I started this blog to give you all insight into the pattern development process. But since I started it, everything I've spoken about has already been in development. So I really haven't taken you from idea to concept through development and testing and into production yet. That's about to change.
Today while doing research on a totally different subject, I started thinking about riding costume. Those of you who know me know that I love riding costume from almost every era. So no matter what I'm researching, if I see something about riding costume, I fixate on it. Now I have to write about this so I can get back to work on the thing I'm supposed to be working on...
I've been looking at two different riding outfits from the 17th century. One is a jacket dating to 1625-30 that is housed in the Nationalmuseum in Nurnberg, Germany. Another is a garment described in detail in Le Tailleur Sincere, a french treatise on tailoring that dates to 1671.
The problems: the Nurnberg riding outfit is just a jacket. The article in which it is described shows a number of "similar" jackets on women on horseback. But my copy of this article is dark and I cannot see details. So I'm going to have to track down these paintings elsewhere if possible. In any case, many of the painting show women near horses, not on them. So I'm not even sure if the clothing the ladies wear can be termed "riding costume". There is no matching petticote extant so it's hard to know if there's anything different from a regular, non-riding petticote.
The description in Le Tailleur Sincere is sketchy. It uses sixths, thirds, and twelfths of French ells (which are different from English ells and the author does not explain clearly what measure is meant). Also it does not show a made up version of the outfit. Seeing it in my mind, it sounds odd -- more like a sailor's smock from the Elizabethan period or an ECW soldier's coat than a post-Restoration lady's riding jacket.
My next step will be to make replicas of each. I think I cannot learn more until I see them made up, particularly the 1670s one.