Friday, 25 November 2011

Zouave Jacket

I have a few Victorian events coming up (the next two weekends in fact) so I decided to make myself a Victorian jacket suitable for 1860s as that is the date of my dress. Having done a bit of research, I came across and fell in love with this one. I decided I would make my own version of the Zouave jacket.

For this I put on my Victorian garb and took all necessary measurements - bust, waist, hips, collar, armhole and the lengths between each one. I drafted up a simple pattern and made a toile. Wearing it over my Victorian stuff, it require a fair bit of pinning and altering until I got the right shape. It turned out that the CF has a curve to accommodate the bust, although having helped a friend pattern and make an C18th jacket around the same time, it seems quite normal to have a curve.

Anyway, once the pattern was sorted and I was satisfied, I could start making it! I used a fine black wool for the outer fabric and a cotton/linen blend for the lining. I made the outer fabric and the lining up separately and then sewed them together at the collar and down the front edges - it turned out I needed to make the collar slightly bigger as it was a bit tight on the neck!

For the sleeves - Pagoda sleeves - I used the pattern that came with my Victorian dress pattern. I measured my jacket armhole so I could work out which size to cut out from the pattern - it fitted perfectly - I did make the pattern a bit shorter though. Once I had cut out the outer and lining fabric, I joined them together by sewing along the cuff and then sewing down the sleeve seam. Afterwards, I then sewed them into the armhole. As the seam allowance for the sleeves was 5/8" and my jacket was 1" (just in case I needed to make adjustments!) this extra allowance was perfect for neatening the seam which I then sewed flat.

As for the jacket fastening, I cheated. I loathe hooks and eyes and I really didn't fancy sewing them every inch so instead I bought some black hook and eye tape.

For the decoration I bought some red cord. I then made up my own pattern as the one on the extant jacket is a bit complicated and fiddly! I think it looks rather effective!

Once I had completely finished my jacket, I tried it on with the rest of my Victorian stuff and took photos. I also found that I also had to add in a couple of darts in the back for a better fit.

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