Spencer Jackets III

This is certainly my favourite jacket (it also happens to be the one I'm wearing in the play.....anyway). The real reason I bought this was because I fell in love with the buttons. Well, I guess the button-holes are what I really came to love. I was pretty skeptical about how it would turn out, and it had a lining which was never not difficult. 

The button thing was very militaristic, and since spencer jackets were military-inspired, I thought this quite fitting. If only the armholes could have been perfect. But the button-holes carried on to the sleeves, so I suppose I am to be consoled.
The first thing I did was to pin down the collar to get rid of the points.

The dress that went with this sloped down in the back, so I cut the jacket to fit that. I was slightly worried that it would look weird, but once I finished it came out alright.
I ended up putting a waist-band on this one as well and took no pictures. I then discovered that I had enough leftover cloth to make buttons for the jacket, which was excellent. I had enough to go all down the front, on both sleeves, still had some leftover.
the lighting stopped being weird long enough for me to get a picture that really showed the material of the jacket.

The jacket was still too large around the waist, so I put some darts in the back, and then did a tuck with buttons on either side.

I apologize for the weird light, the sun was being especially yellow that day. I also procrastinated about sewing the collar until right before the first dress rehearsal, so I would like you to know that I risked my throat (and therefore my life) getting this picture.

I have no idea why this is so grainy.

If you stuck with me to the end, here is a bonus picture of another one I made and took NO pictures of until I finished. It was the first one I made, and at that point it hadn't occurred to me to post about it. The funny thing about this one, is that I spent the least amount of time on it (I threw it together on a whim one morning RIGHT before practice) and I think it may have turned out the best. The last one I am making is just a boring black one, and I shan't take pictures.










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Spencer Jackets II

HA! I'm back. Thought I would forget for another couple of weeks, didn't you. There is no escape. 

This next jacket was an adorable black jacket that I managed not to photograph before I cut it. It's 100% cotton corduroy, with long rows of little metal clamps in the front. The best part about this one is that the armholes on the sleeves were properly small. The second best part was that it only cost a dollar. Thrift stores are your friends, especially if they have a dollar rack. Anyway, I cut it to the perfect length, and then decided I wanted to put a waistband on it. So I used the extra fabric to do that, and it ended up a little long and looks too similar to a bomber-jacket for my taste, but I didn't really have time to fiddle with it. It ended up turning out pretty well.

No, it isn't cut two inches higher on one side, it was just hanging weird.

I added buttons to the bottom and used a ribbon to hold them together. I can (with some difficulty) get the jacket fastened all the way, but it's a bit tighter on the girl who is actually going to be wearing it, so we decided to only fasten the bottom (that was actually a style at the time). 

I also did a bit of black embroidery on the collar (I adore monochrome embroidery) and I must say it was quite a pain. The thread just hid itself in between the rows of the corduroy and it was impossible to see where I had already placed a stitches. You also can't see it from stage...but I like it anyway. I also put a tag in the back on a whim, and you know know my initials so you are welcome to my identity. 

Tada. Ignore my not-so-regency hair getting in the way. I took these pictures before I had QUITE finished, so you will notice a pin showing on the waistband. I much prefer how it looks fastened all the way, but it's alright open. You may say hello to the bear in the bookshelf, he couldn't be stopped.


I'm really quite fond of this jacket.





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Spencer Jackets I

Well. I have finally finished my spencers. I intended to put up a post on each one as I finished, but as you may have noticed, that didn't happen. I apologize if the pictures are blurry or impossible to understand, I wasn't as careful with them as I could have been. As you may already know, my twin (Pen of Awdur) and I are in charge of costumes for a staged adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility
The first one I was working on was a jacket to be worn by Mrs. Ferrars. This was probably the simplest of them all, but somehow managed to take forever. I found it at a thrift store for $11. It was marked as vintage, but it also has a tag that says 'sportswear'....so I don't really know of it's origins. I'm not sure how real the velvet is, but it doesn't feel obviously fake, so I went with it. I'm a fan of natural fabrics, mostly because I consider them to be a great deal more comfortable, and they always feel better to the touch. 




Here we go. This is the jacket in it's original form: 
Ideally, you want to mark the jacket ON the person you're making it for, but I didn't have time for that, so I just cut it a tad long. You should cut it about 1 1/2 to 2 inches below the empire waist of the dress and then hem it up to just over an inch below. The problem with cutting down modern jackets, is that the armhole in the sleeves is going to be too large. On a real spencer jacket, it is quite closely fitted, but not so much on modern blazers. Once you've cut your waistline, you will probably find that if you lift your arms up much, the whole jacket gets pulled out of place. Just be an old fashioned lady and keep your arms down. I mean, obviously you have a maid to do your hair for you so...

I then pinned it up to see how it would look. I originally intended to do something with the sleeves and was trying out some options, but ultimately left them the way they were.
I also took the buttons off of the jacket and substituted them for some cloth covered buttons that matched well enough. I used pins to hold them in place to see how they would look. I did the same on the back and the sleeves.
If your material is thin enough, you can use the excess to make the cloth-covered buttons, but mine was far to thick and I used some other velvety stuff I had lying around. The buttons aren't as rich and dark as the coat itself, but they're close enough.

All the spencers were handsewn, as I find that the sewing machine makes awkwardly visible hems, but that may just be because I am doing it wrong. Hemmed and with buttons sewn on:





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Tolkien Reading Day

Happy Tolkien Reading Day everyone! I've done my post over at the Red Book: https://theredbooknews.blogspot.com/2017/03/tolkien-reading-day.html

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