Friday, October 5, 2012

Patterning a Suit for a Regency Boy

The last week or so I've been working on a little boy's regency outfit. Not that we have a regency event to go to (more is the pity) but I at last had a chance to make an outfit like this after a gentleman of my acquaintance brought up the possibility of making something from this era for his little grandson. I am using Malachi as my model, as he about the right size. This project is so ideal for me. My favorite parts of making clothing is researching, sewing and taking pictures! I'm so glad I can do this and then the outfit will have a useful life going to living history events afterwards.

Malachi wore a gown last summer at the Jane Austen festival. At his current age of three and three-quarters, he could still possibly have worn a gown in the period but another option is the button-suit, which you can see here in this image (which I found via Natalie's blog post) from 1797.

This button suit is an experimentation for me, since it is a first. The gentleman requested drawstring trousers. This to me seemed like a very good idea, since one downfall of true button suits is the fact that it makes it very difficult for the little boy to use the potty by himself since the jacket is buttoned to the trousers all the way around the waistband. The button suits I have made in the past for David and Judah have required a lot of mommy help whenever they needed to go potty, which made them uncomfortable. So, I think that drawstrings are a good compromise since they are adjustable, can be tightened up around the childs waist to prevent the trousers from falling down and they allow the child to use the bathroom with privacy.

I based the cut of the trousers and the bodice/blouse/coat/jacket/whatever the heck you want to call it on a little button suit c. 1800 from a wonderful Danish website I can no longer find in my files. I downloaded their free pattern taken from the suit and used that as my guide for cutting. Here is the pattern I ended up with. I used Malachi to drape the pattern on and then refined the shape of the pieces using the Danish pattern as a guide (although they really required very little modification - Malachi must have a naturally good regency-era figure!) 

I am making the suit up in white linen which will be dyed after the sewing is complete. Underneath I have made a little white cotton square cut 18th c. style shirt which will be worn with the neck open, as was done in the period, with the collar falling open upon the neckline of the coat. I can't wait to see it all come together! I don't have much left to do before it is done, mainly buttonholes and buttons (still am undecided about what to use for buttons. The buttons shown in the pics here are just laid on for effect, and are 1860's-style. Not sure if they are right for regency era though!)
Stylin with his Thomas the Train jammies on underneath!

Malachi looks so old in this style. Where is my tiny fairy-child? My little sunny baby boy? Here he is all grown up now! I'm not sure how I feel about that.



  1. Here is a site that is in Russian but it does have two little boy's skeleton suits # 12 and #13
    These are the same patterns from the Danish website but I can't seem to find that same one again


  2. The skeleton suit looks so pretty ! The two I made for my little boy were with button, but he was still in diapers at that point.
    The danish site (Tidesn Toj) has been taken down months ago :(


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!