Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Planning my Spencer

So, I'm having a hard time deciding which features I want to add to my Spencer.  I want it to look as much like Lizzie's as possible, but know I'll have to make a few sacrifices.

  1. The first sacrifice has already been made: My Spencer is purple velvet. Not black whatever-her-fabric-is. 

2. The second decision is whether or not to make the front open enough to show my dress.

I really want to do this because of the pretty gathering I've done across the front of my dress, but I don't see how, since there is existing cording all along the edge of my jacket which would be hard to remove and then recreate.

3. I also need to figure out how to do the military detailing Lizzie has on the front of her coat. I've been trying to figure out if this has a different name than "Frog" but haven't had much luck in that area.  
Here you can see the three-dimensional trim on her bodice front.
My coat already has a bit of military-design to it, but it's just done with a simple stitching and Heather suggested I just use a braided cord to get the look I want. Now, even though I really want Lizzie's look, I'm also a bit sad about covering up this cool already-in-existance thing about my coat. However, I think I can be happy knowing where to PUT the braid without having to measure and remeasure. Now, I just have to find braid like this:

4)  Once I figure out the braid thing, I need to decide about removing the hooks and eyes or not. The third fastner was already missing when I bought the coat, but I could just move up one from the cut-off bottom to replace it. Lizzie also has a button-closed Spencer which is nice too:

 5) Then there is the matter about the back. What in the world to do here? I can't seem to find a picture of Lizzie's Spencer back, so that causes a few problems.  So here are my options:

Pleating with button detailing... or with a band divider.

Fish Tail... a little odd, but would probably look better if larger in design.

Then there is the curved back. I think I like this one the best for my design because it would show off my gorgeous gathered bustle in the back.
(Ignore the fact that there are no undergarments or button closures in this picture!)

I just thought of something: When I do finally get around to figuring out the buttonholer and I attach my pearl buttons... won't they stick out funny under my Spencer?  Uh-oh!

6) One final thing... I like the detailing the Bennet girls always have on their Spencer sleeves (as in the yellow coat photo). It's a little strap and a button; I wonder if I should do something like that. It would be awesome if I'll have enough of that purple braid from the weird back piece I removed, but I doubt it. 


  1. I too really like the curved back on Lizzie's robins-egg-blue spencer. I think it is so flattering and feminine! And yes, I think you should definitely show off the back of the dress since the coat wil be covering the gathered front of the bodice! :) If you have enough from the coat to cut a small (maybe 1.5" wide) waistband from the velvet, to sew to the bottom of the spencer, that would look lovely, especially if trimmed in braid at the top and bottom to match the trim on the rest of the coat. I also love the buttoned band around the spencer sleeves. So dainty!

    This is going to be a stunning ensemble when you are finished with it! I love the sheer white dress. . .I think it will look wonderful with the lavendar spencer.

  2. Yes, I have just now sliced my Spencer in two (eek!) and will be making a waistband for it... I'm a little afraid about the curved back part. Getting it just right might be tricky for me. I will probably have the frankenstein pics up later today (Scary!).