Friday, July 10, 2015

In Detail Wednesday....Series Regency Jumper

When I began this series, I called it In Detail Wednesday, but life happens (we inherited 4 baby kittens that we are hand feeding) & Wednesday no longer work to get this series out. So it is now going to be just the In Detail series & I will post it as often as possible. (This post has been languishing in my queue for months, unfinished, so I finally got a chance to finish it.) Today I would like to talk about a somewhat controversial item. Controversial in that not everyone agrees on its truly intended use & what it should be called. Below are some quotes from Sense & Sensibility patterns old forum: "I remember that some time ago there was a discussion about "jumper"-dresses of the regency era. But there were no real evidence for the existence of such dresses. Sometime ago I got copies of fashionplates from a friend. And here you can see such a dress! They are from 1802 (an 10 = year 10 of the revolution) The lady in the middle deffinitely wears such a dress, it is discribed as a "Fichu-Guimpe" The lady on the left might wear something like that too, as her sleeves are white and you can see a white boader at her neckline. The dress on the left looks rather that the "sweater" is sewn in." (edit:oops, I mixed up the words "jumper" and "sweater")
Here are several films screencaps that show Regency "jumpers".
"As far as I can remember, I have seen one "jumper" in nearly 40 years of costuming - and that was almost "fancy dress" worn by the then Princess of Wales in the 1810's - I think.
It is not something that is often seen on fashion plates, again as far as I can remember - the chemisette under a dress look tends to have long sleeves. However, I would be delighted to be told differently - I have always felt it was a designer fancy." "Yes, jumpers were worn in the Regency era. In the online Regency costume class I took last year (which Jenny Chancey taught) she posted some pictures from a book from that era, in which a girl had drawn pictures of every day life... people taking a walk, doing this and that around the house, etc., and in a lot of the pictures they are wearing jumpers like Mary Bennett's or Emma's. I wish I could find the pictures but I can't get onto the page with that class anymore. Maybe someone out there saved the picture??" "The book is called "Mrs. Hurst Dancing" by Diana Sperling. This is not "fashionable dress, but everyday, I think, which is why it wouldn't be in fashion plates, or in museum collections. I confess I had forgotten the book. I think Jessamine's Regency Page has pictures too." "I have actually seen plates of jumpers over blouses from this era. I will have to check through my books to see if I can find them. The jumper seemed to be a short-lived holdover from the middle Regency period (like the ones you see in the watercolor paintings from Mrs. Hurst Dancing). Molly's jumpers with their plain (rather than very full) skirts would have fit into the mid-to-late 1820s but probably no later--especially when all the frills and furbelows of the 1830s hit. " "A jumper is a pullover, a woolie or a sweater. A pinafore is an apron! A pinafore dress is what you calll a jumper! So, once again, two countries separated by the same language!" What ever term is used, in my opinion, it is a useful addition to any wardrobe, whether it be for historic reenactments or incorporating it into an everyday wardrobe, a jumper is an almost essential part of my closet. I have at least 5 in my rotation of clothes for the seasons. A jumper can make a smaller selection of pieces, seem like so much more.
Actually, the photos of the Regency style jumper I have listed in my shops is one I wear for fall, winter, & early spring since it is so versatile. I made it from a Midnight Navy medium weight wool suiting that I washed, which gives a very nice, slightly felted hand to the wool & makes for an even more water repellant fabric, which has been a great asset in this extremely snow- bound winter.
The Empire bodice is fitted with darts in front & a series of small gathers to give shape to the bust. The back of the bodice is made up of curved pieces for that fashionably shaped back. A square neckline with curved edges in front is a great feature that can highlight intricate details of a blouse or chemisette. The back of the neckline is a wide high curve, beneath which the back closes with five buttons, four on the bodice & hidden in the folds of the skirt.
The skirt hangs smooth in the front, but in back I have added deep pleats for a nice fullness. I like to put in a deep hem, usually 4"-6", in most of my skirts, dresses, & jumpers, just in case I decide I would like to lower the hem at a later date. I know it takes longer, but I often hand sew my hems, using a hem or prick stitch. It is a historically accurate technique for most hems & I find it to be relaxing too. I use this same technique for the hems on pants, like my War of 1812 trousers & I even use it to finish the inside seams on the British & Regimental Revolutionary War coats to create a beautiful, longer lasting interior. So whether you wear jumpers for living history or add them in for everyday, they are wonderful for mixing & matching. I hope you have a lovely belated Wednesday, Sarah Grace P.S. I nearly forgot. Jumpers are also fabulous for maternity wear! P.P.S. I apologize for the lack of photos. Some of them just didn't work.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

In Detail Wednesday...Series

I have been inspired to begin a series, something that I have not done before, so please bear with me. I will be posting every Wednesday or every other Wednesday, a new post series called In Detail Wednesday, where I will choose an item from my shop to go "in detail" with photos, descriptions, etc. to not only spread the word about some of the items I have listed in my Etsy & Zibbet shops, Lady Of Grace Designs, but also to help me document my creations.
For the first post in this series, I would like to go over one of my newest listings, the Revolutionary War British Coat. The coat is made from my own pattern, which I drafted from studying originals & paintings from the period. I had opportunity recently to create a British Coat for a little boy. It required decreasing the size of my first pattern & making a couple mockups, but I enjoy a challenge(thus part of the reason I sew!). I keep my mockups though, to use for any future orders in that size, marking measurements on it to save me time later.
When I first began making these coats, I crafted them from a somewhat lighter medium weight wool, but it just didn't have the feel & weight that I had seen in other coats. About the same time, a wonderful friend, who happens to be a fount of wisdom, Sue, told me that I could, ...wait for it... WASH wool!(I can just imagine your looks of shock & horror at such a proposition). I will do a detailed post on the method & the tricks to getting it right. For now, I will just tell you that the trick works. Unfortunately, my supplier of that first wool has recently chosen to discontinue their line of wools, so I began a diligent search for a new source. By the blessings of God, I found an invaluable supplier of exceptionally high quality Melton wool broadcloth. This wool is the closest approximation of the original wool used in period examples that I have found & the colors are magnificent. The coat is machine stitched on most of the seams, but I like the finished look of s hand stitched lining, inside shoulder, armscyes, & center back seams. I use a prick stitch, which is the stitch I employ for most of my items hems. I do faux welts for the insides of the pockets, as I like the look & have found a few examples with the same effect.
Coats from the War had a few types of buttons, made from different materials. Pewter buttons pop up quite often, so when I came across a man who handcrafts in small batches period correct replicas at a great price, I knew the buttons would be an addition that would really set off the coat. 38 of these beauties are sewn on to the front facings, cuffs, & pockets. The front of the coat fastens with 3 large hook & eyes, when the buttons on the front facings aren't being used.
The skirt portion of the coat fastens on either side with small hook & eye sets, which reveals the natural white lining & the blue hearts. An interesting feature of these coats are the pairs of hearts on either side of the skirt. I have yet to find the reason for these, but it reminds me of the old saying "wearing your heart on your sleeve". I wonder if it got it's start with these hearts. I applique stitch mine by hand, giving them a nice finishing touch.
So for now, that is my first post in the In Detail Wednesday Series. I hope you enjoyed it & it was informative. Have a great day & Happy New Year, Sarah Grace

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Purse, Purses, & More Purses, Oh My!

I have just added several purses to my Etsy shop, Lady of Grace Designs & I thought I would share some photos with you. All of the bags are reversible, washable, & stuffable with all of your favorite things. These are more than just purses, these are multi-purpose bags, a great way to extend the life of a bag, so that when it no longer suits one function such as a purse, it can be a beach bag, a tote for going to the library, a crafting bag for those of us who like to take our current projects with us, even as a diaper bag for the moms & grandmas out there.
I hope everyone has a lovely 4th of July & God bless.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

What Have I Been Up To Lately?

Creating THIS: A Revolutionary War Regimental Coat that I have added as a custom listing in my Etsy shop, Lady Of Grace Designs. Have a lovely weekend, Sarah Grace

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hello all, I have had an Etsy account for almost a year now, but have never blogged about it. The shop will be getting many new items soon, but for now there are only a handful. It is my goal to reach 50 items within the next several months, but life does tend to interrupt my plans. I have been working on Revolutionary War & War of 1812 items along with my preparations for the Ottawa First Fridays. My store room will soon (I pray) be filled with a plethora of purses, scarves, ties, fabric jewelry, baby items, sun dresses, & far too many other things to list. I hope everyone has a wonderful week & God bless, Sarah Grace

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ottawa First Fridays

I simply love farmer's markets for the wonderful produce, homemade baked goods, & jams & preserves that I can find for a fraction of the store cost. And it was grown local. So when I found that a nearby town would be having a farmer's market that welcomes anyone selling produce or handmade items, I was thrilled. Ottawa, Ohio will be hosting First Fridays, a farmer's market with added attractions for all ages, on June 7th, August 2nd, September 6th, & October 4th. If you are in the area, come out & take a look at all the beautiful & tasty things to buy God bless, Sarah Grace

Thursday, February 21, 2013

American Duchess Giveaway

American Duchess, a creator of scrumptious historic footwear, is hosting a giveaway of her Gibson Edwardian Shoes, which happen to be from one of my favorite times in fashion history. If you, like me would like a chance to win such perfect shoes, head over to for an opportunity at these wardrobe must haves (though I wouldn't mind winning them myself!). God bless, Sarah Grace