Sunday, February 26, 2017

Civil War Wear for 8 Year Old Boy

I've been pushing myself to get the kids clothes ready for the reenacting season sooner rather than later. Last year we managed to get by but we were pretty bare-bones with our impressions. A benefit to having so many children is that garments can be passed down. This year no one needs all new everything, so it will be nice to have more time to work on accessories and to put more time into creating a few good, useful things that will round out the look. It's been really fun so far! I hope this weird burst of productiveness lasts!

So this month I wanted to focus on getting Malachi in proper attire. After a try-on of last years clothing I figured that he could use Judah's waistcoat and jacket from last year with a new base outfit made in his size. He is 8 now, and in a modern size 8/10.

In the period he could still wear styles geared towards younger boys but he has been wanting real menswear for a while now. So this year was it. I was actually pretty sad as I sewed up his new things! My last little boy from what I think of as my "original set" ;) I'm so, so glad that I have my Benjamin and will have a little boy to dress for events for a while, yet!

I sewed him up a new shirt, trousers, braces, cravat and cap. His cap from last year would have worked just fine but he specifically requested a grey hat. This one is made from an old wool suit jacket that would have otherwise been donated. It made a fantastic little cap! The inside is lined with white cotton and the band is lined with silk.

He had trouble with his necktie last year. He plays very hard and is extremely active so it kept coming loose. This year I made him a pre formed tie with a narrow band that hooks closed behind the bow.

I had material left over from making the waistcoat last year so that is what we used for the trousers. I tried a full lining with these. I don't usually line trousers but this material is fairly light and, like I said, this kid is active. Lining will (I hope) extend the life of the trousers and it adds some body so that the legs hang nicely. The braces are "poor boy" suspenders made of cotton twill.

The shirt was drafted based on measurements from one of his modern button ups and drawn using the Laughing Moon Men's Victorian Shirt pattern as a guide for shapes. It came out quite cute! I used a nice quality red and white dotted cotton and china buttons. Next time I will make the collar and band just a bit narrower and drop the shoulders a little more. Otherwise I'm really happy with how it came out!

His shoes are pull on black leather riding boots with elastic gussets from eBay. Not 100% period correct but they give a good look and are sturdy shoes that will wear well. Not bad for less than $20!

He will be wearing this to a school demonstration in a few weeks. It's a great feeling to have him all ready to go well in advance. I'm proud of my little guy! He's grown so much. It's been fun seeing him grow up in the hobby!


  1. oh my - they do grow fast dont they!!? our grandson is nine and just getting into the cw thing.. have been trying to figure out an appropriate outfit and seeing this is a Great help. do you have any suggestions on patterns? thank you

  2. Hi! At 9, he could be wearing younger boy styles or going into the menswear styles like Malachi is wearing here. For a little boy style, I recommend the 4 piece suit pattern by Kay G at If your boy is in between little boy and teenage sizes, and you want to go with mens styles, I'd recommend just getting an adult pattern for a shirt, trousers and coat and cutting the smallest size, making a mock up, and any adjustments, then using that for your final pattern. The nice thing abotu adult patterns is that you will be able to use them as he gets older. For my boys I use Laughing Moon victorian shirt pattern and the Past Patterns summer trousers.

  3. I love weird bursts of productiveness and your burst has been quite fruitful! Everything Malachi has on looks great! And the pre-tied tie is genius! Young men sure do know how to play hard! I really like the fabric you chose for his shirt and yay for a new cap! What fun!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!