Thursday, February 23, 2017

Tailor's Guide Riding Habit

My first project for 2017 is the Tailor's Guide Riding Habit. It's based off of the Snowshill Manor riding habit (also found in Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion). Even though I do own the book, I'm a patterns sort of girl and found it well worth the money to pay someone else to scale up for me.

I treated myself to red wool from Military Heritage. It was a little on the expensive side, but what a dream to work with! The color is fabulous. The wool is deliciously warm. Shipping was fast. When I can afford to, I will be ordering from them again. The black wool accents are leftover pieces from a past project.

We both made up the same pattern!

SPECIAL NOTES: The pattern is for the jacket only! There were a few minor issues with the pattern that may have thrown me off in the past. (1) The cuff pattern piece calls for 4 of the fabric and 2 of the lining to be cut. It's actually 2 of interfacing, NOT lining. (2) The pattern markings to match up pieces are drawn on the outside of the pattern piece vs. the inside. If you cut the pattern out, you loose those markings unless you draw them onto your piece first. (3) The sleeves are TIGHT. Super tight. I made mine out of a size small, and I'm planning to go back and use the medium. I don't have large arms by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe super tight sleeves are historically accurate but I like more motion than a T Rex has. It's also possible the thickness of my wool contributed to the tightness, but I remain suspicious that the sleeves would have still been tight.

This pattern comes in sizes small, medium, large, and XL. I took a chance and just made up the size small because my measurements were very close to the highest measurements given for that size. I would suggest a mock up for this pattern if you have the time.

Despite these few bumps, I would recommend this pattern! It went together very well, and I loved how the pattern pieces had the seam allowances marked on them. The instructions were very clear and I didn't find myself confused over anything in particular.

TIME: I failed at tracking my time. Grabbing an hour here and there when I could, I manage to get the jacket done within 3 weeks. The petticoat was completed in a single evening.

PETTICOAT: I made mine using some help from tutorials from American Duchess and Koshka the Cat. To be able to pleat the waistband, I did a strip of cotton at the top. The wool would have added far too much bulk. You can see a bit of the black cotton in the above photo where I am sitting enjoying some wine. I wish I had done that with the lining of the jacket skirt. Live and learn! The petticoat is worn over pocket hoops. I had decided to make my petticoat a little on the short side. It's going to be a winter costume (all that wool would kill in warmer weather), and I anticipated showing off boots and avoiding the slush winter tends to bring.

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