My Blog » Mid 1790s Habit Waistcoat and Riding Handkerchief

Mid 1790s Habit Waistcoat and Riding Handkerchief

Continuing with the construction posts for my 1795 riding habit, next we have the "riding hankerchief" and "waistcoat of yellow silk", both of which are worn over the bodiced habit skirt.

The Gallery of Fashion description lists a “riding handkerchief, trimmed full round the neck.” I choose to interpret this as a ruffled collared chemisette rather than a full habit shirt like I’ve worn with earlier habits. Keeping it sleeveless reduces the bulk under the jacket, which appears to have very narrow sleeves in the plate.

The chemisette is made from a sheer striped cotton voile, and sewn with heirloom silk thread (the key to working on fine, sheer fabrics). The shoulder and  side seams were sewn with a mantua makers seam, and the bottom has a drawstring channel that ties in front.  The collar is interlined with a piece of plain voile to give it a bit of extra structure.

The next layer is the small yellow waistcoat. I used a lovely silk taffeta from Renaissance Fabrics, and I think this might be the first yellow thing I’ve ever made. It’s not a color that works well with my skin tone, but I really loved the way the color pops in the plate and in real life.

The waistcoat construction is based on late 1780s and early 1790s extant examples, with some changes like darts to accommodate the different silhouette. The back is made from a natural linen, and the front is a layer of taffeta flat lined in linen and faced with another piece of taffeta, then edge stitched together. The lapel is interfaced with a piece of linen buckram, and I experimented with not padstitching the lapels, but I’ve decided I much prefer the shape with padstiching than without. The center front crosses slightly and pins closed rather than buttons to keep it as smooth as possible under the jacket.

Posted: 9/16/2019 9:07:42 AM by Aubry | with comments
Filed under: 1790s, 1790s Riding Habit
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