Saturday, 31 August 2019

1889 Ladies' Plaid Walking Suit

Patterns: TV290 "1889 Draped Skirt", and TV464 "1883 Riding Habit" With alterations to both.
Fabrics: 100% cotton, Shetland Flannel. Dark blue broadcloth for lining.

Chest: 43"
Waist: 34"
Hip: <47"
Hem: 40" at front.
Back Width: 15"
Shoulders: 18"
Bicep: 14.5"
Sleeve Length: 23"

The Jacket - TV464
This is one of my favorites, which I have made several times. Although, in the past I have usually used this pattern as a jump off for 1890s bodices, typically changing the sleeves for big leg-o-mutton styles. In this case, I made very few alterations to the pattern as-is. The only change I made was to the lower portion of the side-back pieces so they would fit better over a bustle. Being a riding bodice, the back was not intended for a bustle. It's as easy alteration.

The bodice is fully interfaced in plain cotton, and fully lined in dark blue broadcloth. The sleeve linings are set in with whipstitching to the armhole seam allowance, so there are no exposed seams inside the jacket. The front edges are faced, as is the portion at the junction of the collar and the lapels (see below)

I also added light boning to the front fit darts and side seams to provide stability and a smooth line where the bodice juts out over the hip a few inches.

The double-breasted buttons are functional on one side, as was common. The underside of the collar is lined in black faux silk. This area is prone to a lot of rubbing, so it's better to have a smooth fabric there.

The Skirt - TV290
A few things I've noted about this pattern:

  • It's very long. I cut the pattern as-is, and to get a length of 40" at the front my hem allowance was a full 5". This was okay for me, since a wider hem gives this skirt more stability and shape anyway. The downside is that because of the way the front piece drapes, you can't really tell how far it's going to hang until you've already cut the piece and done up the waist-pleats.
  • The back has marks for inside tapes to create the puff only down the center back. The sides of the back area will, mostly likely, hang down too far (especially if you're using a drapey fabric like I did). You'll either want to add puffs at the side-backs with tapes, or lower the height of the top curve on the center back. I ended up making the back a full 5" shorter, along the top curve.
  • Avoid heavy or thick fabrics. The waist pleats pile on top of each other and create quite a thick layer at the front-sides. If you're fabric is too heavy, you'll have trouble stitching through this when you apply the waistband.
  • This pattern works well with plaids and stripes. Matching up the pattern along the side seam is pretty easy because both are very close to straight at the sides until you get up to hip level. 

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