|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!