Merveilleuses and Incroyables


For day two of the Jane Austen Festival I obviously had to make another thing — its a problem, I know. Hayley had fairly quickly decided upon an Incroyable look based on this print and an extant spencer.

I flipped through fashion plates for inspiration and eventually settled on a Merveilleus inspired look with a white petticoat and some kind of spencer on top. I started out with a self drafted spencer pattern made from a pretty chartreuse silk “harvested” from an old silk top that just never quite looked right on me. I piped the back diamond shape with some fuchsia silk and worked towards some adorable globe sleeves with contrasting bands of fuchsia. I got as far as putting one sleeve one when I kind of just fell out of love with the look — the sleeves, man they aren’t doing it for me.

So now with minimal time to shop, plan, and construct something to go on top of the white petticoat I searched Pinterest for some inspo. I loved the looks of white gowns with short hemlines and all of the ruffles! Ruffles on ruffles and delicate, feminine looks just seemed the perfect contrast to Hayley’s more masculine look. I dug in my stash to retrieve a blue crossbar fabric perfect a simple, close fitting spencer bodice. I used a pattern taken from an extant in the Nordiska Museet and then altered the fun sleeves on the Laughing Moon pattern #129 to fit tightly around my arms.


I topped the look off by recovering and trimming my Timely Tresses bonnet to mimic a delicate percale bonnet using the leftover pleated gauze from my Mary Shelley ensemble — I have plans to attempt an actual drawn percale bonnet this winter. I trimmed it with some vintage figured rayon ribbon and a big ole flower and called it a look.


Hayley’s look consisted of a highly tailored spencer jacket with a standing collar and lapels, mimicking a man’s jacket. When paired with her fun black and white striped cotton voile gown, ruffed chemisette and a bold green silk printed cravat from Virginia Scarves the Incroyable look was really beginning to take shape. The piece de resistance was her beautiful custom fur felt top hat trimmed with a black silk band and black ostrich feathers and green pheasant feathers. Can you say incredible?


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