Tuesday, 29 June 2021

1880s Riding Habit - Brown wool blend

Patterns: Truly Victorian #264 "Riding Habit Skirt" , Bodice is a combination of the Truly Victorian riding jacket and a self drafted front, with alterations to the back. 
Fabric: A chocolate brown wool/poly blend. Skirt lining faux silk, cobalt blue. Bodice lining is a piece-work of scrap linen and silk. 

Chest: 38-39"
Waist: 31-32"
Hip: <44"
Hem: 42" at left side (42" all around when right side is looped up *see below)
Bicep: 14" max
Neck: 15.5" max

The Side Saddle Skirt

Since this garment was intended to cover a lady's legs while she was sitting side saddle on a horse, there are two main things that make it different from a regular skirt. First, it is far longer on the right side than the left, to accommodate the extra coverage needed to drape over the legs on that side. Second, the skirt overall is longer than floor length (42" on the left side).

When walking around a lady would have to hold the skirt up to clear her steps, even with the right side length looped up at the back for easier movement. 

For construction I made the skirt according to the pattern with only one change. I placed the closure at the center back rather than the left hand side. This is just preference. The back closure is with brushed gold metal buttons. 

I'll be the first admit that this pattern can be intimidating on first try simply because the pieces are so large. But, once you get past that it is the very simplest of designs. Only two darts at the waist, both of which end up at the back, which you can easily use to make alterations to the waist if required. 

(above) right side of the skirt shown looped up with the black leather cord, at the center back.

The skirt is flat lined in blue faux silk, cobalt color. I wanted something a little shocking for those brief glimpses of the skirt's undersides. The hem is turned up and bind stitched by hand. 

The Bodice
Sort of a mix of two Truly Victorian patterns and my own alterations. I added the buttoned flaps at the back, buttoned plackets at the wrists, and a high collar rather than a rolled one. The bodice is fully interlined with stiff cotton, and fully lined with a mixed body of silks, cotton, and rami linen (see below)

The bronze brown is 100% silk taffeta and faces all edges and lines the collar. The brown patterned sections are also 100% silk, cut from a vintage scarf. The beige sections are rami linen, and the blue side-back pieces are cotton. The jacket is fully edge stitched (this is a very advisable step for fabrics that do not take ironing very well. It's the best way to create a crisp edge when an iron won't due. 

The bodice is also fully boned, with 1/4" boning inside in 11 places, including the front darts. The sleeve linings are set in separately, hand stitched to the armholes. There are no raw or exposed seams anywhere in the bodice. 


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