Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Green ship print 1780's waistcoat

A little over a year ago someone gave me a printed cotton panel of waistcoat fabric (from here) for my birthday, and I started working on it right away, then got distracted and let it sit in The Pile until a few weeks ago.
Here's the original. 
I found the white a bit too bright on the reproduction fabric, so I tea dyed it.
I machine sewed the ship print border strips on the front edge.

Oh dear, I see I've taken these photos with my old camera that has dirt stuck in the lens. I think this was shortly before I got my nicer, bigger camera.
I hand stitched some buckram onto the front edge and a slightly thinner piece along the bottom.
I sewed the welt pockets on and I think... I've not been doing them quite right. All this time I've been sewing them just like I do the regular 18th century pocket flaps, cutting the slit and sewing in the pocket bag and whipstiching the flap on top, but after looking more closely at pictures of extant welt pockets they look like they're sewn down and flipped up like a normal pocket flap. 

They are whipstitched down on the ends, so perhaps I was just looking at the ends when I started doing pockets like that, or maybe I'd looked at one that was whipstitched all the way around not knowing it was less common, I don't know.
After the pockets were done I lined the fronts in a plain light brown cotton. The facings are hand sewn on first, and I trimmed the extra lining out from under them.
I sewed the 12 buttonholes through all the layers with off white cotton pearl.
The printed panel came with little ship's wheel button covers, but I wanted mine to look like the ones on the original so I painted my own button covers on an un-printed white edge strip.
(I used speedball fabric printing ink, as usual, because I still have so much of it.)

One of the buttons on the original waistcoat.
I used the smallest size of bone mould that Burnley & Trowbridge has - about 9mm.
I covered them the usual way, and sewed them on before the lining. Some footage of me sewing them on is in my 18th century cloth covered button video!
Sewing the lining down to the armholes after finishing with the front edges.
The back is a single layer of heavy linen twill from Pure linen Envy, and the centre back is machine sewn and hand felled. I sewed the side and shoulder seams by machine too, and sewed the front seam allowance down towards the back.
I made my collar a bit higher than the original, and with a strip of the ship border sewn to the main fabric. It's stiffened with 3 scraps of buckram which I overlapped and sewed together.
Stitching the collar fabric to the buckram.

I pressed all the edges in, sewed the collar lining on, then attached it. The front part is hidden under the front waistcoat lining, but since there was none in the back I used a narrow scrap of white shirt linen. The only other thing to do was to hem the bottom, and the backs of the armholes.
The last time I made a waistcoat with a collar I talked in the blog post about how one side kept being wrinkly no matter what I did, and figured out it was because my shoulders are uneven. 
In this waistcoat I added a bit of padding to the right shoulder, and it helped, but there's still a bit of wrinkling. I forgot to baste the shoulder seams to test the fit before sewing them, so maybe it would have been a bit better if I had? Maybe next time I should add some stiffening there too.
I didn't get pictures of it in progress, but it's just a few staggered layers of quilt batting scraps, which I basted in place and covered with a scrap of thin cotton. The fit on the shoulders isn't awful, but it's still wrinkly enough to annoy me.
On this bit the seam allowance was too narrow, 
so I had to add a scrap to finish the edge.
Done! After a little over a year in The Pile! I'm mostly pleased with it, aside from the shoulders. I don't think it's particularly "pretty", but I do think it's weird and interesting, and I love weird historical garments. I haven't tried it on with a coat, but it might look nice with my black & white one.
I think it'll look even better with an olive green wool I have in my stash and mean to turn into a 1790's coat someday.

The collar is seamed in the centre back, so both lines
of ships point forwards.

Next time I will do the welt pockets differently, and try even harder to correct the shoulders!

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Dark Grey Linen Shirt

This is an everyday shirt I made about 5 months ago. It's mostly machine sewn, and the construction is pretty close to the one in my shirt construction post, except with more machine sewing, so there isn't a whole lot to say about it.
The cuff, with a pair of the sleeve links from my sleeve link tutorial.

It's made of a fairly thin dark grey linen, and I think I bought it at Fabricville years ago as light brown linen and overdyed it, but I might be confusing it with another piece of linen. It's the same fabric I made a shirt out of in 2018, but this time I left off the ruffles, since I tend to wear my non-ruffled shirts more often for everyday. (I love ruffles, they're just a bit less practical.)

I tried a thread button I'd not done before! Normally for shirts I do Dorset wheels, or bird's eye buttons just using thread for the middle, but Gina B Silkworks posted this tutorial for a bird's eye made with a little rolled up triangle of fabric for the middle, so I did a couple of those.

I found it a bit more difficult to control than the thread kind, but it made a nice big sturdy button.

I machine sewed the buttonholes intending to go over them by hand with buttonhole stitches, but then started wearing it, so now that's not going to happen and this shirt is stuck with machine buttonholes.
The front slit and heart shaped reinforcement are also machine sewn. I usually do these by hand, but for this one I hand basted them down first and it worked just fine. The little bar tack at the bottom is still by hand, of course.
The only other thing I did differently was sewed along the edge of the cuff before turning it inside out, like a pintuck but it's hidden inside the cuff. I did this because the fabric was so thin and I wanted that edge to be a bit sturdier.
The cuff before I turned it right side out.

The shoulder reinforcements.
Here it is worn with my dark blue linen pants.

It's comfortable and I like it. 

Sunday, 2 January 2022

Purple pants, blue pants, and black pants

I finished 3 pairs of pants in 2020 and still haven't posted them yet, so here they are. I didn't take a huge amount of progress pictures of any of them, so will put them all in one post, starting with this purple cotton pair.

They're cut from that purple petticoat I made waaayyy back in 2013 and never wore, and I still have a big chunk of fabric left. It's a fairly cheap and loosely woven cotton, so I don't expect it'll wear very well, alas.
I serged all the exposed edges before sewing. I was awfully indecisive when choosing the other fabrics. The pockets are made of a brown bedsheet cotton, and the fall lining is an off-white bedsheet cotton. 

Fall lining serged and seamed together.
I did the fall plackets my usual way, and have a tutorial post on that.
The buttons are covered in a more tightly woven cotton in a similar shade of purple, because I was worried the main fabric would wear out too easily. They're made the same way I do my 18th century covered buttons, and I have a video tutorial on that!
It was a scrap of muslin I'd dyed purple in textiles class.
The buttonholes were machine sewn and then covered with buttonhole stitches by hand.

This was a somewhat ill-fitting pattern that I'd drafted earlier in the year and then altered, and I don't think the fit of these is quite as good as it could be, but pretty close. I tweaked a few things and the next time I sew it up they should fit even better.
I tried facing the pockets backwards, like you see on some 18th century breeches, and I'm not sure if I like it or not. There is more room back there, and it doesn't interfere with the fall placket, but it's more awkward to reach into.
The next pair was one I started several years ago and then left half finished in a bag until this spring. They're dark blue linen and so, so nice for hot weather. 

I did 18th century corner pockets, but with no side seam. I just sewed a little dart there instead and hand felled it.
Other than that they're pretty similar to the purple pair. Unlined, edges mostly serged, and the buttons covered in a more tightly woven fabric in almost the same colour.
I think these buttonholes are also machine sewn and then covered by hand.
I wish I'd put a bit of interfacing in the fall plackets, since the linen is so soft.

Hand sewn eyelets and cotton tape for the lacing.

The inside of the hem.
I never can seem to get a nice, well lit photo of pants on me.
Awful lighting!

The last pair in this post is actually the first pair I finished. I made them last winter. They're black cotton twill fully lined with cotton muslin, and only comfortable in cold weather.
I'd originally intended for these to be the first video I did of a complete sewing project, and I filmed the whole process, but even before I started editing I realized all the footage was awful.
Since I filmed it in the winter there was very little daylight, and all I had was one trouble light and my ceiling light, both of which are usually behind me when I'm working in my sewing area, so everything was grainy and murky and shadowy, and made even worse by the fact that it was mostly black and white fabric. It's no good making a sewing video if people can't see the actual sewing clearly. Adding my bedside lamp only made things a bit more yellow with extra shadows.

I also wasn't happy with the fit. I'd made the pattern by just extending the bottoms of my late 18th century breeches pattern, and hadn't considered that they'd fit differently once they were longer and looser. The front looks ok but there are a lot of unsightly diagonal wrinkles on the back.

So I threw out all the video clips of them, but I have since gotten a big light with one of those umbrella diffuser things, so now I can film when it's dark out and have footage that doesn't look like garbage! I expect I will make a pants sewing video someday, though I'm not sure when.
Because this was the first sewing project I filmed, I forgot to take any still photos of the process. I still don't think I have a thorough post on pants construction, oh dear!

My goodness, these are dusty.

More awful lighting :(
I still have some more 2021 garments to blog about, but hopefully I'll catch up soon and post my year in review!