May 11, 2010

My New Colonial Outfit

Revolutionary War Reenactor
I have been working on hand-sewing a new Colonial jacket, shift and petticoat. It has been moving very slow. The shift is completely sewn other than the two armbands at the bottom of the sleeves and my jacket is about halfway done. The jacket is taking a long time because the fabric and the lining are sewn separately so it is like sewing two jackets and putting them together. I am still not sure what color petticoat I should make. I originally thought that a nice checkered linen pattern would be pretty, but I ended up having blue and white linen fabric for my jacket, I now need a plainer petticoat. Above is a sketch of what I hope the finished dress will look like. (Sorry it is really not a good drawing, I was really just trying to see how it looked all put together. You'd never know I was an artist!) I am not sure about the maroon skirt, yet.

My shift is very plain, there is a diagram for a shift on A Stitch in Time at Home that is very easy to use. Linen wrinkles like crazy, sorry about the picture.

Revolutionary War Reenactor sewing pattern
This is the the detail of the hand sewing on my shift. I very much like the look of hand-sewing. It is definitely not the best but it does make a prettier looking garment. I used to be afraid of hand-sewing. It really isn't that hard and you have a larger selection of stitches to choose from.

This is my jacket fabric. It is linen but was too thin so I have been lining it with a linen tablecloth. The fabric is pretty, but I think I will feel like a china plate wearing it. It was the only stamped, linen I could find, though.

So, will the maroon petticoat look nice or will it look to "old timesy patriotic?" The other option I have been thinking about is possible blue and white stripes (run vertically.) Any other ideas? I am hoping to finish the outfit in time for reenacting season.


  1. I love the fabric you choose!

  2. Thanks Milli, I like it too. It was a really good price, I'm very happy with it. Thanks again for posting.

  3. You are SO TALENTED! You're killing me! I'm thinking of turning my old, torn shift into an apron. Maybe I'll get some hand-sewing tips from you! PLLEEEAASSE? See you Thursday night?

  4. I have no doubt that you can sew your old shift into an apron. I have patterned out that apron from that website if you want to get together and sew that sometime. I am not sure if we can make it this Thursday, Andy adopted a cat and we are picking it up Thursday morning. I am sure he is going to want to stay with it a few nights. Will you be at the Rev War thing this weekend?

  5. With the amount of homework you had it's no wonder things have been moving slowly. Now that class is over you'll have a lot of time to do what you like. :)

  6. Hello there!

    How long does it take to hand sew each garment? I know if I'm hand sewing a viking tunic or dress that will take me roughly thirty hours but they have no tailoring and the patterns are usually very simple.

    Something like a cloak (rectangular, two layers) I can do in 4-6 hours.


  7. Andy, Thanks for commenting. I sure hope so. I am so glad that class is over for the summer.

  8. Halfrida, Thanks so much for commenting. I'm not really sure how long it takes because I normally sew while watching T.V., listening to music or while my boyfriend reads out loud. The shift sewed up very quickly. I'd like to see some of your garments. Do you have any on your blog?

    1. Much of the 'garb" I sew ends up being both hand-sewn and machine sewn. I hand sew on long car trips (because my husband likes driving much more than I do), when one of my sons wants to talk with me (machines are loud), when I am visiting with someone. I use the machine when I am in a hurry to finish the project.

    2. Tina, I find the machine sound is just irritating. It's great you can get work done in the car!

  9. Wow! That fabric is gorgeous! You're going to have so much fun sewing it up! I don't think that the blue in the fabric is bright enough to be thought of as "patriotic". What a lovely outfit you've planned :).

  10. Thanks so much Sophia. Thanks for your comment. I am thinking about keeping the skirt maroon.

  11. Our photobucket can be found here

    I had a hand somewhere in most of the clothing - usually the cutting out.

    If you go to this folder:

    I'm the one holding the lyre and DH is the one with the fur hat and the big axe!


  12. Those are great! It looks like you guys have more fun than us in the States. My boyfriend says that you guys have more historical periods to draw from. The outfits look great.

  13. Halfrida, the problem is that there are not as many popular periods reenacted. We recently had a discussion with somebody that was involved in Renaissance. She noted that many people that went to "Renaissance Faires" as opposed to what she did, were more into dressing like fantasy characters, and not really interested in the real history. These things limit the amount of periods we can seriously do. I notice on the latest post on your blog that you said that the weather stopped many people from coming out, and there were only a few of you. You most likely had more people than we'd ever be able to muster for that period. At least, people really interested in portraying it realistically. Those pictures you posted were AWESOME. I'd love to come see some of that!

  14. Wonderful! What an accomplishment to sew an outfit by hand! I personally enjoy sewing by hand, as I think it gives you a bit more control over the stitches than a machine gives you.

    Allison Elizabeth ♥

  15. Allison, I agree. I was hoping to see some of your garments in your etsy shop.


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