Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Fur Trimmed Waistcoat

Look at this waistcoat.
Magasin Des Modes, February 1788. (source)
Isn't it awesome? Of course it is, it's got fur trim! The weather is freezing cold here, and a warm waistcoat with fuzzy trim sounds like a great idea at the moment.

The waistcoat in the picture looks like it's made of pink silk with a stripey pattern woven in. I have no such fabric, and it wouldn't be very warm anyway, so I will be making mine out of red wool. It comes from a thrift store coat that was given to me by a friend, who noticed that it was made of nice material. The pieces have been sitting around for months, waiting to be turned into waistcoats.
This waistcoat will be quite suitable for HSF '14 Challenge #1- Make Do & Mend.
Lovely big pieces of red coat wool.
For the trim I'm using this unidentified vintage fur thing. It had a velvet ribbon tacked to one side and the ends fastened together with a big hook & eye closure. It fit around my waist, so my best guess is that it was some sort of belt. When I picked it apart there was a big roll of polyester batting inside it.
A fur something.
 It looks quite nice against the wool.
This picture is a bit washed out.
For the lining I'm using these bits of linen. They were part of the large heap of fabric given to me by Paula Keppie. Like most of the linen she gave me it was torn into strips, meaning it was probably part of an art installation. A lot of Paula's work involves hanging pieces of fabric. This means they also count as Make Do.
The missing rectangle was the piece I used in my jacket belt.
 There was enough linen for the lining, though I had to piece one of the back pieces.
I've been working on a waistcoat pattern with a whole bunch of different front options. The back is the same piece, but by drawing the line a little differently you can make different styles of late 18th century waistcoats. I've got four front pattern pieces so far. The first three are based on extant examples and the fourth(on the far right) is based on the strangely shaped waistcoat in the fashion plate.
The 4 different front pieces.
The cut of the fur trimmed waistcoat looks kind of strange. It comes to quite an extreme point in front. I found another fashion plate waistcoat of a similar shape.
Journal de la Mode et du Gut, February, 1790. (source)
But this is the closest extant one I've found. There are quite a lot of extant waistcoats that are the same shape as this one.
Silk waistcoat, 1790's. The Met.
The pockets are at the same level as the ones on the plate, but the front is cut straight across instead of pointed. It's also from a few years later, so it has a little collar and lapels. I made my pattern pointed in the front, but not quite as much as the one in the plate.
The finished pattern, after cutting out all the fabric, which is why the front piece is in two pieces.
Another feature I was unsure about was the seams. In waistcoats from the 1780's and earlier they are left open at the bottoms, but the 1790's waistcoats have straight seams all the way down. I kept the vents on my seams because the straight seams would not fit very well over my hips. (That would require ties in the back, which would be very lumpy with such thick wool.)
This is probably inaccurate, since the styles with the vents almost never have a front closure that fastens all the way to the bottom. I did find one, but it's a little boy's waistcoat.

Previously, I had thought I would only be able to get two waistcoats out of this coat, but the fur trim provides a way to get three! By extending the line of trim on the pocket opening to go across the whole front piece, I can hide the seam piecing the front together. After cutting the lining out I cut the front piece along the pocket opening line, which makes two pieces that just fit on the tops of the jacket sections, leaving the bottoms for complete waistcoat fronts.
Three waistcoat front pieces, demonstrating this.
The back must be wool too, so that the coziness is evenly distributed. Out of all the wool blankets in the house, this thick pink one was the best option.
The thread and the hair canvas for the front edges is the only thing that isn't made from something else. The pocket bags are cut from a futon casing.
All materials assembled.
Two buttonholes ended up in the top sections of the front pieces. One on each side, which is very annoying.
 I pulled all the threads out and darned the holes shut as well as I could.
One of the darned buttonholes.
It is actually more visible than the photograph shows.
I sewed the two front sections together with a stab stitch, leaving the pocket openings open.
I have just begun the pockets. I folded the welt in half and basted the edges with a running stitch.
All the bits are marked where they need to be attached.
I didn't think the pockets through completely while patterning, so this half of the pocket bag is taller than it needs to be. I'm using a stab stitch on these too, which is about the only stitch that works on such thick wool.
These are the first welt pockets I've ever made, so it's a good thing they will be covered up with fur trim.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Diagonally Striped Stockings

I made stockings!
The first time I saw diagonally striped stockings I wasn't very impressed with them, but I think that's probably because the illustration was relatively unimpressive. Also because this guy's left and right stocking stripes are going in opposite directions. How sloppy.

Young Elégant sitting in the Jardin du Luxembourg in a spotted suit with bavaroises, a fashionable cane, and a steel sword, 1786. (source)
But then I saw this picture.
Young Officer in a Zebra Coat, calling someone to give an account of his services. Galerie des Modes, 1789. (source)

I love this outfit so much that I must state it in bold letters with too many exclamation marks!!!!!
Everything is so fantastically coordinated. His stockings match his hat! The zig zags and the diagonal stripes work together perfectly. I'm making this outfit, or at least an approximation of it.

I already had decent fabrics for it in my stash.
Silvery grey dupioni, which I will paint zig zags on, for the coat.
Pink silk for the breeches, which will be perfect for the pink challenge.
Red and black striped knit for the stockings.
I also have buckram, black cotton, and more dupioni in the same shade of red as the stocking knit, which will be a hat.
It won't be strictly accurate, but this outfit will eventually be mine!

Now, back to the stockings. I bought this knit a few moths ago because the stripes looked perfect for 18th century stockings. The trouble was, it's a one way stretch knit, and the stretch goes in the wrong direction for vertically striped stockings. I got two pieces anyway, just because the stripes were so awesome.
I'm glad I did, because cutting it on the bias for these stockings gave it just enough stretch to make them wearable. Yay!
Both pieces of knit. There is a ruler at the top so you can see exactly how wide the stripes are.
I made the pattern by wrapping the knit fabric around my leg, pinning it, marking it with chalk, and transferring the marks to paper. I traced my foot for the bottom piece. I smoothed out the lines and mocked it up twice to make sure it was fit. I tried to photograph the patterning, but all the pictures were blurry.
I mocked it up in the actual fabric, but since there was only enough of each piece for three stockings, it worked out fine.
The finished pattern.
Since these are seamed in both the front and the back, there was no need for clocks.
I sewed them up with Mama's serger. Holy crap, serger wasn't in the spell-check dictionary. Unbelievable.
I got all of the stripes matched up pretty well.
The finished stocking feet, inside out. The top edges are serged as well.
Because I don't have any breeches yet, I used fabric scraps to hold the stockings up.
The tops keep slipping down.
Are they too tall?

The seams were rather lumpy underfoot and took some getting used to.

The perspective in this picture is really weird. My feet are much bigger than that.
Here are the red ones, with shoes.
Hmm. My shoes are pretty scuffed up. Time to polish them again.

The stripes are closer together, and the red isn't as burgundy,
but these are pretty close to the stockings worn by the young officer
Since I am quite excited about these, I think they are perfect for challenge #26. Matching stripes up perfectly without pinning or basting is certainly celebration worthy. They were also very quick and easy, which is great too.

The Challenge: #26: Celebrate
Fabric: Synthetic knit, one metre of black and white stripes and one of black and red stripes.
Pattern: Made by me.
Year: 1780s
Notions: serger thread
How historically accurate is it? The look is somewhat accurate, at least from a distance. The materials and construction are not. I am not sure about the pattern.
Hours to complete: 4:54 in total, including patterning.
First worn: Monday, Dec 16th, 2013
Total cost: I forget how much I paid for the fabric. I think it was either six-something or twelve-something.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Blue- Grey Cravat

Yay! School is out for the holidays, now I can get back to sewing.
For HSF challenge # 25, we had to make something using no more than one metre of fabric, so I made another cravat.
Well, I guess it's technically a neckerchief, but I'm just going to keep calling it a cravat. I had two pieces of silk I had been planning to make into cravats, a silvery grey one and a blue grey one. The silvery one was slightly longer than a metre, so I had to use the bluish one, which was smaller.
A square being hemmed.
There isn't much to say about the construction. It's just a square with hemmed edges, almost the same as the first cravat I made. I used a slipstitch.
This time I didn't have to pull evil threads from the edges because I had a spool of silk thread that was a decent match.
Photographed against an unrelated fabric.

The finished cravat, with wrinkles from being worn.
 The edges came out nicely even, with only minor wobbles.
Two of the corners, the right side below and the wrong side on top.
When folded diagonally and rolled up, the cravat was a decent length.

Here it is all rolled up, with wrinkles from being worn.

The Challenge: #25: One Metre
Fabric: An 87.5 cm square of plain weave silk.
Pattern: None
Year: That's rather difficult to narrow down, but I think it's suitable for the first half of the 19th century.
Notions: Silk thread
How historically accurate is it? Pretty good. I don't think the fabric and thread are of perfectly accurate quality, but I don't see how the pattern or construction could be wrong with such a simple project.
Hours to complete: About 4.5 - 5. I forgot to write down my finish time at one point, so I had to guess.
First worn: Saturday, Dec 14th, 2013
Total cost: $ 0.00
Cravats are nice accessories to have, but they certainly don't give one much to post about. The next few projects I have lined up are far more exciting.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Edwardian Photo Album #1, Part 3

It's almost the end of term.
I have a lot of school work to catch up on and it isn't leaving much time for my own sewing projects. I therefore present part three of Edwardian Photo Album #1. (See part 1 here and part 2 here)
Click any of these for a larger view.

A dog in a hat. Is it a boater? A bowler? It's hard to tell from this angle.

What is going on here? These two ladies appear to be casually leaning against some invisible surface. They can't be leaning into the wind, because it's quite obviously blowing in the opposite direction. The dog looks suspicious.
A date! Dec", 25" 21
I love big coats. I've never seen one with a row of buttons like that before.
More ladies out in the snow, just like in the previous installment. I still have no idea what they are doing.
This look like a one-horse-open-sleigh. All these pictures of warmly bundled up people make me want to sew a coat.

An actual log cabin. Cool.
Dirt, snow, and trees. Why did this need to be photographed?
Three hunters, two dead deer, and the corner of a log cabin. Probably the same log cabin pictured earlier. Much more interesting than the previous photo.
A class photo from a very small schoolhouse.

A lady with an exceptionally bizarre hat sitting in a carriage with her cousin (see bottom of post).
I really like the button detail on the front of the dress worn by the very stern looking lady on the left.

This dog picture is very nicely composed.
This next picture shocked and amazed me. It appears to be a group of people having a fancy dress party. My favorite is the lady in the black dress and sunglasses. I wish I had a clearer picture of her costume.
Did you see the shocking and amazing part?
Here is a close up.
This lady is wearing a calash! I am both extremely jealous of her for possessing such a thing, and annoyed with her for wearing something that must be, at the very least, 70 years old. The Victorians and Edwardians really liked wearing 18th century clothes to fancy dress parties, often with horrible alterations, and it makes me mad.

These last five pictures weren't glued on, just tucked in the back cover. They all have writing on the back! Yay!
This one just says "13". Not much information there.

Miss Biggerstaff & me starting on our vacation
Aug 2, 1912
I love the little line of buttons down her skirt, and the fact that their jackets look almost exactly the same as men's jackets. These are nice, sensible traveling clothes.
Camp life. Cleaning potatoes.
You can also see This is the life written on this side.
No date on this one, but I'm guessing 1920's.
Where we camped last year 1920.
Stanley, Idaho

This is my cousin Jim Lockhart and I
 taken when I was home.
He is with the Mc Gill hospital in France now.
If he's working at a hospital in France, this must be from WWI. Fascinating.
But what the heck is up with her hat? It looks like a folded napkin from a fancy restaurant.
There were two copies of this photo, and there are copies of several others too. I am not going to leave any of them out.

And that's it for the Edwardian album. The next old document I post will be Victorian.