This one is all Jen THompson’s fault. It strated with a curtain. A lovely curtain in an 18th century print. When she bought hers, so did other people and “curtain dresses” started popping up. She decided to make a Curtain-Along Project for all of us and many more joined in, including me! I started with a different fabric but Loren D then gave me teh scraps from her dress, and i liked the fabric better. Now I had to figure out what I could get out of a limited amount of fabric. Whadayaknow? I could probably squeeze a Pierrot jacket out of it, which I’ve been wanting to make for a long time. Sooooo, here it is!
First came the research. All of the details I liked were showing up on 1780’s jackets: a very flippy tail, Turque-front shape, and big collars and cuffs. I also needed to make matching petticoats, and had some lovely green striped silk taffeta. Here, Jen Thompson again came to my rescue when she found some fashion prints of colored plastrons on Turque-front jackets/gowns. Loren came up with the idea of a separate reversible plastron, so I could change the look from green silk to white sick (much more common) depending on the petticoat, so the whole set of “separates was planned. A jacket, reversible plastron, and two petticoats in green silk and white embroidered lawn.
The jacket was tricky to make with free-floating and overlapping top layer and the print plastron, with room for additional plastrons later, and limited fabric.
Layers: black linen lining, base cotton w/print scrap for plastron area, print top layer w/silk taffeta partial lining. The top layer needed the silk lining faced from a clipped part of the neckline, around the flaps, and down the angled front. The base layer needed to be faced with the lining from the neck clip, down the center front, along the waist curve. After turning and pressing those, the two layers will now be zigzagged together along the side seam and from the neck clip up to the shoulder seam.
The back is pretty straightforward. I used the same body block developed for the Mellon Ball jacket, shortened the tails considerably, added gussets to make the tails more flippy. With some scraps and by taking a small amount from the width of the green silk for the petticoat, I had just enough silk to piece together lining for the tails and enough silk for a big collar and cuffs. In order to make the tails even flippier, I added some ruched trim along the edge… the trim is about 3″ wide, scalloped on both edges, and is two layers. The printed cotton is pale on the back and would show when ruched, so I backed it with slightly wider black silk taffeta, also with scalloped edges, then gathered them together as if they were one layer. The taffeta clings to the back of the cotton print beautifully and the ruching makes the tails sassy!
Once the jacket was together, I drafted the sleeves, added the cuffs and popped them in. Lined the tails, added the collar, and added the closures. It has hooks & eyes up the center front, and I found 4 little mother of pearl buttons in my grandma’s button stash to use – 2 on the cuffs and 2 for the front overlap.
I haven’t made them yet, but I plan on a reversible green striped taffeta and white silk satin plastron. It will hook in somehow, LOL. Yes, the idea is fully-baked.
The green silk one is flatlined with green cotton just to give it more body. I’m afraid it’s an old habit from making 16th century clothes for so long. I’m incapable of making 18th century clothes as light as they should be.
The white petticoat is made from more curtains. They are cotton lawn with little embroidered dots and a scalloped embroidered hem. They are lined with white linen. Very simple but it will go with anything and I do like these little caracos!
To see more lovely Curtain-Along dresses, follow this link to Jen Thompson’s pages and enjoy!