Friday, September 11, 2009

A Button Blouse and Trousers

For some reason, my baby boy is turning three next month. I have no idea how three years have gone by so fast but it seems that they have. Little David is no longer quite so little and as a result of his mature age he is going into more boyish styles for our 1860's reenactments. He wore long gowns as an infant, short gowns as an older baby and a toddler and this summer wore short trousers and tunics. Now, he sports long trousers and a button on blouse. These particular garments were chosen more for their practical characteristics (warmth, ease of wearing, requiring less fabric than a full skirted tunic, etc.) but they do make him look so much like a little boy! Well, he is, but still! My baby is growing up.

I left most of my research until the last minute. I was extremely lucky to find some nice images of little boys wearing long trousers and button on blouses so I had something to go from when making little David's. Ebay yielded some nice results and a few other websites and blogs had some lovely images as well. For this particular outfit, here are some of the images that inspired me:
First is this one of a mother and her little boy. I think the little boy is wearing shorter cut trousers since you can see his shoes and socks so well, but I like the detail of his button on blouse and the waist treatment of the trousers.
Second is this picture of two boys wearing similar outfits. I love this one - it reminds me so much of David and Judah!
Third is this one of another mother and her little boy. I can't tell if the boy is wearing a skirted tunic or if it is a button on blouse but I like his necktie. And the fit of the mothers dress is just gorgeous.
Fourth is this little fellow. Look at his trouser legs- it look like a large tuck has been taken up in each leg! Perhaps a hand me down that was too large for him to wear as it was? I love his printed shirt and the white collar.
And this one is one of my favorites - two boys dressed very similarly. I love their coats and will probably do similar ones for the boys as I work more on their Sunday outfits, which will be gray/black plaid wool trousers, a button on white shirt and a black wool jacket with dark red taffeta neckties. I hope to get a good chunk of that work done today.
So, here is my take on this style of outfit. I didn't take any photos of Judah wearing his (which is basically the same, except his shirt sleeves are cut on the bias and he has a yellow necktie instead of a dark red one - scraps left over from Malachi's gowns!) since he was taking a nap yesterday afternoon and I didn't feel like waking him up and then waiting a half hour before he got over his just-woken grumpiness.

His bear comes with him almost everywhere. He kisses his bear. It's not PC but oh well, at least it is not a purple Barney doll or something visually jarring like that.
I wasn't sure how to make the button blouse. It seems like a transitional style so I wasn't sure if mens cutting/styling would be more appropriate or womens. So I made it like the dress bodice of a childs or womans dress, with the shoulder and side seams slanted towards the back. The neck is bound with bias and I tacked in a little strip of cotton for a fold down collar. I love the fabric I used for the shirt - a very lightweight wool. The plaid on it is pretty large but it seems to work all right. I like the colors. Even though it is a dark fabric the cheerful lines of color through it really liven it up and make it look cheerful. Here he is after climbing on the hay rack. He is getting better about holding still for a few seconds so I can take a photo of him. Heck, he even smiled for this one. I think he was getting a bit weary of being photographed by this point, though. My goodness, what extensions of the mouth to project such wailings sounds of protest!
One outfit down, one to go. . .


  1. What a handsome little man! He looks fabulous. Like he stepped out of a CDV.

  2. The lady is the last photo with the boy reminds me of you. That poor bear. You can tell he has gotten a lot of love over the past almost three years. :) What a cute outfit you made for Little David!

  3. OH he is just the cutest! The outfit turned out wonderfully!

    I love old photos and you are right that lady has an amazing dress! I am thinking about finding a Civil War dress pattern and trying my hand at a dress from that time period. I am excited. I love all the fashions from the movie "Little Women". *sigh*

    Have a glorious weekend!

  4. He looks adorable! It was nice to see some close-up photos of seems we see Judah and Malachi more often. He's very handsome! And as usual, I am in awe of your grand sewing goals.

  5. Oh, I meant to answer your question about Maria wearing hats...I make sure to put a hat on her once a week or so, so that she dosent' forget about them. I don't know if that has helped, but she is always good about wearing them. When I put one on her, she pats it and looks at me inquiringly. I smile and tell her to leave it alone and she does. I know many babies won't wear hats...I guess I'm just lucky.

  6. Wow, he's just growing up so fast. What a handsome boy :-) I love his outfit, very cute.

  7. How wonderful that you are able to make this for your little boys...not so "little" anymore, lol!

    The outfit is so cute...I really like the pictures you shared earlier in the post. Especially of the little boy with the tuck on the trousers...he surely doesn't look to happy to be wearing them :)

    Have a great sewing weekend!

    lady m

  8. Your baby boy is cute and his clothing is too. One little boy in the old pictures did not look very happy about haveing to pose for a picture either. :-)

  9. Sarah, his clothes look great! You took your inspiration images and really made something that looks like it stepped out of the 1860's!



Thank you for your lovely thoughts!