Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Historical Sew Monthly Challenge #3 ~ Protection

For this months challenge the little wool jacket I made for Judah seemed very fitting. I posted about his entire outfit a few weeks ago but here are a few more pictures and details about this simple yet practical garment.

Judah is at that awkward in-between age where he is not a little boy and not yet a young man. In the 1860's he could have still worn tunics or buttoned-together skeleton suits or he could have adopted the styles his father wore. It seems that the more wealthy a family was and the higher their social status, the longer into childhood a boy dressed in younger styles. Lower class families more typically would put their sons into adult styled clothing at earlier ages.

Although I have a general idea of what I want our family impression to be, we are still far from realizing the eventual goal. Still, I knew I wanted to avoid fancier styles and wanted Judah to have some practical clothes that could withstand frequent wear and use and could be dressed up or down as needed with different accessories.

In the mid 19th century a man or boy in shirtsleeves was not considered to be fully dressed. A waistcoat at least, and more often a jacket, too, would be worn over the shirt. In Judah's otherwise mini-adult outfit this jacket still has some features of childhood. This jacket is similar to the adult sack coat style but has a cut away front, rounded edges and closes just at the neck.

It was sewn up really quickly one rainy Saturday afternoon. Judah stood for a quick draping session and a few hours later we had the jacket. It is made of a single layer of light brown wool and is lined in cotton with white cotton lining in the sleeves. The collar is interlined with plain cotton canvas for shaping. I didn't have time to trim it fancily but instead worked some quick topstitching to firm up the edges and for visual appeal.

Judah found it to be very nice on the cool spring morning he wore it to church and again a few days later when he wore it to his first living history demonstration at an elementary school. The lightness of the coat makes it ideal for almost year-round use. Being made of wool, it repels water naturally and offers protection from the sun, from cold and from rain.

He looks cute in it, too!

What the Item is: 
A boys 1860's style jacket
The Challenge: Protection
Fabric/Materials: Wool, cotton for lining and pockets
Pattern: Draped, based on original pattern shapes
Year: 1860's
Notions: Thread, buttons
How Historically Accurate Is It? As best as I could make it. 
Hours to Complete: About 4-5
First Worn: A few weeks ago
Total Cost: All stash stuff, so basically free, but if buying new materials would have cost about $35

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