I have always liked this sacque, even though it is Lydia's and no one else wears a similar one. Lydia only wears it in one scene—she is departing for Brighton to stay with Mrs. Forster. When I decided to make it, I kept in mind three characteristics:
- The fabric is silk, demonstrating Lydia's extravagant nature.
- The sacque has large polka dots illustrating her bold and daring personality.
- The black closure on the red silk represents her flirtatious behavior.
I chose broadcloth (I usually work with broadcloth) of a solid red.
- The fabric is broadcloth which is practical for everday use.
- The fabric is a solid color illustrating sobriety, practicality and reservedness.
- I chose dark brown for the closure, to give it an "autumn" rather than "coquettish" flavor.
I used 1 ½ yards of the broadcloth and ¾ of the brown trimming. I also bought ¼ yard heavy interfacing for the collar. If I made it again I would get 2 yards of fabric. 1 ½ was not enough, and I just barely managed to make it fit.
I decided to do a false collar because I didn't want to do a whole collar. (Basically it just has a collar on the front.) I used my regular dress bodice pattern. When I made my regency dresses I shortened the bodice to the length I wanted by folding up the lower end. For the sacque I added about an inch to the shortened pattern; I wanted to give it leeway as a jacket. I also made the sleeves follow the contour of the arm, getting skinnier toward the wrist.
For the "points" I measured around myself where the waist would be and added a few inches for seam allowance and for "jacket wearing". Actually I just rounded up to 32 inches because that would be enough and made it easier. The length of my points was determined by the scanty amount of fabric I had left, but I think the length is around right anyway. I had the shortest side of the triangle—the top—be 8 inches. At the bottom I measured over 4 inches and made a mark, drawing lines from either end of my eight to that, making an even triangle. I then made three more placing them opposite ways so as to make them fit better—I mean fit at all.:) (I had originally had 1 yard stuck in my head, but knew that wasn't enough and thought I should get 2, but 2 is so much!:) so while at the cutting counter I quickly compromised 1 ½. It worked this time, but just barely!)
The points actually took longer to sew than any other part of the sacque, because I had to turn under the two long sides of four triangles.
- And here are pictures of the finished Spencer/Sacque!