Sunday, 21 October 2018

JP Ryan Riding Habit - Royal Blue

Pattern: 1770s Riding Habit, from J.P Ryan (with alterations to waistcoat). Pattern is size 14.
Fabric: 100% wool, coat weight, in bright blue. Lining is white linen and the interfacing is buckram of a linen/jute blend. Waistcoat is 100% figured silk with tiny diamonds.

Chest*: 38.5"
Waist*: 32"
Hip: free
*The coat is worn being worn over the waistcoat and shirt, which add to the overall measurements, so the coat chest is 40" and the waist is 33" 

This was my first time using this pattern, and overall I think it was a great success. I had to make only a few alterations, and they were minor.

Coat Alterations:

After I made the horizontal dart in the coat fronts, I noticed that the coat lapel did not match up to the edge of the coat fronts. The lapel came out to be about an inch too long and the curve of the coat fronts had become almost straight. At first I worried I had cut the lapel pieces incorrectly. But, it turned out that I had made the horizontal dart in the coat fronts too deep by a full inch, thus making the front of the coat an inch shorter than it should have been. I think the stitching lines on the pattern for the horizontal dart are misprinted. If you follow the outer line, as one would assume, you end up with a dart far too deep. Reduce your horizontal dart depth by a full inch (half inch on each side).

The second change I had to make was to the skirts. When I went to attach the finished skirt sections to the waist seam, the skirt ended up being too wide by about 1.5". It's a simple thing to fix, though. Just make your folds at the side vents a bit deeper until the skirt pieces match up.

Waistcoat Alterations:
The pattern calls for the waistcoat to have a half belt, which sits just at the bottom edge of the waistcoat and buttons at either end to the sides. This is historically accurate and I have seen pics of the museum pieces that are like this, but I'm just not a particular fan of the style, so I left off the belt entirely. The other alterations I made was to add eyelets and lacing to the center back of the waistcoat lining, so it could be adjusted to fit.

The beautiful buttons and buttonhole appliques were supplied by my client, so I'm afraid I don't know how to get them or how much they cost, though I have reason to believe they are pretty expensive! I had to make the covered buttons using the pre-embroidered rounds on pieces of silver silk that came with the appliques. Between the coat and the waistcoat, it is 46 buttons and 38 buttonhole appliques, all applied by hand (with darn metallic thread that kept kinking!) It was two full days of work just stitching on the appliques.


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