Thursday, 3 August 2017

Tailor's Guide TG129 - Ladies' Two Jackets

Pattern: Tailor's Guide #129, "Ladies' Two Jackets: Styles 1770-1785". With alterations to the center front closure. This jacket is based on that features in Costume Closeup, from the Snowshill Collection.
Fabrics: 100% cotton, blue damask on white. 100% linen for lining, white.
Alterations?: Yes, to the center front closure only. All other pieces are true to the pattern shapes.
For Sale on Etsy HERE
Measurements: As taken on the dress form shown.
The lacing front closure allows a range of fit above and below these numbers.
Chest - 38"
Waist - 32.5"
Hip - Free
Hem - 38" at front, 41" at back (bum roll)
Back Width - 15" relaxed fit
Bicep - 15" max, relaxed fit.
Back Length: 15" from base of neck to waist.

Construction Methods: 100% hand stitched. Lapped seams, whip stitching, etc.. Edge stitching done in "le point a rabattre sous la main". It seems cumbersome, but the English translation is roughly "Point to the fold under the hand". Yeah...not much better, lol. 

I'll start by clarifying what I changed from the original pattern. The Tailor's Guide pattern has a solid front closure done with hooks and eyes. The original garment on which the TG pattern is based does not have a solid front. It's a lacing closure over a stomacher. I decided to do this rather than the solid front simply for my own style preference.

BUT, I didn't make that decision until I had already made the solid front, so in the picture below you can see how I made this choice after the fact, lol. The front edges are simply folded under and I did my eyelets through all the layers. Had I planned on doing this from the start, obviously I wouldn't have it like this, lol. 

If you'll notice the tiny secondary fold at the top (right of the picture), you see that I ended up folded under one of the eyelets. That is a fit correction. The neckline was far too high and I needed to take it down an inch or two. Eliminating the top eyelets I had made solved the problem. 

The other big change I made was in construction method. The pattern has you constructing this jacket in what is essentially a modern 20th century method, the typical rights-sides-together-and-turn (RSTT). I decided to assemble the jacket using the methods described for the original garments as outlined in Costume Close-up. 

The TG pattern also has the center back seam closed all the way down. The original garment has a split tail, which is--in my opinion---one of it's most attractive features. You lose that if you close the seam all the way down. You will also lose range of movement as the jacket splays out over the skirts and bum roll supports. 

Construction Methods
The center back is done with a lapped seam from the top of the neck down to the natural waist. The tails below that are finished by folding under the lining and fabric to the wrong side, and edge stitching in the "le point" method described earlier. When you snip in at the waist, you free the seam allowance that will be part of the center back on one side (it doesn't matter which side). 

(above) you can see the seam allowance for the center back sticking out above the waist, from where I have snipped in. The tail below that has been folded under and pinned with the lining, ready to be stitched. 

The other side is prepared by snipping in at the waist, but then turning under the fabric and lining all the way up, from top to the end of  the tail. You then take the seam allowance for one side and lay it under the now folded edge of the other, lapping them. Stitch from the outside using a backstitch, leaving the lining on the folded side free. That will be whipstitched after the fact.

You could go through all layers if you wanted, including the lining, but working through so many layers from the outside is difficult and also harder to manage and keep straight.

(above) The seam has been lapped and pinned, ready for stitching. This is the inside view, and you can see the pins coming through. Notice the one side of the lining is left free, to be whipstitched in place after you complete the center back seam. 

The sides seams are kind of pain in the but, mostly because you have to negotiate that 90 degree angle that creates the frill below the waist. I did it in the same method at the center back, which was accurate to the museum original, but also a much bigger hassle than it needed to be...once again, because of the 90 degree turn. It would be easier to do the first step as you would a lapped seam, except instead of working from the outside, just do a simple back-stitch on the inside, which allowed you to snip that 90 degree corner AFTER you've finished your seam. You won't get the visible top-stitching on the seam that some people really like, but  you'll same yourself some grief. 

(below) Side seam, inside view. The snip in at that 90 angle means that the point of the turn ina particularly weak spot. Make sure you don't ever pull down the jacket by grabbed the side hem and yanking, because stress on that turn point isn't good. 

The usual. Two panels of 45 x 60 (I was using a 45" fabric, so decided to have the selvages at the top and bottom). The front is cut with a scoop 3.5" lower than the back at the waistline, to accommodate a bum roll. I hand stitched everything except the long side seams. 


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