Monday, 23 December 2013

Getting started on my 1858 outfit

I'm making an outfit for my volunteering at Fort Langley, a Hudson's Bay Company fur trade post in British Columbia. I'm documenting it here as part of my independent study course.

The outfit I'm making would be worn by a clerk or a gentleman of the Company. It would have been someone who would have nicer clothes than an average fur trader. I chose this type of outfit because I can wear my favourite hat: a beaver top hat.

The pieces for the outfit
For the shirt I'm going to use a pattern from The Cutter's Practical Guide to Cutting Shirts, Undergarments, Collars, Cuffs, Aprons, and Specialty Clothing for Various Occupations by W. D. F. Vincent, 1890. I don't think there's too much difference between shirts from the 1850s and shirts for the 1890s except in the collars and cuff.

I think peg top pants were the most popular style of trousers in the 1850s. As far as I can find in my research, this style has a smaller bottom of about 16 inches at the ankle, instead of 17 or 18 inches.

A single breasted shawl collar waistcoat with five to six buttons.

I haven't decided whether I'm making myself a coat because it's such a big project. I'm already making one for a friend, and I'm not sure how much I can get done in the next few months. If I do make one for myself, it will be a frock coat.

Top Hat
I might make a top hat if I can get the materials. I will be making some of the tools to make a top hat in my woodworking class. If I don't get a top hat made this year, I have a vintage beaver top hat that I can wear.

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