Tuesday, March 27, 2018

1860's Clothes for the Big Boys

Oh my goodness, it is already Easter week and it's already Tuesday! And the week after Easter is our first 1860's event. I have been sewing for the kids like crazy in every spare bit of time. Of course, it's frustrating when you don't really have a lot of spare time. And now we are a few weeks into baseball season and the little bit of spare time I used to have has vanished. So I gotta stay up late and get up early to get any sewing time in.
Spring has come so slowly and quietly this year. Winter is loathe to leave.
It is a beautiful transitional season.
The boys are mostly outfitted enough to get by til hot weather and this week I wanted to work on getting the girls kits rounded out. But I had counted on Judah being able to wear last years trousers and, well, it's not going to work. So a pair of half finished new trousers are in progress on the sewing table and I'm trying to convince myself that yes, I can make all the things the little girls will need in the few days after Easter. (honestly, they don't need much. . .new stays for Anne and possibly a new long sleeved dress and new chemise/drawers and possibly a itty bitty hoop for Rose as she will soon be 3. But a hoop isn't necessary at all and I can push that project off for later this spring if I have to.)

Anyway, this post is about the clothes we've made for the oldest two boys. They are definitely not little anymore. While it's sad to see how fast they grow and to look back on photos from only a few years ago when they were tiny, it's exciting to see them develop new interests in the reenacting community and to be able to really get into researching and developing their impressions! I really have enjoyed sewing for them lately and look forward to seeing what they do in their reenacting roles this year.
David and Judah almost 9 years ago! Oh how fast time goes. . .
For David, who is now 11, we decided together on a linen suit. If he isn't comfortable, he isn't happy. He is very sensitive to how his clothes feel and this area of his impression can make or break his event experience. Therefore, it is extremely important to make sure he is 100% involved in every part of his outfit! It was a lot of fun working on this with him.

Linen was what he decided upon as it isn't scratchy like wool (even wool suitings bother him!), it isn't coarse and stiff like heavier cottons and he likes how it's drapey. I found a great deal on some plaid linen on eBay and ordered several yards to make him new trousers and a coat. We made both unlined, for comfort. While he doesn't mind being a little too cool he surely does mind being too warm.
These trousers were not terribly fun to sew. Uneven plaid + wobbly fabric
= difficulty matching everything up decently!
The trousers are from Past Patterns Light Summer Trouser and made a size bigger than what he currently wears. He likes his clothes to be baggy. Plus, they will fit longer this way! The coat is one we draped. He doesn't like having to do up fasteners but agreed to have a few buttons on his coat. Easy to put on or take off. The necktie is sewn into shape and attached to a thin elastic cord that hooks in the front so he can take it off easily if he needs to.

And to finish it off, we made a new wool hat lined in soft cotton sateen (not done in time for these pictures though) and I found a soft red wool/silk blend shawl at a local antique mall that he can use as an extra layer when its cooler out. Shawls were a very common accessory for men and women alike in the 1860's!

The most recent things I've finished have been for Judah, who is now 10. I was thrilled to score a few yards of red wool flannel on Etsy and made some of it up into a warm overshirt for him. The shirt is square cut, like Malachi's, and has 2 pockets based on original images. It closes with white china buttons.

He got a new necktie upcycled from a favorite button-down shirt he wore when he was little and will have the in-progress new trousers as soon as I'm done sewing them. I also made him a knitted wool cap for both warmth and to try out the proper way to knit and purl! The finished hat is a little loose and rumply looking but my tension will improve with practice (I hope!) and Judah likes it just fine as it is.

I wish I had more time for all the sewing project ideas I have for them, but, alas, I do not! Have a happy Easter!


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