Monday, August 24, 2015

18th Century || Block-printed Muslin Jacket

When Amber comes over and says, "I brought you some fabric", you know it's gonna be amazing.

Amber has become an extremely dear friend of mine - I've known about her for years, and we attended many events together in the past, but it's only been in the last year that we've become really close. We're both 2nd born in the family, super enthusiastic, and artsy. She is one of the most encouraging people I know, wise beyond her years, and always so ready to listen when I'm having a rough time, and point me back to God when I lose my focus.
On top of all that, she's an amazing seamstress, with tons of knowledge about period correct clothing, quality fabrics, and technique.
One day she came over for one of our in-house English Country Dances (my sister and I frequently host informal dances at our house), and brought a stash of fabric. My mind of course started swimming with ideas of what I could make, and here I give you the first of many outfits from the "Amazing Amber Fabric Collection."

This is my first completely hand-sewn 18th century garment. I wanted to hand-sew my previous clothes, but our trips that require new outfits usually spring out of nowhere, leaving me less than a week to get things together, so I never had the time to actually get them done. This time though, I didn't have a specific occasion in mind, so I could take my time, and hand-stitch away.
 There wasn't a ton of fabric with which to work, but I managed to get a jacket out of it. I couldn't quite use the same pattern I've used in the past, so I altered it slightly. To get a full peplum, I put in godets at the side and side back seams. I also had the back seam come to a point, rather than a curve, and split it at the peplum. I used this jacket as inspiration for the peplum back.
 Otherwise it's just a typical jacket, which closes with straight pins down the front. It is lined with white linen, though I left the sleeves un-lined - partly because I didn't want the extra bulk, as my shift has very full sleeves, and partly because I didn't want to use more fabric. :) I may trim this jacket later on, but for now, I'm liking it just plain.
The front slits are bound with bias binding made out of the same fabric.
 I think the lines of the seaming on the back are my favorite part of colonial jackets!
I like that it can be paired with all of my petticoats - brown, blue, and white. Hopefully I'll add more to my petticoat collection down the road, but for now, it is both a pretty and practical edition to my 18th century wardrobe! :) Plus it adds some print, among a bunch of solid colored jackets. :)
Thanks, Amber!! You're amazing!


  1. I can't imagine hand sewing an ensemble, but this blouse is beautiful. Wonderful job!

  2. Beautiful! I haven't dabbled in anything Colonial era, but looking at your lovely jacket, I am highly tempted to make something from this time period. Check out my blog, if you're so inclined. It looks like we have some similar tastes :)

  3. Tara, this jacket is beautiful! Someday I really want t make myself an 18th century ensemble, but until my everyday wardrobe is sorted out that isn't feasible. So, until then, I'll have to satisfy myself by admiring such lovely pieces as the one you've put together here.


    the Middle Sister and Singer

  4. Oh my. The colors of your jacket are gorgeous! I LOVE the tones of the blues and greens...and the hand stitching? Fabulous!!! I admire those who can make hand stitching look effortless and perfect! Well done!

  5. Love it! I think I came thisclose to buying this fabric--it works for your jacket just perfectly!

  6. Love it, and had sew all my 1700 Spanish Colonial outfits. Frankly it is easier for me, and I can lie in bed and hand sew while watching TV. It really doesn't take as long as you would think. Usually have French Feld seams on everything. On fine linen, it gives it a bit of strength. Choice of a beautiful fabric and a simple, authentic, pattern is key to a beautiful outfit. By the way: for this jacket. I just bought some "antique" hooks and eyes ( about 1/2") in bronze from JoAnnes that are appropriate, and look great. Use them on my new bodice front, laces in back.

  7. This is such a pretty jacket! I love the swallow tail pointed back and the beautiful colors of the block print :)

  8. SO gorgeous!! That fabric! The color! Everything!!!
    You did such a beautiful job (as always), and I love the way you made the peplum!

  9. Hey Tara. I just found your blog and I LOVE this jacket!! It is gorgeous!! I really like the style of the Colonial era.

  10. I have started dabbling in colonial costuming and I SO want a jacket like this one. What pattern did you use to make it? Or did you design it your self?

    Thanks Anita

    1. Hi Anita!

      I used JP Ryan's jacket pattern, just modified with godets on the sides, pointed the back, and just had some general fitting tweaks. :) Hope that helps!



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