Sunday, August 28, 2011


Yesterday I had some time and I finished up the jacket. I hand finished the lining and tried tons of pleating, with different lengths of fabric, to come up with the correct peplum ruffle. I ended up doing double and triple box pleats on a half-moon shaped pice of fabric, about 3 ft long by 6 in at its widest point. I finished the edge with pinked scallops.  

I don't have an authentic 18th century pinking tool, because I haven't been lucky enough to come across one, but I did find a great alternative. Its a cast iron, rotary style that taxidermists use for felt. It clips, or rather screws, onto the edge of a table and you crank the handle as you pass the fabric through. It has scallops, which is perfect, but the drawback is the pinking is pointed, instead of rounded, which is more common in existing garments, though it did exist. See view A.

I found this picture on Fuschia's 18th Century Dress.
But thats a small caveat, considering even though it's not 100% authentic, you can create trim soooo much faster than punching it out, scallop by scallop, like you would with a proper 18th century pinker. I got it from It was a little expensive (about $130-$150 or so) but totally worth it. One thing to note, with finer fabrics, like silk, sometimes you have to pass a few layers through at a time, but with crisp fabrics, like the cotton on this jacket, one layer went through perfectly.  I'll have to take some pictures of examples, and of the machine, to show in a future post. This thing is invaluable!

But back to the jacket. 

Here are a few more pictures, and some close up's of details like stitching along the seams. It gives the jacket a little more support, and also the hand stitching makes it look a little more authentic.  The pierrot is displayed with a cream, cotton lawn fichu, with tambour worked clovers. I found this fabric at The skirt is a white, cotton voile petticoat, worn over 3 other thin petticoats and a false rump. This jacket is from the 1790's, and panniers and hoops would no longer have been fashionable with something like this. Stays are, of course, still worn. The front is closed with five straight pins, inserted horizontally, and with the edges caught inside the layers, as not to catch on your person or anyone else for that matter.

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