(Spoilers: I could!)
(And if that's boring to you, you may skip to the end and the event pictures!)
Don't consider this a tutorial - if that's what you're looking for, there are costumers who are far better at writing those than I! It's just that everyone costumes differently, and this is my method, which occasionally people do ask me to explain.
Which is hard to do, other than "I make it up as I go along. No, really."
Mid-late 18th century is the easiest for me, as I very seldom have to start from scratch any more - when I do, I drape on my form til I have some useable pieces, which I then make into a proper mockup and can fit from there. In this instance, I wanted a plain 1760-75ish jacket. Very "ish"...it's a mashup of a Janet Arnold jacket, a Costume In Detail dress, and what I know of the overall silhouette of the time period.
Materials consisted of scraps from my wool 1815 dress from last year, and a bit of natural linen. I sewed the topstitched seams with matching silk thread, and the inner seams with white cotton. Usually I don't bother switching off, but there was so little thread left on the silk spool I was afraid I'd run out!
After digging through the patterns I've made, I figured the lining of my cranberry wool gown would be the best base to use. I could use the same pieces with very little tweaking for a four-piece jacket.
I laid out the pattern pieces on my mockup fabric (yes, it's a sheet), and very roughly drew around them for my mockup. The back piece stayed the same; I extended the center fronts to have more of an angle so they would meet at the front point. I also made the shoulder strap and fronts into one piece; they're separate on the cranberry wool.
Pinned the mockup together - I almost never sew mockups. I don't recommend that...but I'm lazy.
On to the jacket skirts! (Ick.)
I had success with simply cutting out rectangles of muslin, and cutting/pleating them into jacket skirts on the Mary Heany jacket, so that's what I did here.
|One slightly-wonky rectangle for each piece.|
|Pleated and pinned together. Now the fun part...does it look completely ridiculous on?|
I didn't photograph mocking up the sleeves (nobody likes sleeves) because they're taken almost exactly from the cranberry wool gown's sleeve pattern. I just made them about a half-inch longer, cut out a mockup to check that that worked (it did, just had to move the sleeve dart a wee bit), and called it Good Enough.
Then I cut it out of linen and wool (I haven't put boning in a stomacher yet...it seems like work), and hemmed them like usual. This time I made tabs to pin the stomacher in, because my red wool gown doesn't have tabs on the stomacher, and it's very annoying to pin in. Good thing the tabs were worth the work, because they were also annoying to do! Just scraps of linen hemmed into little rectangles and sewn in, but still.
|The group of us...minus the one behind the camera.|
|I'm always running up hills and down hills...haven't fallen on my face yet but there's still time.|
|I'm probably watching a plane land...the Philadelphia airport is literally RIGHT NEXT to the fort.|
|99 problems but a fichu ain't one?|
|The British won this one, despite the Continentals' vastly superior numbers. Sorry, guys. Almost like it's a predetermined outcome...|