Friday, August 24, 2012

1860's Gentlemen's Civilian outfit

I've been working on this since March and there have been a whole lot of firsts with this one. I hadn't ever made a coat/paletote with so much detail, such a fancy vest, or ever sewn a cravat. A lot of it was new to me but I don't think I would actually do anything different.Mock ups and careful planning save one's sanity e.v.e.r.y. time.
I used the Double-Breasted Summer Paletote pattern from Past Patterns but made it out of wool and made the collar contrasting by using velvet. All I could find was upholstery weight velvet but it turned out find provided the under collar was the same tropical weight wool as the rest of the paletote.

 I was a bit nervous about making the paletote but it was actually rather simple. I also wasn't sure about spending so much on a pattern that was only intended for linen. I contacted Sandra (pattern's drafter) and she said making it a little bit larger across the chest could make the pattern also good for a winter weight wool with padding and quilting. Happy dance for me. I didn't alter the pattern at all when making this coat except to tailor it to the customer. He wanted it unlined and as light as possible, while still being wool, so he could wear it in the summer and in AC buildings in the winter, hence the light weight wool that matches the trousers.

Plain cut Summer Trousers go together faster every time you make a pair. I've been told they are extremely comfortable and wear very well, provided you use good quality fabric.

Vest pattern is also from Past Patterns, the Single-Breasted Shawl Collar Summer Waistcoat. Great pattern, only make sure its long enough in the front. I had some issues with that and ended up needing to add fabric to the back shoulder in order for the front to be long enough. Only thing I didn't make a  mock up for and I did regret it! Glass buttons are from Abraham's Lady in Gettysburg.
Shirt pattern from Past Patterns too. That pattern *is* a lot of work but it turns out so well. The attention to detail is amazing and the shirts I have made from this pattern hold up so much better than others. The pattern's directions tell you how to make a reproduction of an original but I do much less hand sewing than recommended.
Hat from Dirty Billy's and thank you to my dad for obliging me in modeling. I have to tell my fellow seamstresses out there: Sewing for men is extremely rewarding. They pay well and have a very genuine kid-in-a-candy-story reaction when they get their finished clothes.

As Always,