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The Little Pink Spencer

Last January I spotted a portrait on Pinterest and immediately knew I had to recreate it. I had the perfect fabric and matching tassels in the stash, and the pattern was a simple modification of the pattern I had already made for my teal wool spencer.  When I spotted a similar spencer in an 1801-1802 Costumes Parisiens fashion plate, I knew I had to make it for my Bath wardrobe.

"Désirée Clary, wife of Bernadotte", circa 1810 by Lorentz Sparrgren, Boris Wilnitsky Fine Arts
Costumes Parisiens, An 10, 1801-1802, Bibliothèque des Arts Décoratifs via SceneInThePast Flickr
The spencer is made from a white and red crossed changeable silk taffeta, and the back and side back pieces are lined in a light weight linen, while the front is self-lined. It is hand sewn using my favorite late 18th century construction method, illustrated on page 39 of Costume Close-Up. The seam allowance on the outer fabric of one piece is turned under and placed on top of the corresponding outer piece and lining. The seam is topstitched with a spaced backstitch and then the other lining piece is folded over and whipped down, encasing the seam. The edges of the spencer were then finished with the Le Point a Rabattre Sous La Main stitch, also illustrated in Costume Close-Up, page 8.



I wore the spencer at the ball in Bath, but I didn’t like how the back waistline of the spencer didn’t match the back waistline of my dress. So when I got home, I added a little pleated tail to the back to mask this. I loved the spencer before, but now I think the tails make it even cuter!

And for good measure, proof of my wild night out, champagne stains!

Posted: 3/15/2017 1:19:47 PM by Aubry | with comments
Filed under: 1790s
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Little White Dress and Pink Spencer