Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Regency man's waistcoat - Jane Austen Festival Bath

 A Regency man's waistcoat was an important part of his attire, both in full and half dress.

The waistcoat was made from wool, linen or silk and could be a solid but was often a brocade, stripe or pattern, like the one of the right. It had a high, stand-up collar and sometimes wide turn-back lapels, especially earlier in the period. The waistcoat extended below the front of the tailcoat and covered the top of the trousers or breeches. It was most often single breasted but could be double breasted as well, with a small pocket to hold the man’s accoutrements, such as fob watch and fob seal. Men's Regency Fashion

I am making two new ones for J-L's trip to Bath and I'm using the Kannik's Corner Man's Waistcoat pattern c. 1790 - 1815. This pattern, like all of Kannick's that I have used, works like a dream, even with the toile.

The first of the waistcoats is mostly my lovely apprentice's work, its nearly completed, bar the buttonholes. She learnt how to make welt pockets, and I had to relearn the process to show her, I am very pleased with the results.

The second of the waistcoats, was stitched by me , it was a real exercise in 'cutting the suit to fit the cloth' as I only just scrapped out the vest front. The pocket covers are cut different ways in the stripe and the facing is pieced like a jig-saw, lol.

See the different pocket welts

Front view, just needs button holes and buttons

Side view showing back lining
I'm pleased with it though, it looks good and nicely Regency.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Regency knee breeches - Jane Austen Festival

The Regency tailcoat I made, needs a pair of knee breeches (pronounced britches) to go with them. Regency trousers were dropped front, baggy bottomed and very tight to show off the fine turn of their thighs and ankles from all that 'huntin', shootin' n fishin' that the gentleman spent his days pursuing out of the season.

I am aiming to emulate the knee breeches on the left, I don't know the image source but it comes from Jeanie's website, Sense and Sensibility.

The most difficult construction element for these pants, is the drop front waist. Its not that difficult, but you do have to concentrate to ensure success, well at least I do lol!

Here are the steps of putting a front fall trouser front together, hope it helps you do yours.
  1. Attach fall binders and bearers to front of trousers

 2. Stitch down 1/4" seam
 3. Cut the front fall open, don't go past your stitching line!

4. Press your fall bearer to the centre
 5. Fold your fall binder to the wrong side and pin and then stitch down

 6. Create a nice point at the front of the fall with the binder, stitch down. That's it really.
 This is what it looks like when finished.
 Next I stitched the front trousers together along the crutch line, then stitched the fall facing pieces together and attached to the front fall.
 Inside of front fall of trousers with the facing attached
 Full front fall with facing and right and left front trousers attached at crutch.
 What's behind the fall drop? The bearers.

Here's the breeches completed bar hand sewing.

I forgot to take photos while doing the back of the breeches with the gusset insert, I had a friend pop over and I was so busy chatting and stitching that I forgot, I shall notate it next time I make a pair.

Back of breeches with gusset and pleats to give that 'lovely' baggy bum look!

Now to check for length and fit the legs nice and tight.

Silly fitting photos follow ...

They fit well, so next to add the side button plackets, lacing in the back gusset and all the button holes and buttons.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Regency tailcoat - Jane Austen Festival

I have made two Regency style tailcoats for J-L, she is modeling one on the right. They were great for my first attempt but the pattern was an OOP Burda 'historical' 1830s style that I adapted. I got the 'look' as you can see, but there are many 'faults'.

First fault of both jackets are that they are too small, my bad, I used old measurements, opps and J-L had 'grown', so what was meant to be double breasted front became a fashionable unbuttoned coat of the period. The second black velvet evening tailcoat was adjusted and buttons up. But ...

Both are too hot for her, both are fully lined in silk, so they breathe but when she is dancing or on a very hot day, its murder.

So for Bath I am making two new jackets, one black silk damask for evening wear, with black silk damask knee breeches. The other is a very dark green silk suiting which is light weight and has a beautiful hand. Both jackets, as is period, will be unlined with the exception of the tails. So hopefully they will be cooler and unlike the gentleman to the far right, perspiration might be held at bay when dancing.

I am using the Country Wives Regency Tailcoat pattern. I'm not doing the M-notches and I am using a different collar, the standing collar of the period that I have created it for the Regency dustcoat, J-L prefers it, as do I, far more Scarlett Pimpernel.

Scarlett P\impernel
I created the toile and it went together like a dream, its a great pattern, well designed, good, if minimal, markings, but the pattern notes are not brilliant, many assumptions, things glossed over, I found them a good guide as I knew all the techniques, but it would be a steep learning curve for a beginner. The toile mirrors the Country Wives pattern exactly with no changes. I used the rolled collar for the toile.

Back, this is sitting on my size 10 dummy, so looks too big, the back did need to be taken in to have a better fit by about an inch on the three back seams.

Front fits well, it was too long so I took off two inches

Sleeves are good, but way too long, I took four inches off them.
Onto the fashion fabric, its a lovely black silk damask, narrow width, with a one way pattern that meant I had to cut the right and left sides separately, remembering to turn the pattern. The fabric comes from a local second hand shop, there was 10 metres of it, a great find.

First cut for right side

Second cut for left side
Putting the silk damask together, it was a dream to sew, I was most surprised and very pleased!

So the first task is to add the side pockets, I don't do welt pockets often, so I practised on the toile to remember the process.

Creating pocket in jacket side front, no idea why camera has turned the fabric gold!

Pocket bag added

Flaps added

A view with flap held up
 Next step is to add the front padding and for me, this is the lining as well. I interface the piece with modern interfacing. I didn't want to add bulk to J-L's chest area as nature has provided her with enough natural padding <grin>. I'm not sure about the interfacing, its feeling a tad stiff, I need to see what its like on.

Adding the front chest padding/lining.
As I'm not lining the jacket I extended the interfacing around the jacket front 'corner', I then turned the 1/2 seam allowance down the bottom of the jacket and I will add ribbon to the straight seams and catch stitch it down as a facing.

Facing turning the 'corner' on the jacket front
 Next step is putting on the back pieces.

Back section added, pleats pressed in

Front view of tails
I stitched up the sleeves next, a two piece sleeve with a cuff attached and then put them aside to do the collar.

Attaching cuff to sleeve
 I was going to use a different collar shape, but it didn't work, so I used the pattern's rolled collar that had worked so well with the toile. I used a silk linen that I had in my stash for the under collar.

Rolled collar looks like a mustache!

Attaching rolled collar to jacket body

Pining collar to neckline

Back collar attached

Front collar attached

Side collar view
Final fitting photos follow ...

Very pleased with the fit and cut of the jacket, now for all the hand sewing, buttons and button holes.