Today, I am pleased to announce a new product that we will be selling. Because of how it needs to be manufactured, it will be available as a "pre-order" only garment for the first few runs. If it proves to be a viable item to sell, It is likely that next year, I will have a larger batch produced in a factory instead of a small-run outfit here in NYC. I will be designing new patterns and new colors every year.
The inspiration for this jacket comes from European examples from throughout the 17th century. The height of their popularity was in the latter half of the century though there are examples from every decade. With over 50 of these garments in museums around the world, there is a LOT of information to pick and choose from for style, construction and detailing. The first 11 photos in the gallery are of several extant examples from which I took some details and overall concept. The next three photos are of charts from pattern books of the era that were widely circulated for creating knitted pieces, embroidery and weaving. The first photo after the screen shots of period manuals is my hand-knitted panel. The piece is knit on US size 0 needles with two strands of the silk yarn and one of the metal. Once I selected the motifs, and started knitting, I really had to come to terms with the fact that A. Many people would want and wear these if they were available, and B. there was no reasonable way that I could hand knit these with any regularity. So, I then set about charting the designs in the computer and then began working with a company that does machine knitting. The pattern motif is different in the Machine knit version, but it matches my hand-knit black and silver swatch. During the development process, we had to take a short break because the company was overwhelmed with work for New York Fashion week...thankfully, I too had other obligations so the timing worked out very well. Their swatches are beautiful. The first full sample has a few issues, but nothing tremendous. The sleeve just needs a little adjustment. Its both too wide and too long. But the next sample we make, I believe it will be perfect. During the heyday of these garments, they were worn by both men and women. For the most part, the differences between the two styles is minimal. Women's necklines tended to be more open and men's tended to be more collar like...in all cases, the necklines of the majority of the surviving garments look terrible....and I don't mean because they're old and used up...I mean, they're just horribly finished. I have never been able to figure out how these folks would spend months knitting something like this, and then have an atrocious neckline...but I digress. My version is intended to be an agender style which can be worn by both men and women. The neckline in its current form is a neat, though rather modern detail. For a tighter fit, the back of the jacket can be pinned in place to follow the lines of the body. The sample is headed to a reenactor's event called Gulf Wars in Mississippi to be on display for pre-ordering. Samples of the other two colors of silk for this production run will also be available to view. Here on themodermaker.net, there will be a pre-ordering available if I can figure out how to accept payment in 2 parts. Deposit and final. In addition to this site, there will also be pre-orders available through Etsy.com which you can find here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/GnagyArts?ref=hdr_shop_menu
They will be wearable as modern garments as well. Something this pretty shouldn't be left out of sight! The very last photos show me wearing it with my modern jeans and Tee and ball-cap. I don't think it even looks that weird. I mean...a little eccentric. But overall, it gives you an idea of how it should fit even though the sleeves are too big. I'm delighted that the development is almost over and I can start marketing and selling these amazing beauties from the past!