Double Trouble Spencer
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in caffeine. It’s a win for everyone, really.
Living in Texas we don’t have the opportunity to wear many jackets so I have only made one other spencer, and it was a modern jacket recut into a regency shape. I have long been wanting to make a few spencers to wear with my Jane Austen dresses. These are always so fun for events which had me pretty excited to start this project. I have been thinking about making this particular spencer for a few years...or something close to it. Inside (unseen) seams are machine sewn and outer seams are finished by hand. See my post on my Regency Era Wardrobe that talks about spencers and outerwear HERE.
I had a few inspirations from extant pieces that I drew from but ultimately it created itself. (these below were my main sources but they are listed in the late 19th century but I see them as early) I started by draping the back and front to be fairly simple. I knew I wanted a high or closed neck area but as I continued to drape it it became lapeled and I didn’t complain.
I decided for the collar I would draft my own pattern. It had been awhile since I had drafted any type of collar, and while I do have a degree in fashion design, I decided to purchase this Bluprint.com class (that I highly recommend) to brush up on my skills. It turned out fairly simple. I measured and drafted the larger layer first and then copied the pattern while taking off about 1.5-2 inches for the smaller layer of collar on the outer edge only. Bottom collar is 4.5 inch wide and top collar is 3.5in in wide, both with a 3/4in ruffle…In the video I was guesstimating inches but I went back and measured them.
The ruffle is a strip of self fabric about 3inches wide folded in half and gathered with my gathering foot. The collars have two layers each and the ruffle is layered between.
I use this gathering foot from amazon. It’s a life saver when need a quick simple gather.
Recently my favorite sleeve pattern/shape on me comes from the Sense and Sensibility Elegant Lady’s Wardrobe pattern. I highly recommend this set and the underthings pattern as an easy pattern for anyone just getting into the era. If you are just starting out learning how to make a Jane Austen dress this pattern is a great start.
I should have made these sleeves a few sizes larger because I did end up lining them in linen. It still turned out fine. I used a set of bracelets found at a local shop to fit the wrists a bit more and give it a little more character.
I call this my Persuasion Jane Austen outfit now. It’s my current favorite and I feel straight out of one of the Jane Austen novels or Jane Austen movies.