Tricia’s writing tonight:
When we were initially working on the jacket planning, we had to have a physical pattern for a jacket to apply the design and embroidery to. Since many of the jackets in collections are now mounted for their own conservation, taking the pattern (how is a mystery to me!) from the chosen jacket would be impossible. So we looked to the extraordinary research by Janet Arnold to guide us. She was fortunate enough to view
and work with two well known examples previous to their most recent conservation and mounting. In her book, Patterns of Fashion – The cut and construction of clothes for men and women c 1560-1620, she diagrams a jacket in the collection of the Museum of Costume at Bath, England and the Laton jacket at the V&A. Which to choose?Plimoth uses the Bath jacket as the base pattern for the costumes used by the interpreters. They have extensive experience modifying the pattern for individuals. The Bath jacket as it is now does not include lace. We decided to use the Laton pattern and to include on the final jacket the ‘extras’ that help to define it as an example of over-the-top fashion for this culture. That includes the lace and the ribbon ties.
With that choice made, Denise (formerly a tailor with the Colonial Wardrobe Department) drafted the pattern from Janet’s book onto dressmaker’s paper using the 1″ grid as a guide. She then made up a jacket in muslin. She found that she needed to make modifications to the arm areas to get the armholes correct. She unpicked, corrected, and then sewed again until the pattern was perfect. Then she unpicked the muslin one last time and used the fabric pieces to transfer a new pattern to dressmaker’s paper. That’s the pattern we’ve been using.
Here I am again. Thanks, Tricia, for writing up this entry.
A few notes: Years ago, we drafted the Bath pattern to life-size and then drafted four sizes from it: women’s small, medium, and large, and one child size. These patterns were transferred to brown paper and then laminated. We use these patterns, making alterations on the fabric as we cut, to make jackets for the female colonial interpreters.
This photo shows the pieces of the child size pattern laid out for cutting. This fabric will be the lining of a jacket for one of the child volunteers in the 1627 English Village.