Tag Archives: white

18th Century Style Jabot or Cravat

The Purim schpiel was based on Hamilton, and the costumes Joe and I altered/reused/repurposed/added to were 18th Century style, more specifically Revolutionary War style.  From scratch I made several jabots or cravats that I copied from one I found that buttons on to a blouse.  They aren’t 100% authentic by far, but if you need that quick final touch on a men’s Revulutionary War or French court or basically 1740s to 1780 costume, below are photos and instructions.

You’ll need some white or ivory lace or eyelet lace trim that’s already gathered up (as opposed to the totally flat kind, 1 3/4″ to 2 1/4″ wide, and probably only about 60″ of it, as well as less than a yard of white or ivory cotton, quilting weight or lighter, matching thread, and either some velcro or snaps.


Here is the jabot from the original blouse.


They sewed a ruffle to a rectangular base of the same fabric.


The back, where you can see it was sewn in a zigzag pattern.

First cut a neck band 5 or 6″ wide and the wearer’s neck measurement long plus 2 1/2″ for overlap and so it isn’t skin tight (people’s necks are from 13 or 14″ to 17 or 18″). Cut a base for the lace 7″ wide and 8″ tall.

Make a narrow hem on all 4 sides of the neck band.  Fold the base in half lengthwise, stitch around the bottom and long side, trim corners, turn right side out, and press.


Starting at the bottom of the base, sew the lace trim in a diagonal pattern all the way across the base and work your way up to the top.  Fold extra under at the bottom so the raw edge doesn’t stick out.  I didn’t finish my edge, but it’ll look nicer folded under.  At the top go straight across with a bit folded under.  Use the very top because that’s the seam allowance for when you attach it to the neck band.


Tack the top fold of lace to the base because it will want to flip up when it’s worn.


Here are some photos of the finished lace base part.



And the kinds of trim you can use (also regular lace trim).

Gather the ends of the neck band and two places between the ends.  When you look at paintings and fashion plates of men’s costume of the time, the part around their necks usually looks like a scarf that’s wider than their necks are tall.  Sew the velcro or snaps to the ends, overlapping the ends.  Then sew the lace and base piece to the center of the bottom long side of the neck band.


How wide the trim is affects how much you’ll need.  Wider trim uses less, narrower trim uses more.


While not perfectly authentic, it will work if you’re in a hurry.  I think it took me less than 30 minutes to cut and sew one.

Comments, questions, suggestions?  Yes, please!  Thanks for reading!


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Vespertine Winter Ball Gown

The Vespertine Winter Ball was held on 20 December 2014.  It’s a ball celebrating winter and the solstice.  It was held in the same ballroom and produced by the same woman as The Vampire’s Masquerade Ball (vampireballpdx.com), which is a gothic ball held every March.  Instead of a gothic theme, the Vespertine Ball is wintery decorations and costumes in white, silver and blue.

I made an 18th Century style vest and knee-length pants for my friend Orange (I hope to have pix soon, as well as GEARcon fashion show pix) out of (not metallic) silver duppioni silk.  He did the buttonholes and buttons because my machine needs to be serviced–everything else on it works fine.  He also made some alterations to a silver Chinese brocade knee-length coat.  He gave me a white wedding dress, which I covered with peacock blue/turquoise synthetic organza, blue and metallic silver lace, and winter white tulle that has nearly clear sequins on it.  This took a LOT of work, as I had to do a ton of hand sewing.  I normally don’t do a lot of hand sewing and my lower arm right by my elbow hurt for days.  Photos of me in this gown are below.

This is my sister on the left and I'm on the right.

This is my sister on the left and I’m on the right. Photo by Orange.

Another view, but I should  have turned the other way.

Another view, but I should have turned the other way. Photo by Orange.

A close up of the front.  Photo by M.H.

A close up of the front. Photo by M.H.

The process of creating this covering for this dress was this: I draped an upper front piece over the bust and sewed it and sleeves on.  For the back of the skirt, I just sewed a couple widths of organza together and gathered them at the top then sewed this to the back of the waist under the part where the corset top overlaps the skirt (they made the dress look like it was a separate corset and a separate skirt).  Then I draped fabric on the back of the bodice and sewed that by hand.  The back doesn’t look very fancy.  Then, for the front, since I was copying a dress from the book Style and Splendour: The Wardrobe of Queen Maud of Norway by Anne Kjellberg and Susan North, which has photos of what Queen Maud wore from around 1901 to 1938–I copied the style of one of her evening dresses from 1908, I pinned narrow ribbon to make the line for the asymmetrical overlapping front.  The book’s ISBN is 1-85177-454-8.  Then I draped the smaller front underlapping side then the larger front overlapping side.  Before I hand stitched the fronts to the dress, I sewed the blue and silver lace onto the organza.  Then more hand stitching.  It was simple but took a long time and I had to make sure I draped it right so that when I put it on, nothing was too tight or too loose.  Below is the photo from the book.  I copied the green one in the middle.

Book's caption is Three evening gowns, 1907-9, centre gown by LaFerriere, Paris.  I really would love to make a better version of it, it's so beautiful.

Book’s caption is Three evening gowns, 1907-9, centre gown by LaFerriere, Paris. I really would love to make a better version of it, it’s so beautiful.

As always, I welcome comments, questions, suggestions and constructive criticism.  If my explanations aren’t clear, please let me know so I can simplify them.

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