Monday, November 30, 2009

The At-Last Waistcoat and Trousers and 1830's Dress

Last year Jo Anns had a great sale on their woolen goods. We were blessed to randomly drop in at the store while the sale was in progress and lo, there was a bolt of black wool. Black wool sells very fast in our local stores so finding ample yardage was a pleasant suprise. David picked up about four yards of it and I promised him I'd make him a civilian style waistcoat and a pair of civilian trousers.
I made most of the trousers early this spring. But uniform making duties forced me to postpone finishing them. They hung in the closet for months. I finally pulled them out and finished them a few weeks ago. I made the waistcoat last week, after the green corderoy disaster. This time I made sure to cut an ample seam allowance and the finished vest fits David quite nicely. It has 3 welt pockets, a notch collar and buttons up the front with seven covered buttons. David wore the set for the first time to church yesterday for our beginning of Advent service. He requested a red necktie to go with his outfit and looked, I thought, very festive. I was able to get my dress finished up on Saturday. I do like it very much although I am not completely happy with how the sleeves came out. I wish I had gathered the pouf to a point lower on the arm to get less of a mushroom effect. However, as Mr. Darcy said in his letter to Elizabeth, "It is done, however, and it was done for the best." Also to keep in the mood of Austen, here is a picture of the dress in front of a "prettyish kind of a little wilderness", where we plan on tilling up ground for our garden when spring comes. I don't usually wear a cap. I only wear one when the mood strikes. Here is a capless photo, though a tad risque - dear me, you can see my bare leg! - complete with this beautiful set of ultra-modern Fuzzy Snowflake Socks with White PomPoms. Don't they look wonderful with my repro mid-19th century boots? I didn't mean for this photo to be so alarming, I promise. It was the fault of the stiff breeze. Now you can see all my farby sinfulness!
Here is a back view. I was appalled when I saw this photo - "David, is my rear end really that big?!" Thankfully big bums were "in" for most of the 19th century. In those times, looking like a woman with natural womanly features was desired and encouraged. Alas. How times have changed. But David was kind enough to tell me that it was my fluffy skirts and petticoats that gave the illusion of a bigger behind. I need to add a few more hooks along the wrist placket since the placket kept folding open yesterday, but other than that I think this will be a very serviceable house dress. Oh and yes - David has decided to grow side whiskers! I have become reconciled to the thought of a beardless husband. His look has grown upon me and I do like this new style very much. He looks rather like I imagine Col. Brandon when I think of him in my mind. David is becoming ever more interested in pre-CW times and, I think, it shall not be long ere he joins me in the 1820's and 1830's. He is currently afflicted with great passion for the 1840's and his next set of civilian attire is to hail from then. Love,



  1. David's new clothes looks very nice indeed, and your dress is very, very pretty! Well done, as usual :)

  2. I think David's new look is very handsome. You too are so adorable together. I love the last photo. And I adore your gown, no your butt doesn't look big. I know, we are our own worst critics, especially about our bodies. Love ya, and you're beautiful!


  3. Dear Sarah,
    December blessings to you. May you have a Merry Christmas.

    You make a lovely looking couple!
    Your husband looks handsome clean shaven with the soon to be heavier and long sideburns.

    You are amazing my dear how you sew up a storm!!!

    Always such nice outfits,

  4. You both look great! David's sideburns look very nice, and your rear end does *not* look big - you look lovely and womanly :-) I love the colour of your dress.

  5. Aw! such a lovely couple! You both look lovely!

  6. I love your new dress, Sarah! Just beautiful!
    I agree with Avonlea_dreamer, you are a lovely couple! :-D

  7. Oh Sarah, that last picture is too cute!!

  8. You both look wonderful! I, too, love that last picture of you and sweet!

    Lots of love,

  9. David's new outfit looks so nice! Your men's clothing has a very professional look to it. I like his new look. Your dress is beautiful. I don't think the sleeves look bad at all. And your bottom is not too large. You are just a shapely woman. (I have to keep telling myself this...)

    You keep asking about my stays and I keep forgetting to tell you why I do not have pictures. They are finished, but I am not wearing them yet because I do not have a busk. I could not find any paint sticks wide enough to fit right in the busk pocket. Anthony is going to make me one but he has been too busy and we were out of town. I want to wait on the busk to take photos because without one, I have sort of a droopy monoboob. It gives a much better shape with busk. I know you are eager to see them and I am eager to wear them, so hopefully we will get that done soon.

    I am loving all the inspiration you're providing on 1820-30's clothes. I want to make some new gowns soon and I'm getting all kinds of ideas. I just have some more pressing things I have to do first.

    Oh, and I love the pic of you and David. You are such a cute pair!

  10. I think black wool trousers and vest with a white shirt look so sharp on a man. Nice job! Your dress is nice as well. The last picture of y’all together is charming!

  11. Everything looks absolutely fabulous, sarah! I love your new dress and the sleeves are just perfect! I don't think they look like mushrooms at all! I am thinking about doing sleeves JUST LIKE that on one of my dresses :)

    David's new things look just lovely! I am itching to make my dad some black wool things now too! I have quite a bit but I am so afraid to cut into it! I had done several shawl collar vests for my dad but i have not done a notched collar. How did you go about drafting that sort of collar? Is it like a shawl collar but it ends sooner and then folds back?

    You both look adorable and very happy in the last picture :)


  12. Aw, thanks. :) Emily, I hope you can get your busk made soon, for both our sakes! :) heehee I think it is so special when our men-folk can make our busks for us! Mine is special to me since David fancied up a paint stick for mine. I always forget to wear it though, so I have the droopy monoboob going too, though I didn't notice it til you mentioned the term! :P

    Bethany, the notch collar is so easy. I sized up the collar pattern from the Homespun Civilian vest but basically it is just a two piece collar (having a seam at the centerback neck) that ends a little before the edge of the lapels. Then the lapel/collar is turned back to the chest. I would love to make a shawl collar vest for David. Did you draft your own pattern for yours or use a printed one? I can not figure out how the shawl collar works. Is it a seperate piece sewn on or part of the vest fronts?

  13. Yes I agree with everyone! You make a lovely couple! the last picture is my favorite! and yes your puff sleeves look great!!! And your husband is dashing. And you are beautiful! Another well done job Sarah!

  14. You look lovely! And David looks rather dashing in his new suit, you did a fabulous job. :D

  15. I'm so impressed by your menswear! So sharp and tailored-looking. Your new dress is gorgeous, too... and I have to join in and agree with everyone else in saying that that last picture of you and David is adorable!

  16. You two make such a lovely couple! I am so impressed with the new clothes! Both of you look fantastic! I love your dress and the colour you chose. I just made a dress in a mossy green, and find it wonderful for the winter months! :) As always, I am inspired from your blogs! It is so wonderful to have other like-minded individuals who love to dress old fashioned! Have a wonderful day!!!

  17. ur made for each other.very nice.this is kiran from india.


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!