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First draft, heading towards a Pierrot jacket.

I like to have a selection of things to wake up and panic about at 4:00 AM, don’t you? If it isn’t sewing, it’s some weird noise I think the car is making, whether the post office has lost a package, or if that noise is not the cat but instead a pending disaster. My brain generously provides me with a Whitman’s Sampler of anxieties.

To start with, that ball. For one thing, Mr S will probably have to wear his Saratoga coat, which means anything nice that I have won’t match him, temporally. For another, anything nice I think I could make in time is French and not American. So I have temporal and geographic anxiety disorder about something that is supposed to be fun. But there is this jacket I think I could make (and want to make), so I started playing with the pattern in my “sketching in muslin” method.

I haven’t got a lot of the purple, but I might have enough.

I know this is not party wear. I know KCI says jackets like this were worn with white muslin petticoats. But I note that this woman in a Pierrot is not wearing a white muslin petticoat, and I carry on. My other option is my brown wool gown, and perhaps I will wear that.

Mr S still needs a frock coat, so that has to be patterned and fitted; his breeches are still being sewn. He’ll need a wool coat no matter what, but whether it will be done by February is up for grabs.

The last two parts of my current crazy are a program in Newport on early March, with an early date of 1813, and programs in late March in Providence, which I have yet to develop. At least in Newport I don’t have to create the program, just dress and deliver.

Portrait of Sarah Comstock Coffin and Children, ca. 1815. Nantucket Historical Association, 1917.0034.001

Portrait of Sarah Comstock Coffin and Children, ca. 1815. Nantucket Historical Association, 1917.0034.001

1813 is a fun place to start, and I have been looking at images for inspiration.

At right, Mrs Coffin  is a nice example of a New England woman in 1815, wearing the kind-of cross-over, v-neck, apron-front gown I’m thinking of making. I have some fabric reminiscent of a gown at the V&A, and I have some purple sheer cotton, as well as some green silk, so there’s a whole set of what-ifs? to enjoy.

Because that’s the rub: I enjoy all this planning and fretting and picking over details. I just wish it let me sleep a little longer some days.