into a stomacher and then....
Williamsburg 2015

I'm on the left.  The photo was taken by Gloria of In the Long Run.  Once it was repleated, the back came out really well.  There is still a slight gape at the back because, as you can see in this photo, the back neckline is curved rather than straight.  I really just can't correct that without making an entirely new back lining - which isn't fun with 18th Century outfits.

I know, I need to iron it.  I swear I did before I left for Williamsburg!  It just ended up in the big purple body bag and...got squished.

I also didn't finish the sleeves until the day off.  Rather, I didn't finish sewing the sleeves on until the day off.  The sleeves were done.


The fabric is a chintz I picked up at Fort Fred a couple of years ago.  Although it doesn't have any orange in it, the bright orange quilted petticoat really went well with the fabric tones.   The bodice is lined in that glue stiffened fabric I can never remember the name of even though I should and cotton.  


  1. I love this whole outfit!! I want to make a caraco jacket this year. What pattern did you use? Where did you get the quilted orange fabric? I'm a big fan of things not being totally matchy so I love that you used an orange petticoat with the jacket!

    Also how did I not know about this blog before? It's not on your blog list on extantgowns.com! Anyway, I'm now adding it to my faves so I can keep up with your creations.

    1. I honestly don't remember which pattern I used. I suspect I adapted JP Ryan's pattern but I might have used one of the BIG 3. I ended up having to do a ton of changes - make it a francais back, the sleeves, the length of the skirt, the stoamcher front, ect.

      A friend of mine gave me the orange fabric a few years back. I quickly made it up into a half way decent petticoat for some of the colder outdoor 18th century events. It's survived quite a few since then. I'm working on a purple one - from an old king comforter- and will make a red one as well.

      I *think* if you click on my name, you'll see all three of my blogs. :-)