Sunday, February 1, 2015

Blue Silk Taffeta 18th Century Jacket

I based this 18th century jacket on the JP Ryan pattern.  It's made of gorgeous, thick, iridescent french blue silk taffeta with self trim and fabric covered buttons.  I have made several jackets from this pattern before, so it went together very quickly.  The only trouble came with having to wait until the last minute to fit the front.

There are two petticoats:  The under layer is a cream silk taffeta, and the outer layer is semi-sheer striped silk from Renaissance Fabrics.  It's so stiff, and stands out so much, I feel a little like a cupcake.  It makes 19 weeks look like quite a bit more.

The photos don't really do it justice.  There are some beautiful portraits that use a similar type of fabric, but they're all from 1785 or later.  Apparently it was all the rage in Russia in the late 1780s, early 1790s.
Portrait of a Lady with a Book, Next to a River Source, Antoine Vestier, circa 1785.

Emperor Pavel I’s Daughters by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun,1796.

Elena Pavlovna of Russia by V.Borovikovskiy (1796, Gatchina

Since the ruching is so wide, I needed a double set of hooks and eyes to close up the top.  It worked out rather well.  The only thing I didn't quite get to was adding ruched trim to the cuffs.  I may need to add more fluffles and details for the next time this jacket makes an appearance.

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