Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Striped Pierrot

I love the little jackets of the 1790s, especially this stripy pierrot from the Kyoto Costume institute. A few notes on the original, from the KCI website:

Material: green and yellow striped silk taffeta and satin with fringe.

The "pierrot", a short fitted jacket with short tails, was popular from the mid-1780s through the 1790s.
Just prior to the French Revolution, in contrast to extravagant court fashions clothing tended to be simple and comfortable, and stylish jackets began making their appearance. These jackets were worn with skirt of lightweight, white "linon", a woven cloth with a high linen-like quality made of thin and delicate cotton.

A good picture of the original fabric, from the KCI website.

Here is a front view. I'm 99% sure this is the same piece.
I mean, logically, how many striped, befringed, 18th century jackets are
still out there? And it looks soooo similar. The color is a little
off, but that might just be the photo. I only question it because
I found this on google images and I have no idea where
the original photo comes from.
To recreate this jacket, I found a striped upholstery fabric from Hancock Fabrics - and I actually went to the store, so unfortunately there is no link. A spot on copy of the fabric I couldn't find, so I chose a light blue/dark blue stripe that gives the same vibe. The fringe trim I used was found at Joann. It was too long (1 3/4") so I cut the fringe down to an inch. I used a white linen for the lining.
Robert Allen - 1 3/4 Classic Brush - Wheat. Joann.

So on to the construction. 

I used my favorite J.P. Ryan Anglaise pattern for the bodice and I draped my own pattern for the peplum. I elongated the sleeves to look more like the original jacket, since the sleeves on the J.P. Ryan Pattern only reach the crook of your arm. I also lengthened the center front and changed the shape. The center back was cut straight across for the peplum. When laying out the pattern pieces, I angled the stripes on the front different from the rest of the jacket to recreate the stripe pattern of the original.

And then the final piece, shown with a white silk fichu, over stays and a false rump, with three petticoats. The top layer is an embroidered, cotton voile, walking length petticoat (see further down).

For the petticoat, I was inspired by the floral embroidered petticoat worn with the jacket on display. I love the hat too! But I haven't made a foray into millinery yet...

I used five yards of white cotton voile for the skirt and made it walking length. I gathered the waist on a drawstring instead of pleating to a placket. My reasoning for this was the silhouette of the original. It looks pouffy all the way around. I machine embroidered a simple two color design at the hem with silk thread. I don't have an embroidery machine (next on my list!) so this was very tedious goings, as in every leaf had to be done individually. Yikes. As soon as I get a proper embroidery machine I want to fully recreate the above petticoat, but until then, this ones not too shabby.

Oh jeez now I want the hat!


  1. You did a phenomenal job---just lovely!

  2. Thanks so much! The original is just the absolute cutest!

  3. Love this jacket - just the loveliest thing.