elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Here are a few more details to wrap up this suit project.

Okay, first of all, this is my 3rd attempt at an 18th century suit for my man, and I think I finally nailed it. My number one mistake the other times: WRONG FABRIC!! The first one used a relatively stiff silk, and the second used linen. Now, both of these fabrics were used extensively in men's suits of the period, silk being popular for the shmancy set, and linen used in blends or alone for casual or working garments, especially in America.


Wool is much easier. Period. Wool is your friend. Wool makes everything happy. Wool steams and shapes and eases and stretches and bends and molds and drapes. Wool doesn't fight you. Wool doesn't look stupid just sitting there disagreeing. There is a reason why all those tailoring techniques work best on wool. They were developed using wool.

Wool is also kinda warm, which explains why I avoided it the first two times around; the suits were for summer events and I didn't want my man to get heatstroke. But it breathes, and I think it's comfortable for all but the hottest Midwest days. Like anything 85 or cooler.

My wool of choice this time was a navy blue twill that I got at a yard sale for about 5 bucks. When I got it home I washed it in the machine to felt it slightly (fulled cloth being popular in the era) and to make it clean, because garages = eew. It didn't felt enough to stop it from raveling, but gave the surface a nice napped texture.

More! )

The whole project diary is under the tag blue wool 18th century suit.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Oddly, I was the one taking most of the photos yesterday, so there aren't many.

I think the suit deserves its own post, so more on that (and the other costumes) another day.

More!! )

Well, it wasn't perfect, but we had fun. I hope we can keep doing this event and make it bigger and better every year!
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Still sorting the photos but I am dying to share one right now!

18th c event June 2014 041

The rain was heavy, as predicted. We did Plan B instead: lunch at Cafe Latte on Grand Ave. and then a stroll around the art museum. The Art Institute here has some wonderful period rooms. We got a few nice photos.

It wasn't as good as a picnic, but I think we salvaged the day. I love the way my HB's suit turned out SO MUCH!!!

We headed home around 4:00 and now everybody at my house is in their jammies. Chinese food is on its way to being to delivered to my door; thank goodness for city life.

More pics tomorrow!
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)

Spent the last couple days making and attaching FORTY-FIVE fabric-covered buttons, and now the whole thing is done. It's not like they are hard to do, but I was still floored at the sheer quantity of them.

Here's a little peek at the back pleats.


Besides this, I am way behind on projects for this weekend's event. It is going to be another late night for me.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Just buttons on back pleats left to do!

Once again, it's on my lady form. I promise it fits the man better than this.

elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
My HB took The Girl out for the afternoon yesterday, so I was blessed with another long stretch of time on my own in the sewing room. Bliss!

I started by hand topstitching (or edge-stitching, whatever) all the small pieces: the collar, cuffs, and pocket flaps. To make these, I sewed them RS together on the machine, clipped, turned, and pressed, like you typically do. But they just didn't press crisply flat like I wanted, so topstitching to the rescue.

Here is a flap not topstitched (left) next to the topstitched one (right).

coat progress (2)

And the collar; the topstitched part is in the foreground, non-stitched part in the background.

More Little Details )

Next up: attach the flaps to the pockets and the cuffs to the sleeves, then assemble the body, put the sleeves in, and join the lining! I'm really hoping to spend the next 3 days on this and then be done. 
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Spent all afternoon sewing. I needed that so much! Of course I love finished products, but the process is important even without considering the end result. The process of making is so crucial to my well-being. The ability to get into that flow state where everything makes sense and comes together.

So. It doesn't look like much yet, because that's how men's clothes go. I've assembled all the little components: collar, cuffs, pocket flaps, pockets. The lining is all put together. The sleeves are made. Next up: buttonholes. The pocket flaps and cuffs need buttonholes before attaching. These will be totally machine sewn, but other than that, I'm sticking by the "no visible machine sewing" rule.

Crummy picture from my tablet's crummy camera:



Apr. 27th, 2013 07:57 am
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
The breeches kneebands were giving me a hard time last week, and I was a bit stalled.  The band mostly encloses the leg bottom seam allowance, but has that one end hanging free (for the buckles).

The bands didn't seem to fit, until I remembered that I had taken in the legs but forgot to shorten the band.  So I altered the bands I had already made, but they still didn't seem to match up.

Finally noticed that I hadn't clipped at the "clip" mark on the front and back leg pattern.  That solved everything as it freed up the seam allowance so I could actually sew the band properly in place.

It all made sense eventually, but a couple of photos would have helped!

I also decided to go with buckles since I found some nickel-finish ones at Burnley & Trowbridge.  My HB had no opinion about buckles vs. buttons, as long as they weren't brass or gold in color.  I guess I will just fiddle with them to figure out how they are supposed to work!
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
I'm down to the mostly handsewing part of the breeches which is when I always slow down on a garment.  I know some of you can handsew like lightning but I am just a tortoise.  So the waistband is on, and I decided that the edges were not as crisp as I would like, so I am hand top-stitching them (just a running stitch) and that is looking much nicer.  One side is done, the other partway.

I found the amazingly nice metal buttons from a few years ago's scrapped 18th c suit, and they might work on this one, but I really want to use plain self-fabric-covered ones at the breeches waist and then just use nice ones on the legs and coat.  I'm trying to convince myself this is period.
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