Projects for the Week: Tailoring Research and Jacket Muslin

I’ve been a Victorian sewing researching FOOL for the last week or so. (My hourly breakdown for the week at the bottom of the post bears this out.) I sewed a muslin today for my current drafting project, this 1880s pattern:


I’m going to have to give it another couple of tries; the shoulder line is farther back than the typical center shoulder seam, and I didn’t account for that properly when I worked it up digitally. Also, when making something like this in heavier fabric the failings of my current bodice sloper become really obvious; my armhole gapes way more than I’m okay with. So back to the drawing board with this one. The plus side: my set in sleeves are getting much better! Also first time I’ve ever sewn up a two piece sleeve and I like the fit quite a bit. I wasn’t sure how this would work out without a bustle, either, but it wasn’t bad at all. Something I’ve learned about 1880s patterns–they include no seam allowances, no grain line indications and their instructions are as helpful as: “draft a concealed button fly and add buttons,” or “add facings” even though there are no pattern pieces for facings. So it’s quite a stretch for my skills. Also, pattern illustrations lie. But we all know that all too well.

I’ve been researching jackets and old school tailoring generally and thought I’d share some of my finds! My favorite things right now tend to be very fitted and formal, with a classic bodice shaping:

They also kind of look like something Tywin Lannister would wear as armor, but hey, a good fit is a good fit.

Hourly tracking:

1/2 8hrs of reading and looking up Victorian tailoring books. is my bff. Google play has a lot of resources too, but, oddly enough, their search function is crap so you kind of have to stumble over things by looking at suggestions. Direct searching by name or author doesn’t work well at all.

1/3 10hrs of reading W. D. F. Vincent tailoring books and women’s cutting historical manuals

1/4 1hr of Pinterest surfing of vintage fashion

1/5 2hrs Pinterest surfing: Alexander McQueen, women’s tailored jackets

1/6 1hr reading Gertie Sews Vintage Casual

1/7 3hrs studying fashions, fashion history on Pinterest, drafting a pattern for a lady’s tailored jacket circa 1880s, deconstructing old clothes for raw materials

Move it, kitteh, I’m trying to cut fabric!

1/8 3hrs deconstructing old clothes for raw material, pattern drafting, printing and assembling my tailored jacket pattern

Be it ever so humble, I drafted it myself. 🙂

1/9 10hrs sewing a muslin of the jacket, researching fit issues, attempting a rub off duplication of a similar bodice to study the fit

Kitteh stole my chair. 

For a total of: 38hrs this week, and grand total of 55h35min toward my 10000 hours!




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