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Me? Competitive? Nah...

Updated: Feb 11, 2022

So, having decided that I absolutely *had* to enter the Foundations Revealed competition, then came the task of finding something that I wanted to make... and something that would impress...

Luckily (well...) I had a lot of downtime over November and December due to ill health, so whilst I wasn't able to do much in the way of sewing, one thing I could do between naps was trawl Pinterest for inspiration.

On one of my rabbit hole expeditions, I found a picture of an 1890s walking jacket. The image below is of a jacket in the Historic Costume Collection held at North Dakota State University:

Sadly, pictures of the jacket (whilst gloriously clear, high definition and not at all blurry) are limited, and there are no other garments shown as having been worn with the jacket.

Late Victorian 1890s walking jacket, red wool, fur collar, soutache embroidered detail on lapels, mother of pearl buttons

Eagle eyed readers will note that I have opted to recreate this in green rather than red. This is a purely vanity driven decision, as I look better in green than red!

The original jacket is trimmed with machine embroidery (I know, I was shocked as I thought it was soutache braid too!). Not being in possession of an embroidery machine, I am going to hand embroider the details on the cream vest and jacket facings. This part is quite possibly going to be the most time consuming part of the project.

The bit of my brain that I am convinced is part crow seemed to think that in the absence of a machine to embroider, if I am doing that part of the project by hand anyway, that some sort of beading mixed in with the embroidery design might be a really cool way of adding a bit of sparkle (because who doesn't want sparkle in the dark days of January???)

There are also panels on the jacket skirt, sleeve head and cuffs which continue the embroidery motifs from the vest and jacket facing.

The cuffs and collar are finished in an unknown fur - the page on the NDSU HCC archive featuring this jacket has pretty limited information. A rummage through my fabric stash revealed some long since forgotten faux fur. It is a pretty close colour match to the original, and is so realistic that when I bought it, the foster cat* we had living with us, tried to groom it. And then promptly attacked it when it failed to show sufficiently grovelling gratitude for her most careful and loving ministrations. I figure that if it could fool our Feline Overlord, it will fool almost everyone else....

Next time, pattern choices and decisions Must Be Made on whether I make a full ensemble or stick with "just" making the jacket...

* (longer term followers of my Instagram and Facebook might remember our Feline Overlord, IndyPig! but just in case you have forgotten her floofy majesticness...

sleeping black and white cat
IndyPig, our (foster) Feline Overlord

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