|1780 – 1781 Polonaise sacque jacket almost done! I love the back, even if it has double the fabric in it that it really needs.
This project has been one of much doing and re-doing, but I’ve learned a lot along the way. I’m thankful to say that as of this post my new sacque-back jacket is wearable!
|Even though I had to re-do the sideback seams in situ, it gave me a chance to do a much better job on the trick back skirt pleats where they nip in under the sacque pleats.
The sleeves gave me the most trouble of anything on the gown. The original garment has these massive turn-back cuffs that are pleated into the sleeve and fold back nicely for a dramatic effect. Unfortunately my version didn’t play so nicely and my cuffs were far too large and didn’t lay nicely, so I reduced them. They look better now, but they’re not true to the original and I’m not in love with them. They cause the sleeve to ruck up a bit, and I’m just way more into other cuff styles so I doubt I’ll do the all-in-one-turn-back cuffs again in the future.
|Grumble. Turns out there is too much of a good thing…
Once the sleeves were constructed, Nicole helped me fit the shoulder strap seams and then the sleeves. I like to do this in one fitting, though it means putting the garment on, taking it off, putting it on again, taking it off again. The result is an almost-finished garment!
For a little bonus, here’s a video I put together on how to do the convertible pinning trick we talk about in the book, since it’s confusing in photos:
|With the cuffs greatly reduced and the sleeves set on.
With shoulder straps sewn, underarms of the sleeves securely back-stitched, and the tops firmly basted, I took the jacket home and applied the printed cotton shoulder straps over top to finish the whole thing off. I also made an extra little tuck along the flyaway bodice front for a more fitted look, and I’m calling it done.
|The nearly-completed jacket. Sleeves set on and partially sewn. Front flyaway pinned into a more flattering position. You can see on the left sleeve here how the cuffs cause some issue.
I’m glad this project is complete. The Ikea duvet cover cotton, despite being so pretty, was a right royal PITA to sew because it’s woven very tightly. Great for a bedspread, not so great for handsewing.
I have one or two more millinery details to add – a silk ribbon tucker around the neckline (I never skip this, even if I’m planning to wear a kerchief), and I *might* do some cord loops with buttons on the cuffs to help shape them.
I look forward to wearing this pretty jacket in Edinburgh at the end of June for the Isabella Mactavish Fraser Wedding Gown recreation project. We’ll be sure to get pictures!