Zouave jacket: underlining, flatlining, & construction

This jacket is styled after the military zouave jackets that became a popular bolero jacket style in mid to late Victorian era for women. We are doing it in a very fashionable red, but instead of wool it is a fine silk.


All and all, a very clean & subtle jacket that looks lovely over the black silk velvet waistcoat. It has just enough tie in with the skirt to look like they go together.

Underlining hand basted in:


The silk is underlined with silk organza to give it a better hand & weight for a jacket. The entire jacket is then flat-lined with linen:


The flat-lining technique is an excellent construction technique that allows for easier alterations. Many Victorian garments were constructed this way & all the extant Victorian bodices I own are actually done this way. I’ve cleaned up the seam allowances by covering them but there are also examples of them being left raw or hand whipped stitched to prevent fraying on certain fabrics.


The interior seam allowances are finished with functional yet highly decorative bias silk:

I split the sleeve pattern up to create a pseudo cuff look adding in piping:


Interior during construction of sleeve (before grading):



The sleeves are very simply lined in linen that attaches by machine to the bias edge and his hand sewn at the upper sleeve edge to the linen lining. One sleeve attached:


Seams and finally the edging of the jacket will be done in a fine bias piping of the matching skirt fabric. Two striped buttons will adorn the back.




5 thoughts on “Zouave jacket: underlining, flatlining, & construction”

  1. Laurie, you are an artist! All those lovely little details that only the wearer will probably see will make her feel so special. She will look and FEEL lovely in it.

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