My Blog » The Navy Figured Spencer and Green Bonnet

The Navy Figured Spencer and Green Bonnet

My original plan for the Costume College Ice Cream Social was to join in on the Game of Thrones fun. I had a Margaery Tyrell inspired costume planned and even started when I ran into trouble. My perfectly fitted pattern didn’t translate into a perfectly fitted bodice, and while the costume isn’t a total loss, it needs work. More work and mental energy than I had time for with a deadline looming.

Photo courtesy of Sara at Gilded Garb

Obviously, I needed a quick and easy new outfit to wear. Thank goodness for base patterns that fit! Inspired by this spencer at the MET, I modified pattern from my cross-front dress, scooping the front neckline and changing the back seamlines to make a more dramatic diamond shape. The back could be a lot narrower (as you see in so many originals), but that would have required redrafting the sleeve and I did not have the time or the patience for that. For more of my spencer inspiration, you can check out my Pinterest board.

The spencer is made from navy figured silk from Burnley and Trowbridge. The fabric has a woven stripe alternating with little green dots and is just lovely! I lined it in navy taffeta, and with the exception of a few details, it is constructed almost entirely by machine. I planned to add self-trim like the extant spencer, but in the end I loved the elegant simplicity of the untrimmed neckline.

The bonnet was a happy accident. I was attempting to pattern a hat like this, but since I'm a indifferent milliner at the best of times I ended up with a bonnet. It was super cute so I just went with it. All my good hats are really just flukes.  The bonnet is a buckram base, wired for support, and mulled with cotton flannel. The outer layer is green silk taffeta, with a pleated crown for interest. I lined the brim with pleated white taffeta and decorated the hat with self-fabric bows and my favorite spray of pink flowers. The trimmings are just pinned on so I can swap them out later for a different look. I'm all about re-purposing accessories and trims, if you couldn't tell.

Photo courtesy of Sara at Gilded Garb

Posted: 8/10/2014 5:28:08 PM by Aubry | with comments
Filed under: 1790s, 1800s
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Project Details

Navy Figured Spencer