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1780s Riding Habit Scheming

I've wanted an 18th century riding habit for as long as I can remember (my childhood obsession with Felicitiy's riding habit being mostly to blame), and it’s been on my costuming bucket list for far too long. Since I will be visiting Williamsburg in the early spring rather than the brutally hot summer this year, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally make one! 

After much indecision, I finally settled on a mid-1780s style habit. My two main inspiration images are this portrait:


(Sadly, I can’t find any info on the painter or subject. Does anyone else know anything about it?)

And the image of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, in the 1784 Vauxhall caricature by Thomas Rowlandson:


I love the blue-green and cream color combination (surprise, surprise), and the simple open jacket. I’m still figuring exactly what details I’m going to incorporate into my own habit, but I bought a lovely lightweight wool from Burnley and Trowbridge, and two different waistcoat silks in the L.A. garment district this year.  I’m really looking forward to taking my time with this project and constructing it as accurately as possible. Lots of hand sewing will be involved and I’m even contemplating thread-wrapped buttons!

Posted: 9/14/2012 11:54:22 AM by Aubry | with comments
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Project Details

Blue-Green Riding Habit