Wednesday, March 15, 2017

1860's Boys Summer Sack Suit

I pushed through and got Judah's clothes finished this past weekend. He doesn't have a vest yet, but for now this will do, and I can make him a vest before the next event in late April.

I didn't really know what this outfit would be when I started it. I made his shirt first and then the trousers. I made suspenders out of ticking. I then thought that I might make a paletot for him since I have the fabulous Past Patterns paletot pattern. I spent a while sizing it down to a 32" chest and shortening it through the torso to his 9-year old proportions but after all that work I found that I didn't have enough fabric left to make the durn thing.

So, we went back to the sack. It's really for the best, after all! Sack coats were just SO common in the 1860's and they don't take much fabric. Most of the pictures of older boys that I have seen do show them in some type of sack coat.

We draped this one and for the sake of coolness I made it up unlined. It is a single layer of the same tan and white stripe cotton that I used for the trousers. Theres a narrow facing at the front opening and the edges are bound with brown twill tape, laboriously stitched on by hand. But it was worth it. I like how it looks. Four buttons and done!

He is the right height now to use an antique curved handled walking stick we have had for a while. At first he wasn't sure about this new accessory, but delight kindled in his eyes when he realized he could use it in a masterly sort of fashion, herding his small siblings along and waving it at his brothers. So yeah. Maybe we won't be bringing it with us to events.

One of his complaints last summer was that his clothes were just really hot to wear. Now, that is normal to some extent but I kept that in mind while making these and chose the lightest fabrics I could. I hope that this will be more comfortable for him through the warm months. If we go to many fall events I will make him a warmer coat or a woolen overshirt.

BUT FOR NOW. . .he is ready to take on the world of the early 1860's. Now I'm rushing to get my own dress and things in order. Then, a break for a while. The babies still fit into their new dresses from last summer and I made little David a new pair of overalls. He needs a matching trouser/coat set like Judah but I will have a month to get those ready for him after this demonstration is over.


  1. What a handsome young man, and I LOVE his ensemble. I wish we had even one boy in our area who looked this awesome. I think a waistcoat would be great, but he looks amazing as he is. All I ever see at events are wearing black pants, an over-sized white shirt and a straw hat. Toss in braces and it's a red letter day in our neck of the woods. You're awesome.

    1. Thanks! He's quite a cute kid, but yes, I'm biased. :)


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