Sunday, October 21, 2012

Plum Velvet Spencer

It has certainly felt like summer is over, with chilly mornings and beautiful trees (fall foliage might be one of my favorite things about New England), so it seemed only natural to start work in earnest on projects for the upcoming cooler months.  As CVD has been doing a lot of Regency lately (and hopefully we'll keep it up!), I am learning to love Regency clothing; and hopefully starting a quest to build a solid Regency wardrobe.  Someday, I would love to be at a point where I have several mix-and-patch options for all the periods I need on a regular basis, but as Regency is getting a lot of wear right now--and uses very little fabric, compared to say 1860s--I'm starting there.
When I bought the fabric and trim for my purple tassel dress last winter, I also picked up some absolutely lovely plum velvet for a coordinating spencer.  This fall, with a lot of help, I finally made it!

wearing my plum spencer at the Jackson Homestead, built in 1809, run by the Newton Historical Society
The pattern is based on the jacket from the turn of the century riding habit in Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion.  I really like the "masculine" details of the notched collar and cuffs from this pattern, so I adapted it to fit a later time frame--closer to 1812--by changing the opening to center front and removing the back peplum.

Spencers were short jackets popular at the beginning of the 19th century, covering just the bodice of the dress.

a pretty lemon-yellow spencer, c.1815
Source: via L.R. on Pinterest

As with anything else styles ranged and changed quite a bit over the years, but many have very militaristic trim, which I quite like.  Eventually I will trim my spencer, and will almost certainly go in that direction.

spencer trimmed in looped braid, 1813
Source: via L.R. on Pinterest

right: fashion plate of a green spencer, 1812.  I also love her striped hat!

Spencers are a great way to change up an outfit, but they are also quite practical!  In addition to being velvet, my spencer is lined with wool, so it is extra warm and cozy.  Of course, it was 75 degrees yesterday!  Oh, fall in New England...

I didn't get very many pictures yesterday, which is probably for the best because I wasn't feeling very smiley.  Oh, well.  It was a lovely day, and I am quite pleased with my spencer.  Someday soon it will be cold enough that I will actually need it!

with the Jackson Homestead behind me

pretty colored leaves!
with the group, from the CVD facebook page

One last thing: I'm trying a new picture system.  Quinn recently introduced me to Pinterest, so I'm going to try embedding all of my research images via the site instead of uploading them from my computer.  The only difference is that now you will see a link to the source for each one.  I hope this is helpful!

No comments:

Post a Comment