Monday, 24 November 2014

Why I don't do 19th century

Ever since July I've been having an on-again off-again fight with a 19th century banyan pattern.  It was supposed to be done for HSF Challenge 14: Paisley and Plaid, because I saw one on the Dreamstress' Pinterest board and decided I absolutely had to have a paisley banyan.  I rather fancy myself as the sort of chap who wears a paisley banyan.  Now I get another chance to finish the wretched thing as the theme for Challenge 22 is Gentlemen, and it will be late again, because I had to order more fabric.  Turns out four yards is not enough for a banyan.  Thankfully, still has the fabric in stock.  Whew!

Anyway, I'm determined to get the thing finished at some point, because it's actually showing a lot of promise.  Quite apart from the fact that it's psychedelic paisley, it fits well through the back and sides with virtually no alteration to the original pattern.  This is a novelty - clothes never fit me properly, but this coat has a nice line in back and disguises what a weird shape I am.  It doesn't quite hide the lumpy bits in front, but it's a coat after all, not a magic wand.

In fact my arse is quite large, but this thing makes me look much better proportioned.

I used this pattern as the basis for my banyan.  It's about half a century earlier than the example I'm working from and needed substantial alterations to the collar and front (and some small cosmetic adjustments to the sleeves), but the basic shape is quite similar to what I want to make.  By happy accident it turned out to be a good size for me, once I scaled it up to a 5 cm grid.

Drafting cuffs and a shawl collar like the one in the inspiration photo was pretty easy too.

Unfortunately after that everything went a bit pear shaped.  There are no words in the English language to adequately express how much I hate 19th century sleeves.  I spent hours fighting with these things, trying to make them sit right.  Of course, those of you who have done 19th century before are looking at the photo and sniggering, because you know what I did wrong.  I lined the seams up incorrectly.  Of course, then I had to unpick the damn things again, because I was only checking the fit and my cotton mock-up doubles as a lining.  Now I have to install the sleeves for realsies.  Yay.

Sleeve problem.


  1. Yowsers. That is SOME paisley! I look forward to seeing it completed! (WSB picnic maybe?)

    I'm going to be late for this challenge too (in fact, I haven't even got the fabric out of its box, much less drafted that pattern) , but only because my Gentlemen garment goes over my All that Glitters item - so Challenge # 23 will be early because I have to do it before I can do Challenge #22!

    And now I feel like one of those terrible people who talks in 'special group' code on the internet :-p

    1. Yup, it's very paisley. I doubt it's very period, but it was too good not to use.

      Makes complete sense to do your Challenge #23 item before the Challenge #22 entry that goes over top of it. You can photograph them together.