Posted on

How to Make Decorative Frogs

One of the easiest ways to dress up a cloak, spencer or other jacket is to replace the buttons with period appropriate “frog” closures. As you can see, these decorative braid fasteners are military in style, but add a certain dash to any item. They are easily customizable and, fortunately, easily created. The following instructions, by Mary Hunt, will have you started in no time.   How to Make Decorative Frogs Decorative frogs can be made of purchased cord or of self-fabric corded tubing. Pin the frog into the desired design, sucuring each loop with small stitches on the underside. Slipstitch the frog to the garment, leaving one loop extending beyond the garment edge for buttoning. Chinese ball buttons are commonly used with frogs and can be made of the same cord. The size of the ball will depend on the thickness of the cord. About 8 to 10 inches of a 1/4″ cord makes a small button.   a. Loop cord as shown. b. Loop again over and under first loop. c. Loop a third time, weaving through other two loops. Keep loops open while working. d. Ease together, shaping into a ball. Trim the ends and sew them flat to underside of ball, or leave them long and form the ends into a second frog style loop, as seen in this photo: The possibilities are endless. Enjoy creating your own designs. Have you seen our costume section at our online shop? Have a browse here.   (more…)
Posted on

Cloaks, Capes, Pelisses and Spencers:

“So prettily done! Just as your drawings always are, my dear. I do not know any body who draws so well as you do. The only thing I do not thoroughly like is, that she seems to be sitting out of doors, with only a little shawl over her shoulders — and it makes one think she must catch cold.” Emma In 1799, as the 18th Century was quietly taking its last breath and the craze was for all things classical, the spencer and pelisse were making their debut. The spencer– a close-fitting, tight sleeved, waist length jacket modeled on a gentleman’s riding coat, but without tails– is said to be the invention of one Lord Spencer. While references agree that Lord Spencer inadvertently engendered the style through a mishap; what exactly the mishap was, however, is not generally agreed upon. It seems the gentleman in question either had the tails torn from his riding coat when he fell from his horse or had them singed off after he backed too close to the fire while warming himself. Either way, Lord Spencer apparently found the tail-less riding coat to his liking and instructed his tailor to make him several more in the same style. It wasn’t long before the fair sex took up the style (1) — the bottom of the jacket raised to match the high waists of the current fashion– and a Regency classic was born. The pelisse has a somewhat more mundane genesis: with the fashion of (more…)