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Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Fall-Front Trousers

Preparing for last years Jane Austen Festival in Bath was a very stressful time, because I was trying to make a costume for Robert, as well as a new spencer for myself (my ivory satin spencer split across the back!)

A tailcoat pattern had been purchased, so I began work on it in calico only to find that nothing matched up right, or the instructions were sadly lacking, so I collected together all the images of extant garments I could find to guide me...and bought more calico.

The Festival drew ever nearer, and I still had not started on trousers, so I set to using patterns from Norah Waugh's The Cut of Men's Clothes, as quickly as I could.  The fall-front was worked out, but I was having problems with the back and fit.  As it was still unfinished on the day, we had to cheat...big time!....but we got there and had a great day...


Back home, I unpacked the costumes and vowed to find a suitable pattern.  The pattern I purchased from Nehelinia Patterns was Kannik's Korner Man's Trousers...

I will blog about my progress with this pattern later, but I can tell you now that I am impressed by the in-depth instructions, explainations and options that come with it. 

Tuesday, 17 May 2011


A few years ago I decided to have a go at making a chemisette.  The pattern I tried to copy was from Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion, but never finished it becuase I wasn't too happy with the way it looked.  The fact that it was made from polyester/cotton might have had something to do with it.

Since then I have made a 'Regency' dress for myself, with a spencer for the Jane Austen Festival in Bath...

These were worked out without the use of patterns, which weren't too bad for first attempts.  I now have patterns from Sense & Sensibitity, one of which includes chemisettes.

Whilst browsing photographs from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, I found this picture at the top of the page...and fell in love with it!

That was it!  The need to have another go at making a chemisette was upon me, so I had a rummage amongst my fabrics for something suitable.  This was soon found, a piece of cream sriped cotton.

Out came the pattern, but neither of the chemisettes were quite what I wanted, so I far, so good!

But I wanted the frill, but was afraid that this was where I would mess it up.  I persevered, and the frill was added with little fuss.

Only one thing niggled me...the seam showing on the underside of the frill!

So I covered it with binding...which resulted in another minor niggle. 

Stitches now showed on the base of the frill, I decided to stitch on a piece of lace to hide them, and luckily I had a small bit of cotton lace that was just the thing...