All posts tagged: 1770s

Sewing a set of ill-begotten stays

Some time ago, I decided I needed another pair of stays, and started on a set.  And they’ve been nothing but trouble since then.  They are almost making #4 on the list of evil things. First there was the fabric.  I bought a bunch of linen with a gilded finish in a fabric sale, because it was soooo pretty, and I’m a magpie. Linen is a great fabric for stays, right?  And who doesn’t want a pair of gilded stays? Linen is not a great fabric for stays if it warps.  And gilded linen is an even worse choice if the minute you iron it, the gilded finish comes off, leaving you with plain, boring, ecru linen. But I didn’t even get far enough into the stays to find these things out before it gave me problems, because it turns out that gilded linen is actually really, really hard to match for a lining.  So I finally settled for black, because it was really the only thing I had that didn’t look hideous with it. And, of …

18th century menswear: the waistcoat

I’ve told you all about the 18th century jacket I made.  Here are the construction details of the waistcoat that goes with it. The fabric is a white cotton with a slightly irregular diagonal rib woven in.  The breeches are made out of the same fabric.  There is more info on the fabric and trims here. Like the jacket, the pattern basically comes from Costume Close-Up, though I made so many changes that CCU ended up being just a basic guide to 18th century waistcoat construction. I patterned up the waistcoat without having anyone to try it on, and I was really worried that it would be too small, so I used a clever feature that I saw on an extent waistcoat (unfortunately I can’t remember where from!) and left the back seam open, with ties to make it adjustable.  I’ve also seen images of waistcoats with closed back seams and ties, and waistcoats that laced up the back.  The LACMA has a pattern for one. As with the jacket, I managed to do a …

The 18th century man’s jacket: construction & fittings

I didn’t take a lot of construction photos while I made the 18th century man’s jacket, but I’ll do my best to explain how I made it. I’m sure it is not a historically accurate technique, but it made a very sturdy garment, with no machine sewing showing on the outside. I started with the two front chest pieces of the jacket First,  I sewed around the front edge, bottom edge, and the edge of the first pleat of the jacket, with the outer and lining fabric right sides together.  This meant that when I turned the pieces right side out and pressed them, the front, hem, and pleat edge were all finished. Then I sewed placed the back pieces with their lining fabrics, right sides together, and sewed down from the centre back pleat, along their hems, and up the side pleat.  Then I turned them right sides out, and pressed the now-finished hem. So basically,  all the hemming on the jacket was done by bag-hemming. With the back pieces hemmed, but still separate, …