Sunday, 1 June 2014

Revolutionary waistcoat

I felt quite confident about doing the waistcoat for the revolutionary gown, I mean how hard could it be to make something that wasn't very figurehugging and didn't involve sleeves? Well so far it has turned out quite a lot harder than I thought it would be.

For the pattern I decided to use the man's waistcoat from page 86 as an inspiration. I'm not good when it comes to enlarging patterns though, so I decided to make a mix of draping and enlarging. I simply freehanded the general shape of the garment onto a piece of fabric, pinned it into the dressform and started to adjust until it looked right.

I quite soon realized that whatI got out from this wouldn't be usable as a pattern piece, so I cut out the general shape that I had and drew it onto another piece of fabric. I  then pinned that to the dressform and started to make minor adjustments.

Above you can see that the right side is starting to take shape.
Then it was time to test it on myself, while wearing my stays, my dressform is not working well for clothes that are worn over stays, I simply can't adjust it enough.
 One big issue at this stage was the large diagonal crease, from the sideseam down towards the waist. It looked fine when I tugged on the pieces, so something had to be too big somewhere. In the end I got rid of most of the crease by lifting the whole waistcoat upwards, and removing around 5 cm of fabric from the shoulder seam. I also realized that I have huge fitting issues around my neck/shoulders. I could make it work for the waistcoast, but it will be a really big challenge for the outer coat. A problem here is that I'm working off a men's pattern, so I can't really use my bodice block for my gowns. Before I go on making 18th century jackets I will need to solve this problem.
Another problem was a lot of stretching and creasing over the hips. Once again I think it's the difference between the male and female shape, and since I'm not use to draping I couldn't get that to work. In the end I took a look at the jacket on page 41 of Costume Close-Up and I had to make a slit in the front, to allow it to flare over my hips. Not ideal, but it will work.

One lesson I had learnt from the gaulle was to make sure that the armscyes fit better. When I tried it on I could see the fabric folding and creasing around the armscye, I traced around that crease and simply cut away all the other fabric. That will hopefully be enough for me to be able to move my arms. After all I don't want this to be a too constructive garment.
Here are the two finished pattern pieces. The strange flap on top in the front is what is going to allow the very big, and angular, lapels on the waistcoat.

Now it's only on to cutting out everything in the real fabrics and sewing it all.

And I am in a hurry now, since I need to finish quickly to start with the wedding gown, and the outfit that I want to do for myself for the wedding.

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