Merry Pippins Jacket and Dickie
Description: This is a lady's frock coat. It is made from upholstery weight cotton velvet in maroon. The collar, button coverings and the pocket flaps are made from silk dupion (the exact shade of silk is called "Magenta"). The jacket has bouffant sleeves.
The pockets are not functional - they are merely flaps with no pockets underneath.
The photo shows the jacket turned inside out. As can be seen, the jacket is lined with crepe back polyester satin. The sleeves are not lined. The rest of the jacket is interlined with a grey canvas type material.
The jacket is decorated with navy blue frog closures and upholstery style braided edging.
Before it came to me, the jacket had suffered a little damage since it has been used extensively on stage. It has a two inch rip on the lower tails at the back, and it had lost a button, which I have now replaced.
Raymond has recently given me the dickie to go beneath the jacket. A dickie is a piece of fabric that is made to look like the wearer is wearing a shirt or blouse underneath their outer garments.
The base of the dickie is white dress net, onto which are sewn two bands of Ayrshire lace making up the front of the blouse, with a band of a different type of lace (maybe Cluny lace?) down the centre to act as the facing for the pearl beads that act as buttons.
The high neck collar is made from a band of white cotton. The lower part of this band is pin-tucked (i.e. has very narrow pleats added as a decorative feature), whereas the top half has a decorative lace overlay. The collar is finished on the top edge with gathered lace.
The collar closes at the back by means of hook and eye tape. The collar is kept rigid by means of metal boning, one piece lying either side of the wearer's neck bones (cervical spine) at the back. One of the bones is missing.
Those of you with either a keen eye, or a good memory, will notice that the collar had a maroon bow on the front when it was used with the Merry Pippins jacket. Ray tells me that the dickie has been used in many, many shows since T. Bag. I can only assume therefore, that the bow has been removed deliberately as it would limit the dickie's compatibility with other costumes.
This piece is in EXTREMELY poor condition (to the point where Ray described it as "tatty"). It is very fragile, and it feels as though you are handling a spider's web when you pick it up, it is that delicate. This is a piece that I will therefore store extremely carefully.
The skirt in the pictures was made by me. I have tried to stay faithful to the original, although I think the cut of the skirt is probably different. It is made from the same shade of magenta silk used in the jacket, and it trimmed with navy blue velvet ribbon.