Friday, September 25, 2015

18th Century Riding Habit Shirt

I finished my waistcoat for my pirate costume a few weeks ago and just haven't taken the time to update. I did end up putting buttonholes in it, and I am kicking myself for avoiding anything needing buttonholes in the three years since I started sewing. My sewing friends told me that buttonholes were easy, and OMG THEY WERE SO RIGHT. That little attachment is awesome and the machine does all the work. I was surprised that it was so easy to do the buttonholes through all that gimp trim, and I had no problem cutting through that either.

I made the riding habit shirt following the measurements given by Saltpetre and Pins when she was making her blouse. Aaaand I did it all by hand! (okay, I'll admit that I hemmed it by machine because by then I was so very sick of the project and ready to move on) It was very pleasant and went surprisingly quickly. There are times when I just don't want to sit at the machine, especially since the lighting in my sewing room is terrible.

It isn't perfect.
  • I believe I should have made the collar wider, so I could fold it over. I'm thinking of adding an extension to it, because when I put on the cravat, the collar gets crumpled underneath and I have to fiddle with it a lot to get it to show above the cravat. 
  • Also, I think the collar is too big. 
  • And I should have left a vent in the sides of the shirt towards the hem so that when I tied it the back and front would overlap a bit. But no one is going to see that. 
  • It's possibly too short in the back, but again, no one is going to see it.
  • I wasn't able to flat fold the seams because I'd screwed up on the width of the shirt and had to fix it by cutting off an extension I had put in it to make it wider, which turned out not to be necessary at all and would have made the shoulder seams come halfway down my arms. 
I had a stressful week trying to figure out how to attach the lace at the neckline and wrists so that the raw edges wouldn't show. In the end, I just gathered it, folded a piece of bias tape along the gathered edge to hide the raw edges, and then stitched it into place.

The lace at the neckline is modern and partially synthetic, so it's heavy and slippery. I worry that it's too much and will make the neck opening gape, but I think I could just use a brooch to hold it closed if needed. Maybe not historically accurate, but this is for a pirate costume so I think I can take some liberties.

The lace at the cuffs is vintage, and I purchased it on ebay. I worry that it's not fluffy enough at the cuffs but there's nothing I can do about it now. I am not worried about it enough to redo it at this point, and I can possibly use the leftover yardage to embellish the collar of the shirt? Again, I know it's not historically accurate but as I said, pirate costume.

Oh, and I used mother of pearl buttons at the collar and wrists. I had collected quite a few over the years, don't ask me why, and was really happy I could finally use some.


The cravat is this really cool looking synthetic paisley jaquard, but it's really thick and I think will be really hot, so I bought some dark red silk dupioni to make another one.

I would like to make a new, lighter weight petticoat to go underneath. The one I've been wearing is just so bulky. I have a pattern for a gathered skirt set on a yoke that I think I'm going to use. Not historically correct, but I think it will be very comfortable and provide the fullness I need for the skirt.

I haven't even attempted the jacket yet. Now I'm realizing it's almost October and I only have 6 weeks to make and embellish it. This sounds like a long time, but I am such a slow sewer, I'm not sure if it's enough time.

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