For my costume, I was trying hard to avoid needing to buy new fabric because we had/have a lot of events coming up for which I need new costumes, and we don't have a lot of money, so I needed to make fabrics I already owned work as much as possible. The yellow brocade skirt I made to go under my Elizabethan gown was actually an appropriate shape to work for certain styles of colonial women's clothing, so I decided to start with that. Since this is a round skirt and not an oblong one, I would wear a bumroll under it rather than panniers. Then I found some dark blue linen in my stash that would look good with it. That I used for a jacket/bodice similar to this style. I also wanted to make a fichu (shawl) similar to the one in that picture, but I had little time, and the costume was for use outdoors on a very hot day. I may still make a fichu later.
To make the jacket, I did not want to spend the money on a pattern and didn't manage to borrow one from a friend in time, so I actually modified a pattern I had previously drafted for a cotehardie. The seams are probably not really right for this later time period, but the overall shape looks good, and I decided to accept that as good enough for my first one. I changed the neckline and shortened the sleeves, took in the seams to fit closer to my waist since the pieces would stop there instead of flowing into a skirt, and made a rectangle with two rounded corners, which I gathered onto the top to make the peplum/skirt portion.
My headwear actually took the most time. I was going to buy one from Jas. Townsend and Son. It's very nice, and I recommend it, but as I said, I was trying to cut costs anywhere possible. I happened to have four perfectly normal straw hats that I had acquired very cheaply at a thrift store sometime last winter to cut up and turn into various types of historical hats and bonnets. I started with one of these and picked out the stitching, leaving myself with a much shallower crown portion and coils of straw braid.
I then sewed the coils back onto the crown making a wider brim, but it was still not wide enough, so I took apart the brim of one of my other hats and added those coils of straw braid as well. My hat was wide enough, but I felt the crown wasn't quite as shallow as I wanted so I took apart the top of it to reshape it. I took out the flattest part of the top, removed part of the sides, and sewed the top back on to the now-shorter crown of my hat.
The brim of the hat was a little ripply, so I dampened it and weighted it down to flatten it. The only step remaining was to add ribbons to tie it onto my head. I also made a string of bows and sewed them around the top of the hat.
During the colonial period, women wore various styles of cloth caps under this style of hat. I made one out of soft white fabric in my stash and eyelet lace. I did not use a pattern, nor did I truly draft one. I just free-handed the approximate shapes and adjusted it until it fit about right. It may not be perfect, but I think it looks nice.
|I apologize that these are crappy cell-phone pictures. I will probably replace them with better photos at some point.|
As you can see, the ribbons tie behind the head--this was typical for the time period. It also turns out that this type of hat is very difficult to keep on even with ribbons, so I was glad to have the cap underneath it because it gave me something to pin the hat to with my hatpin.
For Jon, I made a new "puffy" shirt using a modified version of Butterick pattern 3072. I also used this pattern to make him a colonial waistcoat, although instead of making mock pockets according to pattern instructions, I put in actual pockets between the outer fabric and the lining. I was in the process of making him proper fall-front breeches, but due to my actual paying job and some family emergencies, I couldn't finish them in time. So instead of wearing breeches, long stockings, and buckle shoes, he wore a pair of fitted costume pants he already had with tall boots to fake the look of the period. I intend to finish the breeches as soon as I can.