Sunday, April 13, 2014

Buttons - More than you ever wanted to know!

There is a discussion going on at the Civilian Civil War Closet Facebook group right now about buttons. I didn't know buttons could be so, well, specific.  The graphic is from the Button Baron, I put the comments off to the side.

DD=Debra DiFranco, she said she'd share more at her Pinterest, Construction Details Page
CS=Carolann Schmidt
RJ=Rachel Jeschke

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Past Patterns 007 Men's Shirt, View A

Today I FINALLY finished my Past Patterns 007 Men's Shirt, View A.  I'm telling you, this shirt took as long as a making a dress, but I'm really pleased and definitely like it better than View B!  I did parts of it by hand (more than normal), and parts by machine.  With all the effort it took, I'm not sure I want my husband to actually wear it on trek!  I can't wait to make the cravat, but I'm still trying to figure out exactly how to do that.

I'm not sure if I did the detachable collar correctly, but it seems to work.

I did both of my gussets correctly this time.

Hand stitching on the inside (did not line).

My next project is to recreate the man's shirt from The Workwoman's Guide!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Past Patterns 007/011 View B Men's Shirt

I just (nearly) finished the Past Patterns 007 View B Men's Shirt in size 40. Fairly recently Saundra Ros Altman, the designer, has split out the two shirts originally in 007, added some larger sizing and is now selling the two shirts separately as patterns  010 & 011.  Under the new packaging, this view B is 011 (1840-1870).  I did shorten the shirt a bit.

Made up, it looks good on the hanger, but lays kinda funny on my husband, but that may be due to his posture?

I used a cotton sateen so it is very soft.  I incorrectly machine stitched everything, even more than I normally do, because I didn't want to spend the time hand sewing.  However, I guess to make up for it, I did the gussets by hand (guess there's no other way to do those than by hand anyway), and I even did all 5 of my buttonholes, which is a first for me!  I did a few practice buttonholes, got a few tips from Liz Clark on how to do them better, and I think they turned out okay!  I think I gained some confidence in doing them when Liz said you need to do about 100 to get them right.  I did tons of hand sewing/embroidery when I was a kid, so I figured that had to count for something, and I think it really helped.

I'm really excited to try View A because it's more like the shirts in The Workwoman's Guide which I hope to also figure out later and put up as a tutorial.  But first, I need to make a Christmas stocking for the baby (she didn't even get one last year!) and make a baptism dress for our daughter.  After that, I think I'll hit men's shirts again.

See how the pleats don't lay flat up by his collarbones? Does it need to be bigger?

Hand sewn buttonholes.  Not too shabby.  I ordered some shell buttons on E-Bay and was really excited about them.  Originally I thought wood was the way to go being a natural product, but no, shell and China are authentic.

Gussets.  Actually, I put the other one in backwards, but I think I'll leave it incorrect. You know, make it like those Amish quilts with a mistake?  It won't be too hard to fix if it starts to bug me.

And yes, the biggest mistake.  Because I shortened the shirt, somehow I did not shorten the front and back to the same length! So instead of buying new fabric, I just pieced.

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Pennsylvania Sun Bonnet

Ann D. shared this bonnet that she found in Pennsylvania on The Civilian Civil War Closet Facebook page, and I asked if I could share/save it.  I was DELIGHTED to see that I seem to be making more authentic looking bonnets!  I love being able to see the detail of this one, especially on the inside!  It reminds me of the Godey's 1857 bonnet.  Ann is looking forward to sharing more living history/clothing construction at her blog, Household 6 Diva soon!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Man's Vest

In addition to the pants pattern, I borrowed this vest pattern from TITP.  It had no instructions, but luckily I've made enough vests now to know basically what to do.  When I got stuck I had the Simplicity 5037 instructions to refer to, which I'd also borrowed.

I didn't just do fake front pockets, but real ones! That took most of the time. 

I'm really not loving the back.  It looks kinda girly to me -- like those collars we used to wear in the early '90s.  I'm guessing I just need a better pattern?

I'm not sure what I'll do for buttons, maybe self fabric?

I got my inspiration from these:


Because I didn't love the collar I posted this at The Civilian Civil War Closet on Facebook for some advice.  Here's what some of the "experts" said.

  • This looks more like 1830s style vests.
  • A shawl collar would come further down in the front.
  • The back of the collar needs more shape, more tailoring.  
  • 1860s collars should hug the neck, not fall away from it.
  • The Past Patterns vest has very good instructions and turns out well.
  • Laughing Moon, Martha McCain (Simplicity 5037), and Galla Rock patterns are also good.  (Although, the 5037 looks earlier to me???).
  • Pre-1875 vests had 3 pockets: the two lower ones, and one upper one likely at an angle on the left garment side.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Period Impressions Button Fly Trousers (775)

A week or two I finished these trousers for my husband.  We've been asked to go on trek next summer, so I thought it would be fun to get him something more authentic than what he has.  I borrowed the Period Impressions Button Fly Trouser (775) pattern from TITP.  It worked okay.  It was missing one pattern piece -- the pocket facing, but I was able to fake one.  More detailed instructions would have been very helpful.  I tried so hard to get my plaid lined up, but even with all the work I still messed it up.  Oh well, better luck next time.  I don't know that I've ever lined up plaid before.  I was originally going to make a broadfall pant that had a more narrow leg, but learned that was from a slightly earlier era and decided to go with the button fly instead, which used more fabric, so I ended up piecing part of the back-bottom leg to make it all work.  There's a watch pocket in these and I was totally shocked that I was able to figure that out.

My poor plaid!

Skinny, skinny, skinny!

I would have liked to have used Past Patterns #014 or Laughing Moon #119, but went for the free one.

I also got inspiration from these Lynch Plaid Trousers from the Gentleman's Emporium.

According to the ladies at the Civilian Civil War Closet Facebook page, plaids toned down a bit as the war got closer, so since we'll be doing a 1856 impression next summer, I thought the big plaid would be awesome.  The bigger plaid also designates a more casual pant apparently.  My husband likes these so much he's threatened to wear them to work. On the pattern I used, someone had written that a twill would work.  I couldn't find any plaid twills at the fabric store, but I could find some pretty cool 100% cotton home decorator fabrics that are a bit heavier, so that's what I went with.  I hope it won't be too heavy, but he can always wear different pants to trek in, and these can just be when he's trying to look a little fancier/more authentic.

McCalls 4290 Vest

I really haven't disappeared, but during the summer I made this vest for my boy's friends so they could come volunteering with us.  My son really wanted to keep it for himself . . . next year, I suppose.  Isn't he a cute kid??


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