A while ago I acquired some tartan wool that had been abandoned in a basement for years and was not in the best condition any longer. I cleaned it up and set it aside, intending to use it for something, without knowing what yet.
Then months ago it occurred to me that the fabric would look excellent as a late 18th century pierrot jacket. I was inspired by images like the ones below, and by the American Duchess’ zone-front pierrot that she made out of cotton chintz. Although the jackets pictured below are silk, in my mind it made sense that in the Highlands of Scotland, a lady might want to be stylish as well as warm.
To make my jacket I started with the J.P. Ryan robe à l’anglaise pattern that I used for my May Day gown. Instead of cutting out the bodice pattern and skirts in two separate pieces, I simply added skirts to the back of the bodice pattern as I cut the pieces out. In the future if I were working with a different fabric I would pay more attention to cutting the pieces out in a way that would allow me to pleat them nicely and deliberately as most of the silk and cotton ones are, but being that I was working with a thick wool I simply added fan-shaped pieces to the back of the bodice because the fabric is too thick to pleat nicely in so small an area.
Basically, the jacket is not perfect, and my tails are probably not historically accurate, but I’m quite happy with the impression that it makes.
I’m excited to eventually put this on and get some proper photos because I really am pleased with the look of the whole thing. However, it might be a while because I still need to make a proper cap and acquire proper shoes!
Next up on the sewing list: I still intend to finish my 18th century menswear set before the year is over, but my inspirations might keep me working in Scotland for a bit longer.