Wednesday 7 July 2021

1760s Riding Habit, or "sporting" ensemble

 Patterns: J.P. Ryan Riding Habit for the coat. The waistcoat and petticoat and self drafted. 
Fabrics: 100% silk taffeta, gold, for the petticoat and waistcoat. The coat is 100% wool, lightweight and with a very tight weave and smooth finish. The coat is lined with indigo blue cotton and a gray/green plaid linen. 

Measurements: Made the pattern size 10 with no alterations to fit. Patterns runs true in this size
Chest: 36"
Waist: 29-30"
Hip: Free
Hem: 37" at front, 40" at back (shown over a split rump)
Neck: 15" max
Bicep: 13.5" max
Sleeve Length (outside curve): 25"
Sleeve Length (inside curve): 18"
Back Width (Between armhole seams on Coat): 12.5"

Once again, J.P Ryan's riding habit pattern proves to be the best available =)
I changed the orientation of the pockets and the flaps for preference, but other than that there were no changes to the pattern itself. The instructions are more modern, but if you're familiar with 18th century construction techniques, it's nothing to just assemble it the way you want. 

The "Sporting Ensemble"?
I've seen many images, especially paintings, or so-called riding habits that really didn't look feasible for a woman to be wearing on actual horseback. I think riding ensembles were quite popular for other outdoor activities, like lawn games, picnicking, etc. I got my impression here from a fashion plate that indicated a silk taffeta petticoat with a riding coat. I can't imagine anyone would attempt to ride a horse in a taffeta petticoat! That would be the worst fabric imaginable for that purpose, so it was definitely the riding habit "look", but not the function. 

[of course we do this today as well. It's common for people to wear yoga gear when they do not and have no intention of doing yoga =P]

Construction - Coat
The coat alone took about 30 cumulative hours of work, most of which was spent doing the buttonholes and edge stitching, all done by hand. I only used the sewing machine on long inside seams where it would not show. There is no machine stitching visible anywhere on the coat, waistcoat, or petticoat. 

The sleeve lining are whip-stitched in over the armhole seam allowances as well. 

The buttonholes are the front lapels and cuffs are all functional. I did this so that the lapels and cuffs could be unbuttoned and folded out for purposes of cleaning and ironing, etc. (Any "fixed" folded area on a garment, such as a cuff or lapel that is tacked down, will become a lint/dust collecting nightmare underneath otherwise lol)

The buttons are half-dome alloy meta in a muted gold/bronze color, 5/8" in diameter. There are 40 buttons on the coat, including the 8 non-functional buttons on the skirt vents. 

The Pendleton, 100% wool I used is very smooth with a tight weave, but too thin to stand alone for a "rough wear" garment such as this, so I also interlined the entire coat with a cotton twill, as well as buckram reinforcement in other areas such as the cuffs, collar, center fronts, etc. None of this is visible, of course, because the lining is fully finished: 

Construction - Waistcoat
I've been tweaking this ladies waistcoat pattern of mine for a while now, trying to create a solid pattern I can go to each time without making changes. I've finally got it down and finished! To give a credit where it's due, when if first started work on this pattern I began with the J.P. Ryan waistcoat pieces as my jumping off point. when it comes to draping on the form, it's easier to start with a fitted body and go from there. 

The eyelets are all done heavy duty cotton thread. In the future, I think I might extend the laced area up a few more inches toward the nape of the neck. 

The fronts are fully interlined in cotton twill, as well as linen buckram along the center fronts to. They are then fully lined in unbleached cotton. The pocket flaps are decorative (no pockets), and the buttonholes are all hand worked in gold beige silk floss. 

I made the buttons in the 18th century manner. They are plain wood rounds with silk cinched tightly over them and worked over with thread in the back. I then made shanks by thread knotting. 

The lower portion of the waistcoat fronts are not separate pieces. The pattern is one piece with a deep horizontal dart at the waist to create the shaping necessary for the waistcoat to fit over hips/petticoat, etc.

Again, the waistcoat has full hand edge stitching and no machined stitches visible anywhere. 


No comments:

Post a Comment