Monday, November 18, 2013

The Green Pelisse


This past weekend was the DFW Costumers Guild's 5th Annual Georgian Picnic, and this year, I decided to make a Regency pelisse.  It also tied in perfectly with the Historical Sew Fortnightly "green" challenge since I had a dress-length of spruce green wool in my stash that I set aside to use for a pelisse many years ago. Unfortunately, even though I started working on this project during the challenge, I had to put it on hold for a few weeks so I could make faire and Halloween costumes for my boys during October.  So forgive me for being late with it, but better late than never, right?

There are SO many Regency pelisses that I love, so deciding on a style was actually the hardest part for me. I agonized over it for weeks, but then I finally picked this very simple design from 1807 as the main source of inspiration for my own dress.  I'm really pleased with the way it turned out for the most part, although I do plan on re-doing the collar before I wear it again so that the fur comes all the way down to my waist.  It's not "wrong" as it is, and there are other examples from 1807 with fur collars that end above the waistline, but my slightly short collar was an "oops" more than an intentional design decision, and I didn't have time to change it before the picnic.


To construct my gown, I used the pelisse pattern from The Cut of Women's Clothes as a starting point, and I made a few very minor alterations to make it look more like my chosen fashion plate.  The hardest part was figuring out how to pleat/gather the skirt.  I started out gathering it like pattern instructed, but I found that my wool was too thick and springy, and it looked very hunchback-ish when I was done.  So I ripped the skirt back off the night before the picnic, and I decided to do a very simple inverted box pleat in the back, similar to this 1807 pelisse on the left. This definitely helped keep the dress smooth in the back, although I think it would have looked nicer if I had made the pleat narrower.  But it's not bad as it is, and it was interesting to try out a different treatment for the skirt.


The pelisse is entirely hand-sewn, and I tried to get as close to period construction techniques as possible. There's not a lot of information about the nitty-gritty details of Regency pelisses out there, but I found this pinterest board showing the construction of a pelisse and this article on Your Wardrobe Unlock'd to be very helpful.  My pelisse is fully lined with thin silk, except for the back of the skirt, which uses a cheaper cotton fabric, much like the pelisse from the Pinterest board.  The bodice has a thicker cotton duck interlining to give it more structure, and I padded the front of the shoulder with a layer of cotton batting to help keep the area above the bustline smooth.  The collar and cuffs are made of vintage faux lamb, and they are lined with silk taffeta and pad-stitched to thin cotton batting.

Here are a few more pictures from the picnic, and I'll be back to talk about my new hat tomorrow.








18 comments:

melissamary said...

Gorgeous! Great job.

Taylor said...

GRABBY HANDS. This is awesome. The color is gorgeous!

Maggie said...

Gorgeous!

Lily said...

Lovely! And your chemisette is perfection! :-)

Aylwen Gardiner-Garden said...

Wonderful job - I love it!

Lady Rebecca said...

Beautiful!

Gwendolyn said...

Jen, this is really, really lovely! I think it's my favorite thing you've made in quite a long time. :)

Kleidung um 1800 said...

Beautifully done! Looks like a fashion plate :)
Woolen pelisses are simply indispensable during the colder seasons, I do love your accesoiries (maybe a giant muff for winter would be another lovely addition).
I'm looking forward very much learning more about that little capote hat, cute eye-catcher!

Sabine

Augustintytär said...

It's beautiful!!! And it looks absolutely stunning with the shawl! The fit is perfect! And I adore the hat as well. It's so girly and it goes perfectly with the outfit.

Fiorina said...

It's so lovely! I like the elegant back with the box-pleats, and you accessories match and enhance the look so beautifully!

Aubry said...

This is just exquisite! And thank you so much for sharing all the construction details.

eva´s kleidertruhe said...

Beautiful job! I love the colour!

ZipZip said...

Handsome, handsome pelisse. Not a bit overdone or underdone, and looks to be so comfortable. Enjoyed reading how it was constructed too: thank you for the hints!

Very best,

Natalie

Eleonora Amalia said...

Ooh it's so beautifully done! I love the colour and the fact it makes your figure look even slimmer! :)

Tiffany said...

I just adore this! And where is this Georgian Picnic? It looks so fun!

Jen Thompson said...

Tiffany - we have it every year at the Ft. Worth Botanic Gardens with the Dallas / Ft. Worth Costumers Guild. http://www.dfwcg.org/ We'd love to have you join us if you are in the area!

Megan Martin said...

I absolutely love this pelisee, it looked so warm and comfortable! And I love the lambs wool accents. I definitely am putting more Regency stuff on my to-do list this coming year!

Sanna K said...

Lovely! It actually reminds me of Burgundian dresses... :D

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