Sunday, March 22, 2015

1815 Pelisse

Realizing today how much my list of un-blogged costumes is piling up, I figured I should at least try to get through New Orleans before I forget too much about it!

First up is my very warm Pelisse. I'm so so so glad I made this garment, as the event was nearly freezing cold (I got wind-burn on my face!). The main fabric is a lovely butter-yellow camlet trimmed in green silk velvet and lined in bright yellow silk taffeta. I based the design on these two fashion plates. I didn't use a specific pattern, but took inspiration for the right shapes of the time from Janet Arnold and Norah Waugh.

One of the hardest parts of the piece was getting the silk velvet to lie flat even while working around so many curves. The front closed by way of tiny button/buttonholes and a large hook under the belt.

Each one of the capes was made up separately, lined and trimmed. This put a lot of bulk into the neckline and if I did this again I'd actually work the seam allowance there open rather than folding it all into the bodice.

The collar itself is two pieces and velvet on the underside. The hem actually sits a few inches above the ground, the back is held out slightly by a small pad at the waist but is longer than the front.

Thankfully I thought ahead and co-ordinated my entire wardrobe so I could wear the pelisse over my other ensemble the next day. Just a change of hat and gloves to bring it all together.

I really did mean a "bright" yellow silk lining!

Construction was very simple. The bodice, skirt, and sleeves were made separately and I left the edges raw inside. If I was going to wear this often I might whip over the waist seam, but I've never had problems with raw armscyes unless the fabric is prone to bad fraying.

Up close there's quite a bit of visible stitching. I found I had to top stitch the velvet on otherwise it rolled and tricked me into thinking I had it flat.
Samantha and I posed on the front balcony of a lovely museum house.


  1. Oh. My. Goodness! You look positively perfect! That pelisse is absolutely gorgeous, as is the dress beneath it!
    Amazing job!! :-)

  2. What beautiful clothing. Well done.

  3. I simply adore this Pelisse. It is lovely in every way! I had seen a picture of you in it on another blog, and am grateful to see the inside now. Great job!

  4. This person is an amazing sewist. I can't find any personal information about her. I guess she wants it that way. She is very accomplished in the sewing arts.

  5. Your work is amazing. I've sent you a message via FB about using a photo of yours as a reference for a painting but trying here as well. Would love to discuss.

  6. I found this while looking for information on what a pelisse might be. Not only informative, but what a pleasure to see your work. You look gorgeous and are clearly talented.