Peacock pierrot – part one

I think I mentioned a while back that I was working on a pattern for a 1780’s-style pierrot jacket.  I did develop the pattern a couple months ago, and I was just waiting for the right fabric to drop into my lap to start on the real thing – and here it is:

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I scored this floor-length half-circle skirt at a thrift store for about two bucks.  It’s something like a heavy taffeta – the tag in the skirt declared that it is 50% poly, 20% nylon (what’s the other 30%?  no idea!) and also that it retailed for $158 at wherever it was bought – huh!  the color is just lovely, and ranges from bright teal to dark teal with flashes of hot pink and purple.  I had no choice but to dub it peacock!

I generally don’t sew during my work week, but I really felt like starting on this project, so I’ve just been working for fifteen minutes or a half hour each day on it.  you’d be surprised how quickly something comes together with just that much sewing.

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this was my rough pattern.

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cutting the pieces of the lining, which is a medium-weight white cotton with a striped pattern.  I know it’s hard to see what’s going on in this pictures, but there are five pieces to the pattern – bodice back, bodice front, zone front piece, shoulder strap, and collar.

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I cut all my pieces out except the bodice back, which I wanted to pleat on my dress form.  I studied a few different looks and had decided that the one I wanted for my jacket was back pleats going into a little ruffled tail, as opposed to the tail being a separate pattern piece.  I pleated it the same way I did my emerald gown way back, only a little less crookedly!

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stitching down pleats.  I took my time doing this – sewed one or two pleats at a time, over the course of about three days.

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all my pleats!

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I pinned my back lining over the pleated back piece to make sure they were all lined up properly before cutting the back into shape.  there is no lining piece for the tail because I planned on just hemming it; I thought the weight of a lining might disrupt the nice ruffled look of it.

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next, I lined the zone front pieces.  I pinned these to the bodice fronts and from there on, treated the two pieces as one.

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the bodice stitched together.  it’s starting to look like an actual thing, right?

at this point, I threw on my stays to do a fit check of the bodice… only to find it was quite a bit too big.  so I had to take it apart at the sides, and move the bodice fronts in about an inch, as well as cut away about an inch from the neckline because it was too high.  I always seem to overestimate how much room I need in the chest… I blame this on the fact that I had to spend years always adding inches to the chest area whenever I sewed.

as of right now, the lining has been assembled and is ready to be attached.  then I have to draft a sleeve pattern, attach sleeves and the collar, and then finish the front of the bodice, which will close with hooks and eyes but have buttons going down the front.  my next post will (hopefully) cover all that, providing I can keep up the pace I’ve been working at.

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costume #2 for ACen – can you guess who I’m going to be?

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I’ve often said that I enjoy a challenge.  what that really means is that I like to challenge myself – for instance, by deciding that with less than a full week (besides work days) to go until the con, I wanted a second costume to wear on Sunday, since we’ll be going both days.  so in picking a costume, I was specifically looking for something I could make in less than a day (although in reality it took me two whole days.  but still.)

anyway, I’ll do a proper post on it probably after ACen, when I have some photos to share.