Category Archives: Tutorials

Elegance Continues: The Regency Spencer Jacket inspired by a TV Show – Pattern #0323

The pattern is coming soon….

In our journey through the world of historical fashion, we’ve uncovered the enchanting allure of Regency dresses. However, the story doesn’t end there. To complete your transformation into a character from a Jane Austen novel or the grand ballrooms of Bridgerton, we introduce a perfect companion piece – a Regency Spencer Jacket. This exquisite garment, like the dress, has been meticulously recreated with a historical nod, making it the ideal addition to your Regency-inspired ensemble.

Just as we ventured into the realm of the Empire dress, it’s time to explore the creation of this captivating Spencer Jacket. Following the same commitment to historical techniques and style, this piece embraces the authenticity of the Regency era while adding a modern twist. Whether you’re a seasoned seamstress or a budding costume enthusiast, this blog post will guide you through crafting this elegant jacket with step-by-step instructions and detailed images. So, as we delve deeper into the world of Regency fashion, prepare to embark on another sewing adventure, one that promises to bring the grandeur of Bridgerton and the Regency era to life in your wardrobe.

The time of the Empire/ Regency lasted from 1795 to 1820 and can be divided roughly into three subcategories of fashion styles.

Contrary to persistent fashion misconceptions, such as the ‘muslin disease,’ numerous period fashion illustrations depict an array of coats, jackets, and overdresses in a spectrum of colors and diverse materials, including silk, fabric, velvet, and fur.

A redingote, derived from the English ‘riding coat,’ is a full-length coat crafted from woolen fabric. Redingotes were frequently embellished with braids, imitating the style of hussar military jackets.

A pelisse, on the other hand, is a lightweight coat or overdress that ranges from calf-length to floor-length.

A spencer, a shorter jacket, could feature a peplum or not, depending on the design.

Additionally, individuals of the era often opted for colored pashmina shawls and tunics.

It’s worth noting that these terms were not consistently used in fashion publications of the time and have evolved over the years.

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1016 The new Turtleneck Bodice – View B front closure

Let’s proceed with the front closing bodice, as it´s naturally easier to wear and to put on and take off, only an Edwardian bodice requires a sophisticated multi-layered closure due to its construction technique.

(1) Same here, make a mock-up and transfer any changes to the sewing pattern. Cut all the pieces from the fabric and the lining, as indicated on the pattern and cutting diagram for the front closure, and transfer all marks exactly.

(2) Take the front from the lining, and line up the front-facing, right sides together. Stitch down the front edge, trim back, and understitch the seam allowances. Turn in the seam allowance of the facing along the loose edge.  On the right side, fold the facing and front wrong sides together, and stitch down the facing along the loose edge. On the left side, fold the facing right sides together, turn the seam allowances of the front edge towards the facing, and sew from the front edge until reaching the end of the facing b. Clip the seam allowance towards the end of the stitching and turn the right way out. Stitch down the loose edge of the facing. Sew the darts, and press towards the side seam, reducing the stitch length at the point.

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1016 The new Turtleneck Bodice – View A back closure

The original design, named the Turtleneck Dress, pattern #0916, contained the skirt and the blouse. I think it gave the impression to be too complicated to be sewn easily. The fact was that few people were interested in that pattern, although it offered a lot. For some years I was thinking of just dividing the pattern into skirt and top, but I wanted to add something extra and new, especially since the skirt seemed too simple and the back closure of the top was not suitable to be dressed alone. So time flies and at some point, the ideas come by themselves.

The new pattern #0916 now offers the skirt in two variations and the top, now numbered #1016 with an extra option for front closure.

Let´s start sewing! Grab your pattern here in my shop.

First I´ll just start with the original bodice, closed at the back, the View A as shown in the title picture. I´m sorry to show fewer pictures of the sewing of that bodice as I made the dress back in 2015/16. Maybe I´ll do a remake of the back closing bodice soon, just running out of time as always…

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1116 Edwardian Belt

Around 1901, fashions changed with the invention of the straight-front corset, thus a new silhouette developed. They pushed the body into a hollow back or S-bend accentuating the bust and hips. The illustrations of the artist Charles Dana Gibson immortalized the ideal look and can still be seen today.

The S-bend shape often was emphasized with wide belts. The belt pattern comes with the new pattern #0916 or can be downloaded here:

This is another illustrated instruction to supplement my sewing pattern. The belt pattern is available for free on my webshop: klick

(1) Take the belt pieces from the fashion fabric, interlining and lining (same fabric), and cut off the placket of ¾” (2cm) on the left back side only.

(2) Take the pieces for the interlining and mark the stitching line. Cut strips from fabric, twice as wide as the boning plus ¼” (5mm) ease for the bone casings. Turn in the edges the same way you´d prepare bias binding. Alternatively, use any narrow tape from your stock. Sew the casings to the right side of the interlining, where indicated on the pattern. The width of the casing should be as narrow that the boning can´t twist inside the tunnel. Insert the bones and close the casings carefully. Turn the seam allowances of the interlining towards the right side and press. Clip at the curves to lay flat. I decided to make the two belts, straight and the dip waist style.

(3) Line up the interlining with the belt pieces from the fashion fabric, wrong sides together, and baste in place. Sew the side seams, right sides together. Trim back, notch the seam allowances as shown, and press open.

(4) Turn in the seam allowances of the belt from the fashion fabric around the interlining and catch stitch to the latter.

(5) Take the lining, sew the side seams and trim back the seam allowances in the same way as you did with the belt, press open. Turn in a seam allowance of ¾” (2cm) all around and clip at the curves to lay flat. Line up the lining with the belt, wrong sides together, with the edge of the fashion fabric extending past the lining about 1/8” (2mm). Fell stitch the lining to the belt without any stitches showing on the right fabric side.

(6) Sew hooks to the right back edge and make thread bars along the left center back instead of metal eyes.

Middle Franconian men’s coat – an attempt at reconstruction based on drawings and physical reports from the 1850s – historical part 1 point (1) – (2)

In mid-2022, Ms. Katrin Weber from the Research and Advisory Center for Traditional Costumes of the Middle Franconia District approached me to develop a pattern for a Sunday gentleman’s coat worn by the rural population.

Unfortunately, at that time, the research center did not have any preserved original garments. Only the medical reports and illustrations commissioned by King Maximilian II in the 1850s were available.

The physikatsberichten and illustrations were created between 1852 and 1858 and vary greatly in their depictions. They do not take into account everyday clothing and the social status of the wearers. With this background, it is challenging to precisely determine the temporal and regional attribution of a specific form of traditional costume to a particular district.

Some of the depictions clearly show the fashionable influence of the Biedermeier period. The contemporary physikatsberichten mention multiple times that rural clothing is increasingly influenced by urban fashion trends.

However, based on the illustrations, we can draw some conclusions about the origin and development of the gentleman’s coat in rural Mittelfranken. In the stylistically simpler illustrations, the influence of the 18th century is evident, with the depicted coats resembling the Juste au Corps style of the 18th century.

The further development of the gentleman’s coat in the early 19th century is traceable through the shape of collars and sleeves. The influence of the Biedermeier period is clearly visible in some illustrations.

Therefore, we agreed to reconstruct a long, tightly-fitted coat based on Illustration No. 55 from the Landgericht Wassertrüdingen (district court Wassertrüdingen).

Quelle: Gillmeister-Geisenhof, Evelyn (1996): Kleidungsweise in Mittelfranken um 1850, 2. Auflage, Bad Wimsheim: Delp Verlag

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