Saturday, June 26, 2010

Regency Gentlemen Outfits

Well, here they are.  I've completed the shirt, cravat, waistcoat and trousers for the two gentlemen who will be accompanying Laura and me to the Jane Austen Festival.  No, the two gentlemen aren't twins.  My husband is the model for both outfits, because Laura's husband is, alas, with her in Scotland.  These outfits are complete with the exception of the outer Frock Coats (which I am currently working on...pray to God I get them done before the festival!)


First outfit up for critique is my husband's ensemble.  You may remember the earlier post on what I wanted him to wear.  The frock coat will be a deep blue color.  Imagine that, if you can.
The drop-front trousers color is called British tan, and they are made of a soft, light-weight wool.  My husband remarked that they are very comfortable.  The waistcoat is an ivory silk taffeta.  Word of caution when working with taffeta...sewing machines like to eat silk....or at least mine had a hearty appetite for it.  The undershirt and cravat on both outfits are linen.



Laura's husband will be attired in a slightly heavier-weight wool, slate-green trousers, and a checked, raw-silk waistcoat.  I covered the buttons on this outfit with the trousers fabric, because the raw-silk was so loosely woven, it fell apart in my hands.  Let me just say that buttons are the bane of my existence, and there were way too many to be covered on these outfits!  I nearly jumped out the window from insanity trying to cover all of those little pieces of metal!

On both outfits, I used the Kannik's Korner Shirt pattern, and the Rocking Horse Farms Trousers and Waistcoat pattern.  Kannik's Korner was a dream to work with, and I would highly recommend it.  RHF, however was a nightmare.  I made a muslin of everything before I cut into the good fabric, and boy was I glad I did.  Their pattern pieces were entirely too large; I had to downsize about 3-4 inches in many places to get them to fit properly, as well as lengthening several inches through the crutch and waist.  Also, their instructions left a LOT of room for imagination...that's putting it nicely...they were incomprehensible in many spots.  I was lost more times than I can say.  Over-all, I wouldn't recommend their patterns to my worst enemy.

That being said, I am very pleased with my first attempt at tailoring.  It was much more challenging then dress-making...but I kind of liked the challenge. 

Wish me well on the Frock Coats!
(They use a Tailor's Guide pattern and are much easier to understand.)

12 comments:

Persuaded said...

Girl, you will be the envy of every female in the place... your husband looks just adorable! And if I may say so, your buttonholes look just wonderful. What method did you use for them?

Jenni said...

Method?? Umm, my machine made the buttonholes... :} It was the actual button covering part that led me to rip my hair out! Take a little round circle of fabric, do a loose running stitch around the edge, put the metal button in and pull the string snug, then knot and tie-off. The buttons were already made with shanks (I think that's what they are called?). Seems simple enough...but...not even in the slightest way was it easy.

Persuaded said...

Ahhh... I was just admiring how straight and even the stitches were, and was terribly impressed with your skilz;-) Actually even my machine-made buttonholes don't look as good as yours, lol.

Gail said...

Your buttons look great, judging by how many you had to cover: you had ALOT of practice.

spacious-soul said...

That is so neat!! :)

~ hannah

Josh V. said...

Wow, it's great to see someone blogging about men's Regency! All too often it seems we get left in the dust when it comes to costumes. Great job on those. I actually just finished making myself a pair of boots based on your specifications.

I do have a question...my siblings and I are very involved in ECD here in Oregon. Right now we're in the middle of trying to make the same waistcoat (RHF dbl. breasted) but can't make heads or tails of the instructions. (Seriously, what were they thinking?) At this point we're begging for help...any help. Would you consider doing a blog post and maybe clarifying the directions? It would be much appreciated!

-Josh and family.

Jenni said...

Josh - Thank you so much! Yes, that pattern was horrible....and that's putting it mildly! I remember making a lot of it up as I went along. When do you need the waistcoats? Soon? I would gladly do a tutorial...no problem....except I'm a teacher, and finding time right now to do it, would be difficult. However, I am planning on making my husband another waistcoat for the Jane Austen Festival in July. If you don't mind waiting, I can get one up in June after school is out. What do you say to this?

Josh V. said...

Oh wow, thanks Jenni. Unfortunately we need them by May 21'st, which is when our ball is. Oh well...we do know how crazy & busy things can get. :) We'll stay tuned for the post this summer...looking forward to sharin' it w/ friends.

Jenni said...

Josh- hhhmmm, well that's a bit of a let down...so sorry. Let me see what I can do. I might be able to get something posted, even if it's just a muslin mock-up, and not the real thing. I will try my hardest to have something up by May 8th. I don't want to let you down.

Josh V. said...

Even a mockup would be a huge help. :big grin: :-D Wow, thanks a million!

Vicky Van said...

Hi there, the shirt that goes with this ensemble is gorgeous. Do you have a post about its construction? Or perhaps can you direct me to a pattern?
Lovely work!

Jenni said...

It's made from a Kannik' Korner pattern. Thanks!