Our family’s journey into the 18th century continues. This time I made my nearly 6 year old son a suit. Looking for patterns I ran into the problem of having to buy a separate pattern for all parts except the shirt and that was easy enough to guestimate scale down from the adult version I made with these instructions http://www.marquise.de/en/1700/howto/maenner/18hemd.shtml for my husband. So instead of spending nearly 60 on patterns plus shipping I decided to make my own based of the adult versions.
The pants are patterned by taking the pattern I used for my husbands breeches (the simplicity pirates of the caribbean pattern) and put them over a modern pattern, well modernish since I used a pattern for 30s slacks, to see the differnce in the shape. Basically the breeches have a big center curve in the front similar to modern backs and in the back there is basically none but a slope upward curving down to waist. I took a pattern I have previously used to make the kids some straight leg pants and used that as my guide for drawing out the new pattern with similar changes as the adult versions had. The fabric is a cotton twill I thrifted not knowing what to make out of it that he instantly fell in love with.
My son though only 5 loves fiber crafts and wanted to embroider his own buttons for his pants. We looked up pictures of embroidered buttons online and he chose this one.
I slightly simplified the design and drew in onto his fabric and he embroidered it by hand with silk thread.
The waistcoat I modeled on top of a modern vest pattern again useing the waistcoat I made for my husband from the simplicity pattern as a guide. That involved changing the shoulder seams further back and rounding the front seam and angling the lower part of the front towards the back. The fashion fabric is tea dyed Ikea bedsheet I had left over from my caraco and the back and front lining are unstained bits of stained vintage linen tablecloths.
For the coat I used this picture as a guide on top of a modern kids pattern again.
The sleeves on the modern pattern were ofcourse one piece and with no elbow curve so I drew it out, cut it into 3 pieces to give me the right piece for the upper part of the sleeve and taped the left over pieces and redrew them to give me the under part of the sleeve. since modern sleeves are looser I also tapered the sleeve a bit to give it a more correct fit. Then I measured were my sons elbow goes and drew it out in a similar angle as the picture. With all this guess work things could have gone badly wrong but luckily it didn’t. Everything fit with only one tiny alteration to the center back seam of the coat to better hug his body instead of hanging limply off him.
Unfortunately I was so much in a hurry to finish that I completely forgot to take anymore process pictures for the coat. It is unlined as summer is coming on fast and my son wished that I make him another one out of wool for when it gets colder and that that one would have a flower lining, so next time more about the process on that one. 🙂
The shirt fabric was stuck in mail for very long so when it finally came I had only 2 evenings to finish it along with finishing up his coat and his sisters dress. So what does a sane person do? Probably would decide that since the other items are atleast partly machine sewn that the shirt should be also. Well since apparently I have a death by sewing wish I sewed the thing by hand! To save time inseat of flat felling my seams I did then in with mantua makers seams instead. I’m not sure if this would be historically accurate for mens shirts but since it’s quick, gives a neat finish and was used in womens clothing at the time I went with it. I’m totally in love now with this seaming technique! The shirt was indeed all sewn up in 2 evenings! Basically the idea is the you turn your seams twice so the raw edge is folded inside the seam and the you hem stitch the fabrics and the folded edge together securing the edge and sewing the fabric together in one neat easy stitch. The buttons are linen tread buttons I made using this tutorial https://fabricnfiction.com/2018/01/31/tutorial-thread-shirt-buttons/ As for the neck I showed him paintings with different style neck closures: buttons, ribbons and links, he chose the ribbon.
Other than a few minor details the entire outfit turned out great and for now they are good enough, next time I make them they will be even better. 🙂 My daughter got sick so we didn’t make it to the picnic these were intended for but since he loves them so much and left wearing them to grandma’s house for a few days I am not too worried about them getting lots of use yet. But for now I’m off to sewing my first dabble into the 19th century, Till next time! xxx