Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Harper's Bazar Vol.IV, No.12 - Jacket and Blouse

   As some of your may know, a few weeks ago I scored a massive lot of Harper's Bazar magazines from 1871, 15 of which still included their pattern supplements. Add to that the few I already had on hand, plus the French patterns I bought from a very wonderful seller in France, and I now have almost 200 separate antique garment patterns from the mid to late 19th century.

And so, here is my latest target: a "sleeves jacket for young woman", HB-IV12III (Harper's Bazar, Vol.4, No.12, pattern 3)
Pattern Quality: Excellent =)
Ease of altering: Very easy to alter =) As this jacket only has 3 torso seams, plus the front darts, It would be quite easy to grade this one up to a larger size.

   I will start off by saying that this pattern is incredibly simple. It is comprised of only two pattern pieces: front, and back. As with most of these antique patterns, there are no instructions for trim, closures, or the belt you see in the fashion plate. There is also no image of the jacket from the front, so the closure method is just up to the sewist's whim (I will use buttons).

 Above, you can see the traced out piece for the front with seam allowance added. I decided to make this one "as is" without doing any up-sizing. It looks at this point to be about a 28" waist, so it's not too terribly small.

 Here I have the pieces laid out. The fabric is 100% silk, brocade, with a kind of Japanese leaf pattern. I managed to lay my hands on 7 yards of this fabric at an antique store years ago. They only wanted $12. Can you imagine? =)
Above, we have the back pieces laid out. As you can see, the shoulder slope is very pronounced on this one, almost to the point of being ridiculous. At first, I thought it was going to result is a super downward slope (weak shoulders), but the front piece compensates for this well. Still, anyone with decently broad shoulders would need to make some alterations here. 
And, the back pieces laid out. I would have liked to match up the leaf patterns, but I did not have enough of the silk left to pull it off =/ Here, the pieces of pinned to the interfacing before I join them.
**Note: These antique patterns rarely mention anything with regard to lining or interlining/interfacing. It was just assumed the lady would know how best to go about it. ;)

Fit Issues So Far: 
As this pattern is from 1871, it still features the sloped shoulder design (armhole doesn't start until after the curve of the shoulder). That, plus the fact that all of these patterns seem to be very narrow in the back, will cause fit issues even after upsizing. 

Right now, the back is so narrow and the armholes themselves on the front pieces are set back so far, that even a petite woman would have to stand with quite exaggerated posture in order to fit the jacket right (standing with shoulders thrown back and chest pronounced). These ladies must have had exceptional physical training from an early age. Even when corseted, I have tried standing like this (shoulders thrown back), and could not manage for more than a few minutes before I started to feel muscle spasms between my shoulder blades. Yeesh! 

(To be continues...)

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