Black spencer: a couple in-progress shots

TWO posts planned for you today! Be impressed. I just thought it would be easier to separate the details about the spencer and all the pictures from our Regency play-day into two posts.

First, the spencer.

I orignally had lots of elaborate plans for a pelisse, but I ended up scaling them down, since both options would have either required too much time, or more money spent on supplies than I wanted. So, after lots of hemming and hawing and looking at plates and extant spencers, I decided to make something inspired by a black spencer in the collection of the KCI:
Black spencer, c.1815, Kyoto Costume Institute
And I had some scraps of black mid-weight wool in my stash. Boom. Done.

Well, I did have to buy button forms. Or, rather, "button forms." They're actually furniture buttons from Joann's unfinished wood section. Hey, a bag of 100 for like five bucks? Not bad. They aren't perfect, but for non-functional buttons they're perfectly adequate!
Furniture buttons. LOL.
The fabric I had to work with. Can I get a spencer out of it? Sure!
A couple of in-progress pics...
Hoory, it's wearable! And it's only Thursday!
It's made of three layers - mid weight black wool, interlined with cotton flannel, and lined in Super Green silk dupioni. (The silk's really too much for the period and its unstable green dyes, I think,  plus very very slubby...but for a lining? Considering it's scraps from an evening dress I made in 2006, I can live with its imperfections.)
I did end up having to piece the sleeve head, since neither bit of wool was quite wide enough! But that wasn't too bad, considering it's all scraps.

Now, a couple details of the spencer splat on the floor.
Terrifyingly green! But all those nasty fraying dupioni edges are safely tucked away.
Delightfully wobbly trim.
Braid on the cuffs. I'm pretty sure they don't quite match.
I HATE MAKING THREAD BARS. But they look so much better than the metal when it's not an edge-to-edge closure...
The first time I've done pad stitching, actually. It doesn't look so great (because you can SEE it...I was in a hurry), but it really is as good as people claim! Worth the time.
And those goofy buttons. I very nearly didn't put them on, but finally decided buttons were more important than sleep.


  1. That is beautiful and the buttons were totally worth losing sleep over. What a great idea those furniture buttons are.

    1. Thank you! I admit, I was pretty tickled when I found those furniture buttons and realized they'd be just the right size for my spencer buttons! :D


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