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.

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