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First cut is the deepest, or so the song says...

Once I had worked out which patterns I would be using, the next step was cut the pattern pieces in my gorgeous green wool from Abraham Moon.


Using Truly Victorian TV428 , I set aside the front facing piece (which will be cut in silk noil) and the cuff (which is not required for this project) and began cutting my wool.


I then cut the same pieces in the plain cotton I will be using for the interlining, with the additional exception of the two piece sleeve, which do not require interlining.


Each piece of interlining was matched up with the same piece of wool, and machine basted around the outside. I tend to use my largest stitch setting (5mm), so that if I need to remove the stitches at any point in the future, it isn't going to be a monumental palaver.

internal construction, basted darts of 1890's jacket reproduction
CLOSE UP DETAIL OF BASTED WAISTLINE MARKER AND BASTED DARTS, STITCHED IN PINK THREAD

Once each wool pattern piece had been matched and basted to its counterpart cotton interlining, I needed to baste the two darts on each of the jacket fronts. There are no darts on the back, that is shaped to the body with clever cutting! I hand basted around the darts with pink thread (it stands out against the cream) and ensures that when I machine stitch the darts, they stay in place and both layers are caught within the stitching.

front jacket panel in green wool for victorian walking jacket
SHOWING THE LAPEL MODIFICATION - THE LEFT HAND LINE IS THE ORIGINAL PATTERN CUTTING LINE, THE RIGHT HAND LINE IS MY NEW CUTTING LINE

I altered the centre front edge of the jacket. The pattern gives a decent sized lapel, although quite narrow, as was the fashion at the time. However, the original jacket has a significantly wider lapel than the pattern allows for, so I extended it at the neck edge by 1" and used a French curve to blend the lapel in just above the waist. The original jacket has no front darts that I can see on the North Dakota State University Historic Costume Collection archive images, unless they are covered by the decorative panels that sit in that area.


When marking out my patterns onto fabric, I love using tailors wax. It works best on darker fabrics (it is only available in white), but it presses out leaving no residue or stain, or fades out within around 48 hours or so (sometimes quicker than that, although the product blurb says 7 to 10 days, I have never found it takes that long). The only downside is that it doesn't work on white or pale coloured fabrics. Also, don't drop it on the floor - it is very brittle and will shatter into hundreds of teeny, tiny pieces that you will be picking up for weeks after. Ask me how I know!

dark green wool jacket front panel, truly victorian tv428
RIGHT FRONT PANEL OF TV428 JACKET, INTERLINED AND DARTS STITCHED IN PLACE

Darts done on both jacket front panels, I went ahead joined the side backs to the side panels, followed by joining each side back to the centre back panels.


With each 3 panel block assembled and pressed, I then joined the centre backs together. Aside from the modifications to the lapel and collar, this is the only other modification to the jacket pattern that I have made - the original jacket has a split at the centre back.


The pattern instructions call for the centre back to be stitched from top to bottom, with the short edges of the pleats pressed under towards the centre back. See my last blog post for the pattern illustration which shows a back view.


However, the original jacket has a back split and the short edges of the pleats sitting towards the hips, so I have followed the original garment and switched the way the pleats sit.


back view of truly victorian tv428 1880s jacket
CENTRE BACK, SIDE BACK AND SIDE SEAMS ARE ALL JOINED TOGETHER

I am absolutely in love with the princess seams at the back, that gentle curve from the arm is just... swoon. It makes for a really elegant shape when worn, and is a superb optical illusion which makes the wearer's waist look smaller. Victorian women were most definitely not above using visual trickery to make their waists look smaller!


Whilst I have been busy with this blog, I have also been filming my progress for my YouTube channel. Yep! Number 2 of my goals for 2022 is about to become real, and my first ever video can be watched here :



Goal Number 3 will be finalised on 30 November 2022, when the competition opens up for submissions...


Next time, I will be joining the fronts to the backs, and assembling and putting in the sleeves. This is the relatively quick part of my challenge. The real challenge will be marking up and embroidering the facings and vest. I have a few ideas about that, but they are for a later post...


And following my post last week, I have now *finally* made a decision.


There *will* be an underskirt, overskirt, hat *and* gloves to go with this jacket - assuming that I am able to get the extra fabric I will need. If not, I will have to come up with an alternative plan. And if I have time (and the mental bandwidth) once all of this is done, a parasol. I was lucky enough to pick up two antique parasols - one with a wooden hook handle, metal finial and original silk tassels, and one with a carved bone handle and finial - at the Twinwood Festival last summer. Sadly, the fabric canopies on both parasols are... um... what is the technical expression? Buggered. Royally buggered. But the frames are absolutely, positively demanding that I cover one in dark green or cream silk, and lace, and all kinds of frippery in that totally over-the-top Victorian way!


I have never made a hat, so that in itself will be a challenge.

I have also never made a pair of gloves, and, beyond the odd handbag repair that Trusty Jack (my Jack A4 sewing machine) has dealt with quite happily, I have never worked with leather.

And I most definitely have never covered an antique parasol and is a project that is going to need research by the bucketload, nay, by the skip full.


Luckily, the wonder behind Truly Victorian has our backs covered with everything a girl could possibly need to recreate an outfit worthy of any 1880s Parisian socialite.


So... Interesting times, indeed...







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