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I sewed the last buttons on and made a quick tie on Friday afternoon, so the suit was all ready for the picnic.  I think it turned out fantastic.  

L1010407.jpg picture by ashamanjababu 

The wind was blowing rather a lot in the first picture.

We ended up not finding a straw hat that would work for Victorian, so he wore the felt bowler I got him for his brithday a few years ago.  In the end I was glad we didn't find a straw hat. because the bowler gets out of the closet so very little. 

The tie was just a giant bow tie which I tied in a soft, loose bow.  I sort of based it on the large bow tie/ascot in the Laughing Moon shirt pattern, but I changed the shapes and proportions a little.

I'm so, so glad I did this project, for so many reasons.  Partly because now my honeybunny has something new to wear that he really likes, but mostly because every time I make something difficult, it gets easier, and tailoring is just about as difficult as I could imagine anything being.  I feel so much more prepared now for the next tailoring challenge.

I really had fun sewing this, too.  It was nice to sew something that didn't give me tons of problems for a change.

I'll be posting about the picnic in more detail at [profile] tccostumers
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Got most of the suit together yesterday and did a fitting. 

(He's really like this in real life.  Which is nice.)

Today I need to tape the roll line, insert the lining, turn and press the coat, hem the bottom, hem the sleeves, finish the sleeve plackets, finish the back vent, hem the lining, make buttonholes, and sew on buttons.

Phew!  I hope I can do it all!

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I put off working on the linen coat for way too long.  Finally yesterday I overcame the fear and did something about it.

I cut the linen and the horsehair canvas, I sewed the main seams.  I made and inserted the muslin sleeve.  I cut the shoulder pads.  Then I held my breath for the fitting.

My HB tried it on last night, and it fits. . . okay.  It fits well enough.  I mean, to be honest, if I had made this 3 years ago, I would have been thrilled with how well it fits, but now, I was kind of hoping for something a little better.  There's not really much specifically wrong with it, it just looks a little off.  But it's good enough, and I'm going to proceed,

I cut the lining last night.  Today I want to:

Assemble the shoulder pads
Make the collar
Sew/attach the sleeves
Sew the lining

Then tomorrow I will insert the lining and work on hems and finishing.

And I think I may have solved the Sweater Dilemma.  More on that when I actually have time to knit.
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Shirt is done but for buttons, complete with spiffy flat-felled seams and a pretty dang nice looking collar if I do say so myself.  Man, collars are hard.

Coat has been ignored since last post, but I did finally decide to use the horsehair canvas for interlining.  I need to make some shoulder pads because nobody had the right kind, but that isn't too big a deal.  Hopefully I can make the shoulder pads and cut out the coat today.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

Yesterday, I cut the shirt, inserted the placket in the front, attached the yoke to front and back at shoulders, and basted the side seams.  My HB tried it on and liked it.  I was annoyed by the little wrinkles that happen when you have a dropped armhole, but he said he actually prefers the dropped armhole to a more natural one and asked me not to change it.  So that's that.  

I also hemmed and finished the pants, so they're done and out of the picture now.

I spent about an hour and a half making the pattern for the coat.  I took his LM double-breasted suit coat pattern (the one I have already fitted and changed) as a base and made changes based on an illustration in the Cut of Men's Clothes:

It's labled as a "single-breasted summer paletot."  I'm not sure, but I think that for men's wear a paletot just means a short, light, square coat.

I put the lapel piece against the coat front, matching CFs, and placed tracing paper over them.  I traced around them as one piece, with the little dart at the top as in the diagram, and making the lapel wider to look like my inspiration fashion plate.  I did the same with the side back piece where it meets the front, again making the seam into a dart as shown.  I made the back much wider and took that width off of the side back seam.  The frock coat has a waist seam, so I just extended the pieces straight downward, flaring a bit at the side.

I cut a mock-up of the body pieces and tried them on my man yesterday.  I needed to take in the side dart at the top, but other than that, it fits pretty okay.  Definitely good enough for an informal summer lounging outfit.

Now I am waffling about interlining for the body.  I tend to lean toward horsehair canvas, but I think that might be too hot and stiff.  I think I will try to dig up some cotton twill or something like that from the stash to use for the body, and just use the horsehair for the collar and lapels.  I also still need to get some small shoulder pads before the next fitting.

Today, though, I want to focus on finishing the shirt.  I still have both sleeves, with cuffs and plackets, to do, and the collar, seam finishing, hem, buttons, and buttonholes.  In short, about 2/3 of the shirt.  It might be all I get done today, but I do hope to work on the coat a little.

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I spent about 3 hours yesterday sewing on buttons, the hook and bar, and stitching down the facings by hand.  Now all that is left to do on the pants is some kind of seam allowance finish, the hems, and a few bar-tacks that I forgot about yesterday.

After I finished the buttons, I cut out the shirt pattern.  It's the Laughing Moon informal shirt.  I used the dress shirt pattern from the same set for his wedding shirt, so I plan to just make the same few adjustments to this one.  The main problem I had was the sleeves; they are about 4" too long, and the cuff is so big it slips over his hand.  Now having a long sleeve would work, as long as the cuff was fitted, or the other way around.  

I suppose that it is not really technically the sleeves that are too long, it's the dropped shoulder that increases the length.  I would prefer to have the armhole seam sit at his natural shoulder point, but I don't want to mess with it right now; I already know it fits comfortably the way it is.  I'm not sure if the dropped shoulder is proper historically, but I'm pretty sure it's the way the LM pattern is supposed to be.
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I had a lovely bike ride yesterday morning; I went early before it got rainy and the sunshine was beautiful.  Nothing quite like a bike ride on a nice spring day to make one appreciate the beauty of life.

I didn't find anything too exciting in the way of buttons, but I found some serviceable ones and finished the fly.  I finished enough of the pants that I could fit them and measure hems yesterday afternoon, yay!


Before and after pinning the hem up.  They need pressing, but they're linen, so some wrinkleyness is expected.  He really liked how they are looking so far.  Not suprising, since he has 2 other pairs of pants from the same pattern, and likes those.

Here's the shirt fabric next to the linen and the buttons for each.


Today I need to:

attach buttons (fly and suspenders)
attach hook and bar at waistband
do something to the seam allowances (pink or zig zag)
stitch hems
interior hand finishing (stitching facing down, etc.)
start shirt
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Ironing the fabrics yesterday took for freaking ever.  I didn't get to cutting anything out until the afternoon.  I cut the pants and started sewing the fly parts, but I had to stop when I couldn't find any proper buttons in my button box.  It's amazing; I have all these buttons around, yet the off-white ones are all very small and the ones in the right size are all hot pink.

So this morning I plan to ride my bike over to Treadle to pick up some 5/8" buttons for the pants fly, some suspender buttons, and some little green buttons for the shirt.  Then hopefully I can have the pants ready to measure hems this afternoon.


May. 5th, 2008 08:07 am
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By Friday my thumb felt better enough that I could knit, though I was doing a weird sort of hand maneuver where I gripped the left needle without my thumb. Over the weekend I finished the chicken-and-egg toy pieces, including the legs and wings and such, and threw them into the washing machine to felt. I will probably start assembling them this evening, yay!

Today my thumb is loads better and I plan to resume my normal sewing schedule. Since I lost a few days last week in which I had planned to be finishing the grey silk suit, I'm now going to put it aside and take up the next new thing. I feel bad putting an unfinished project aside, especailly one that is so close to being done, but I want to finish something new for my HB for an event.

So today I'm going to start his new Victorian casual linen suit. We went fabric shopping yesterday and bought 4 1/2 yards of linen in an unbleached/light grey/khaki/drab color, some coordinating cotton lining, and a few yards of dark green shirting with a woven stripe. I washed them all yesterday afternoon and today I will start the pants. I have doubts about pairing a dark shirt with a light coat and pants, but he likes the combination, and that's more important. And I did find one example of a dark shirt being worn informally with a light coat in a Renoir painting, By The Lake. That's the thing about informal wear, though: there's so much less documentation to work from than there is with high-fashion wear.  So if I know light-colored suits existed, and I know dark patterned shirts existed, who's to say they were never worn together?

I''m basing all the garments in the outift on patterns I have already fitted and made garments from, so except for the coat, which will have a few style changes, I am skipping mock-ups and going straight to the linen. I'm so glad to be working with something easy like linen after that horrid grey silk.

I haven't yet found any fabric we both like for a tie, but I'm sure we'll find something. And ideally he will have a straw boater to accompany this outfit; they're so dapper. 

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