Friday, July 1, 2016

An 1860's Shawl Collar Waistcoat for Judah

This waistcoat is made from one of the great, deeply discounted fabrics that I bought at Hancocks a month or so ago during their closing sale. I wasn't sure what I would use it for when I bought it but I knew I had to get it! When Judah needed an alternative to his wool coat for use this summer the fabric finally spoke to me so a waistcoat it became. (I still have tons of it left. But I'll find uses for it.)

This is made exactly like a mans vest of the 1860 period and turned out to be quite a bit more work than I had thought. It's been awhile since I made a civilian style vest. 

There are the 3 standard pockets on the front, of course, and the muslin pocket bags. Then the lining, the back and the interlining for the fronts. The collar is interlined and the under collar is the same fabric as the backing. 

All that wasn't so bad but I also had to put in facings, and I hate facings. I've hated them since that first awful dress I made as a pre-teen that had terrible, stiff, pinked-edged, heavily interfaced with terrible fusible interfacing, facings. I used to make lots of civilian vests back in the day before marriage and babies and I developed a dread of making vests that I never quite got over. 

This one came out pretty nice, though, despite my misgivings. Judah loves it, it fits him nicely and he looks good! (in my opinion) ;)

He bought a modern pocket watch he was anxiously waiting to try out in the new pockets of his vest. It's not period correct but it gives a nice effect. He spent a good hour googling cdv images of 1860's guys with pocket watches so he could get an idea of how to wear his chain. So proud of him! This kid loves research!

He says the trousers are comfortable and cool. Though the vest is 100% cotton in all layers it is not much lighter than his wool coat, but at least it has no sleeves. 
I told him to smile, but he said he wouldn't because "most people
didn't smile in pictures back then, Mommy." ;)
He'll have a chance to try out his new duds next week - forecast is for 90 degree weather so he's happy to have something to wear besides heavy wool!


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