I have finished another late project, and not even a month after deadline! Yay me
This is however not the most accurate project ever. It’s more ”inspired” and ”loosely based on” an 18th century kofta (which is the Swedish word for it, I don’t actually know the English proper term) in the museum of Gotland. It’s also my very first entry into the 18th century. And despite the historical inaccuracies, I’m really pleased and it might be the start of an 18th century warderobe (though growing slowly…).
The pattern for this can be found here. The information is in Swedish but the pattern itself is rather easy to understand, since it’s really a one-piece-pattern. I’ve found more information about the actual garment here, but this is also in Swedish, from a newsletter of fabric manufacturers, who have made a reconstruction of the original fabric.
My garment is based on this sketch from the pattern, with rough measurements and a reminder to myself that the chest width should be slightly larger than the waist width (ah, the joys of a functioning brain in pattern construction!)
Remember I told you about the scrap fabric I’ve found very cheaply? Well, I did use most of it to this project. Here is the pattern transferred to the fabric and cut out.
The things I have done differently from the original are, amongst others:
- I’ve used sewing machine (except for the hemming and the fastening of ribbons) and the thread has been thin polyester and thin cotton thread. The original is hand sewn with coarse linen thread.
- The original has a lining of linen fabric, my garment is unlined.
- The original has narrower sleeves. I have added extra width in the sleeves because I often need that. I might even have gone a little crazy with the sleeve width…
- The original is in printed cotton, with silk ribbons. Mine is in cotton with cotton ribbons.
- The original has more width and length beneath the waist. I only had so much fabric…
- The original has pocket slits. I didn’t really have enough space for those.
But apart from that, the construction is really straightforward. I did quite narrow hems except for the centre front opening, where I needed to fasten the ribbons. And despite it not being very accurate, and it really being a fancier type of mock-up (since this is the first trial of the pattern…) I’m happy with it.
But since it’s a mock-up or toile of sorts, there are things I’ll do differently the next time. So instead of a lessons-learned part, this will be a list of things I’ll do differently:
- I’ll make slightly narrower sleeves to better go with the shapes of the 18th century.
- I’ll get a slightly less low cut neckline. A few centimeters. Or I’ll just have to get proper 18th century undergarments, that might work too. As it is now, though, I’ll probably show off a bit of the shirt or chemise underneath too when wearing it…
Yep, those are the two main points, I think.
The outfit I’ll be wearing this with is not very historically accurate either. It’s garments that I made in last-minute-panic during a weekend when I was 17. The last couple of years I’ve been using it as a base for pirate outfits. This time though, together with the newly made kofta (if anyone know the English terms I’d be happy to know!) I will use it as an outfit for baking bread in a traditional northern Swedish bagarstuga with my cousin this weekend. So there might be some photos of actual people on this blog in a near future!
The Challenge: 16 – Separates
Pattern: Based on an extant 18th century garment
Year: Inspired by a garment from the 1750’s or 1760’s.
Notions: Cotton thread, poly thread, cotton ribbons
How historically accurate is it? Not much at all. Possibly 25 %, being kind on myself and the garment.
Hours to complete: I don’t really know. Around 10? I did the hemming whilst watching movies.
First worn: Will be this weekend, the 7th of september. Apart from trials at home with the realization that I’ll need a proper 18th century warderobe too!
Total cost: Fabric and ribbon together: 29 SEK. That’s somewhere around €3. Very acceptable!