V178: 1770s Polonaise Jacket Progress

I haven’t been in a super-sewing mood, but I have made a little progress on the polonaise jacket planned for our Colonial Williamsburg trip this coming October.

I draped the pattern for this back in March/April, and tested it out with some muslin, making a few changes.  The challenging part of the polonaise jackets is that they hang open in front, yet appear to be somewhat fitted.

I ended up carving away the front “sweep”, and needing to add in a bust dart, like the one in the Snowshill Riding Habit jacket found in Patterns of Fashion 1 .  With the wide trim planned for the front edges of this jacket, most of the darts won’t be seen, but they do make it fit over the front, whereas before it bowed out terribly.

I cut each piece individually, to match the patterns in the fabric, like on the inspiration jacket.  My sprigs were so far apart I ended up having to put a seam at the center back, where the skirting starts – not ideal, but necessary, to get the flowers on that part of the jacket.

More progress is to come! This is a challenging project, with much problem solving, but I’m determined to get a wearable piece out of it!


    • Lauren R

      June 26, 2012 at 10:36 PM

      Oh, I'm not upset about it – I mean, I would have preferred it without that seam at the waist, but not more than having the flowers on the skirting. 🙂

  • Edith

    June 26, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    So beautiful! I love the fabirc! The flowers are stunning! Would this style of jacket not be a "Pierrot"?

    Can't wait to see the finished product!

    • Lauren R

      June 27, 2012 at 12:32 AM

      Hi Edith – thank you! The polonaise jackets and pierrot jackets differed in some respects. The pierrots were a little later (1780s and 90s) and are like a bodice with an added peplum or flounce out the back. The polonaise jackets are like a man's cutaway frock coat, and worn over a stomacher that shows out the bottom – kindof like a zone-front garment, but the edges of the "zone" are loose and hanging.

  • Katy Rose

    June 26, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    no…This will be worn over a stomacher and instead of the front jacket edges laying flat against the body they are only attached at the neckline, which is the defining element to a Polonaise Jacket. A Pierrot is basically a jacket with long, fitted sleeves, it stops at the waist and has a peplum in the back….

    • Lauren R

      June 27, 2012 at 12:34 AM

      Hi Yvonne – I got this fabric at a local HomeFabrics store. It's medium weight, and not the best material content. I also have a really hard time finding period fabrics, but I've been compiling a pin board for my finds here: http://pinterest.com/americanduchess/fabrics-of-drool/

      Lampas and Brocade stuffs seem to be a sure bet, but they can be expensive. I got some lampas for $10/yard on sale last week, couldn't believe it, but you really have to hunt for it – still, there are deals to be found!

  • Tricia

    June 27, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    I think it is looking really good and when it is
    finished it will be absolutely beautiful.
    I love the front and how it sweeps back to the hip.

  • Katrina - Edelweiss Patterns

    June 27, 2012 at 4:04 AM

    Oh my goodness! That fabric is stunning, and the flowers are perfectly placed in back. I love how crisply you pressed the inverted pleats, too.

    Happy sewing!


  • Anna

    June 30, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Ugh that fabric is SO FANTASTIC…I am steeping in envy over here. This is going to be such a beautiful little jacket!


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