Monday, February 1, 2010

Old Verses New - Patterns

This is the pattern we are using for my first sidesaddle riding suit. It is offered via Ageless Patterns, which can be found on 'My Favorite Web Stores' on the side bar of this blog. It is an exact replica of an antique pattern in every way. On the good side ~ it is historically correct. On the bad side ~ just as 19Th century horses were vastly different than they are now - also were 19Th century women!The pattern directions were very difficult to understand and we have had huge issues with the fit. The basic measurements were fine, but not only am I quite a bit taller (5'6") then women of that time, other measurements are different as well. One being the size of my upper arm! Not sure if it has to do with the fact that I am the one who hauls in the 800 to 1000 pounds of feed per week or if my arms are just fat..but when all else fit on the jacket pattern, the arm holes about cut off my circulation!

Here are some modern patterns by Butterick that can be used for riding costumes. The girl who has been sewing this suit for me actually had to use this bolero jacket pattern to modify the historical pattern to fit me.

Another Butterick pattern with a nice jacket design.

Even this more modern one could be used in the correct material.

Bet you did not know that Butterick even has a pattern for a corset...

....or for gloves!

The following are a couple of historic patterns I am very interested in for future riding costumes.

Well fitted high neck blouses are difficult, to say the least, to find today unless you have them custom made. Every single one I currently own does not fit around the neck. They are anywhere from 1 to 3 inches too large! I usually pin them tighter because the large neck opening looks sloppy to me.

The big puffy sleeves would obviously have to be minimized.

My next riding suit will have a jacket like this, with the top buttoning all the way up. It looks more formal and I believe, would be more suitable to evening classes. I would like to do one in either navy or chocolate brown in a light worsted wool fabric.It won't be long before you get to see my new suit. I am picking up the jacket today. I can hardly wait! I got the skirt last week and have even ridden in it, to make sure it felt and looked nice. I am VERY pleased!!!


Michelle said...

I love the Butterick pattern with the striped skirt. I came across it at the fabric store last time I was there and almost bought it. But I know it'd be too hard for me!
I bet your suit will look great when it's all done!

Kaede said...

Have you heard of a series of books called "Patterns of Fashion " by Janet Arnold? Here is a link to the first one

We used these books in doing historical costuming in the theater. One reason the arm holes probably fit tight is the way a corset makes a women (and a man, they wore corsets too) hold their shoulders. A corset doesn't only cinch in a waist (it usually doesn't in fact)but it makes you hold your whole upper body differently. Normally, one effect is to hold your shoulders waaay back. So far back that your front shoulder measurement can be 6 inches greater than you back shoulder measurements. It is one reason the shoulder seam can seem lit it is too far back if you are using an original pattern and the are holes are too high. If you are wearing a corset then your shoulder seam really way that high.
Also women who wore corsets didn't usually have to do hard lifting. With all your upper body muscles strapped down you couldn't really lift more than a full tea cup.
Historical costuming is a waay cool thing to study, the cut of your clothes make statements about who you were and what you did.

panavia999 said...

OH WOW, Glove patterns! Now that would be an interesting challenge. Thanks for the tip.

Oregon Equestrian said...

Sewing pattern sizes have changed since the 1950s, let alone 1850s. I know very old patterns didn't include seam allowances, and the ladies were more petite then.

Have you checked out Amazon Dry Goods?

I love the vintage styles in the Butterick and other pattern books -- although some are more costume than accurate. Still, if you have a talented seamstress who can combine the modern sizing with vintage style....