19th century

An 1813 cloak for Jane Austen Festival Australia 2013

I'm making an 1813 cloak for Jane Austen Festival Australia 2013 challenge, which is to create an outfit to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice.

I've been in love with the gorgeous blue cloak on the left since I found it and pinned it to my 1813 Pinterest board. I love everything about it, the shape, especially the pointed front, its colours, the embroidery, its so stylish, so I am replicating the design for the challenge.

First challenge was to figure out how the shape was created, its not a simple circle, the water colour doesn't show any seams, so really, its all guesstimate informed with period construction.

My Jean Hunniset book has been fabulous an gave me the period cloak shape to use. The triangle points at the top can be extended to create the style I am after. This cape is one from the early 19th century and therefore totally possible to use for 1813.

The back has a lovely curve that I can also emulate, I cant see the back of the Ackerman's water colour, but it does curve up towards the back, so I can use this detail happily.

I drafted my toile from the above pattern, elongating the front and back pieces and this is what I got.
Look at that, its an almost exact replica, very pleased.

Here's one with the hood toile included, used a different pattern for the hood, still from Jean Hunnisett, but the type used by the fashionable red cloaks of the period with the pleated centre.

So toile done, now to get into the fashion fabric ...

Fashion fabric
The cotton velvet is much harder to work with than the calico of course, but the results are so pretty.
I love this fabric, the lining is a floral cotton.
With hood pined on, hood lined in silk taffeta
Back view
Front view with hood
Trimming pinned on for hand stitching
Hand stitching trim
Its coming together, now I need to hand stitch down the trim, and the hood and embellish it.
As the cloak is hand stitched I had issues with velvet on velvet that doesn't happen with my Pfaff with its integrated walking foot. This was much more noticeable when I was attaching the pink velvet trim, the velvets kept on 'walking and buckling, argh!

Attaching the hood

I pleated the cloak's neck, it could have been cartridge pleated or gathered, all three are appropriate for the period. I gathered the cloak's velvet hood and then pinned and hand stitched down. I should have gathered the hood of lining and fashion fabric first, d'oh, so I did that next while I had access.
Gathered end of hood, this could have been cartridge pleated as well

Adding the cover to hide the pleats, I created a kind-of Suffolk Puff

Repeated with silk lining

Covering the gathers
Hood silk lining covers the seams and was hand stitched down.

Ribbon ties
The cloak is very heavy so to ensure my ribbon ties stay attached I used 2 metres of ribbon and stitched it around the the outside neck of the cloak. I doubt this is period, but it will work.

The original water colour has what looks to be embroidery of roses and leaves all around the cape, this is way too complicated for my minimalist embroidery skills and the time available. So I bought pre-made pink roses on green leaves made of ribbon. These weren't cheap, $A5.99 for 6 pieces, ouch! Needs must however and I bought them and stitched to the pink trim. I bought 6 packets, not enough to replicate the Ackerman's profusion, but all that were available. Here's the results.

I will 'gather ye rosebuds' (sorry couldn't resist!) and attach them when they have been restocked to properly replicate the Ackerman watercolour embellishment, but I am very pleased with my reproduction of the cloak.

The #Historical Sew Fortnight Challenge 'just the facts mam'
The Challenge: Embellish. Reproduction of an 1813 Ackerman's water colour fashion drawing
Fabric: cotton velvet, cotton printed lining and silk for the hood lining
Jean Hunniset book has been fabulous an gave me the period cloak shape to use
Year: 1813
How historically accurate is it: as accurate as I could make it, hand stitched, fabrics are natural, pattern is of the time period.
Hours to complete: Two weeks
First worn: not worn yet, next week at the Jane Austen Festival Australia
Total cost: about $90 for blue velvet, pink velet from stash, plus ~$60'ish' for trimmings


Jane Austen Festival Australia 2012 ~ my impressions

'Off on pleasure bent again Lizzie' Mr Bennett, Pride and Prejudice

And so it was for we lucky attendees at the 2012 Jane Austen Festival Australia run by the Earthly Delights Historic Dance Academy and for me, it was the best costuming event I have been too in many years.

The event is excellently priced, the attendees are friendly and pleased to be there, the venue perfect, the food wholesome, abundant and often home made, we went to balls, attended the play, danced our feet off at workshops and the ball, we shot arrows from our bows, attended fascinating talks on the time and life of Jane Austen. It was delightful!

Here are some of my photos from the event, you can view more on my FB The Tailor's Apprentice photo stream ...

Archery, yes, with modern bows, but still great fun
Some of our lovely ladies from the Australian Costumers Guild
Dance exhibitions by Aylwen and John Garden-Gardiner and friends
Glove buttons can be so awkward
Dance classes
Dancing the set
Archery with a repro 19th century bow
The dandies at the ball
The ball!
The maypole dance
beautiful ladies of the Australian Costumers Guild
Elegant gents at the promenade


1820s archery gown completed ... well almost!

Me and Sam, mirror image
So I completed my 1820s archery gown for the 2012 Jane Austen Festival Australia, with the exception of the long sleeves.

Three of us took up the challenge of creating the gown and all made the short sleeved version due to time limitations.

My gown is a delight to wear, comfortable and it worked very well as an archery gown. I now understand the flat decoration at the front of the bodice, this ensures that the bow string has nothing to catch it when pulled back and released.

Each of us used a cotton Lincoln or sage green fabric, with salmon pink and black trims. However, our skirt trims are all slightly different. Variety is the spice of reproduction historical gowns :)

Me and Sam, front view of my gown
Archery with a modern bow

Antonia and I

More target practice

Did you see that, I hit the bulls eye, woot!

Shooting with a repro 19th century bow, much harder to pull back than the contemporary one, but I still hit the target

Me and Alex from the 95th Rifles, the Grasshoppers
I am extremely pleased with this project, it was fun to create, comfortable to wear and I learnt new techniques. I hoped you enjoyed coming along on the journey.

Earlier posts:
1820s archery gown for Jane Austen Festival Australia 2012
Back view of the 1820s Archery gown - Jane Austen
Toile for Regency Archery dress for Jane Austen Australia festival
Archery gown 1820s ~ making the dress
Archery gown, 1820s - the bodice
Archery gown 1820s - puffed sleeves and van dyke points


Regency Bonnets for Jane Austern Festival Australia

Only two more sleeps and then its the Jane Austen Festival Australia for 2012. I have made my gown wardrobe, but I need bonnets to wear with the gowns and a lace cap. So I spent the Easter weekend constructing my 'Easter' Regency bonnets, from ribbons, lace, fabric and an old sun hat.

I used the tutorial created by the Oregon Regency Society, How to Make a Regency Poke Bonnet, which is very helpful.

I also researched period styles (aka 'drooled over delightful millinery') by viewing the delightful water colour sketches from the Ackerman's Repository.

As well as my straw boneet, I made a cloth bonnet from a 1920s sun bonnet pattern and it worked very well, this bonnet will be worn with my 1820s archery gown at the archery afternoon on Friday at the Festival.

I still have to make my lace cap as I am a respectable married woman after all, lol! This will be hand stitched on the three hour drive to Canberra.

So, here's what I created:

Lace bonnet made with an old sun hat and ribbons, lace and fabric from my stash, I wanted something that I could wear with all my gowns, hence the white and gold colour way.

... then I made a cloth bonnet from my 1920s sun bonnet pattern to wear with my archery gown, hence the lincoln green, black and pink motifs. I used a very stiff interfacing for the brim, but next time I will buy some buckram as it will hold its form so much better.


Archery gown, 1820s - the bodice

Front of bodice with trims
The bodice on the 1820 archery gown is lovely, the trims, pleats and gathers make it really interesting and gives a quasi military feel I think. Definitely suitable for a British Bow Woman in he 1820s.

My bodice is trimmed with bias strips of dark brown silk and cotton velvet.

The bodice is lined with salmon pink cotton.

Earlier posts on the puffed sleeves are here and then you can travel back through all the posts on this lovely gown.

More photos below:

Front pre-trim

Back pre-trim

Lining of cotton salmon

Back with shoulder and back stripes added

Back with sleeve added