Sunday, 30 November 2014

Inverness Cape: part 1

in the last week i've finally got around to starting my inverness cape a project i've been planing for servile months. I drafted my inverness using Shep's reprint  of (The Handbook Of Practical cutting 1866 by Louis Devere)  Since Devere's inverness cape isn't very form fitting, its very easy to draft.

This fashion plate was my inspiration for this project.

Devere's inverness cape draft.

the three photos below show the inverness after i basted it together. 
everything seems wright so i will proceed by deconstructing the baste and starting the construction of the plackets and pockets. Im using blue wool melton as the fabric for my inverness.

Saturday, 14 June 2014


To make my waistcoat, I used a block pattern I made for my last waistcoat. There was just enough leftover plaid fabric from the trousers I'm making, to use for the waistcoat. For the actual constructon methods I referred to the books,  "The Art of Garment Making" and "The Victorian Tailor." I learned a lot from these two books. Actually, I'm still learning from them.

The entire waistcoat is hand sewn.

Here are the waistcoat foreparts with the pockets basted in:

The finished pockets:

The finished pockets from the other side:

Monday, 9 June 2014


This week when I went to get fabric for trousers, I also got enough fabric for a couple of ties.

I already had the black and the blue ties shown in the photo below. I copied the dimensions of the blue tie in the purple fabric. I copied the black tie in the green fabric.

When I finished both ties, I still had enough green to make another one the same length as the black tie. For this one, I made it a little wider and with pointed ends.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

1850s trousers

I settled on drafting my own pattern using the standard trouser draft from the book Men's Garments 1830-1900. I made a muslin and it seems to fit nicely.

I traced my pattern on to my fabric and transfered all markings using tailor's chalk. The fabric is black Italian wool flannel.

The objects on the fabric are metal weights used for holding the pattern down when it was traced.

                                               This shows the fork (crotch) reinforcement

Here's my cross stitching 

                                                     More cros stitching on the hip stay 

Here's the buttonhole fly before I marked were the holes would go.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Shirt part 3

Here's the shirt as of last week. 
Since then I've added the collar band.

Below you can see the pleated front. I still have chalk marks on it from trying to get it lined up.
Other than the pleats and side seams, the shirt is completely hand sewn.

Here's the sleeve placket before I folded it over and finished sewing it.

The finished placket.

Close up of the sleeve placket.
Here's one of the gussets. I found sewing the gussets a little difficult.

side seam
All i have left to do are the buttons, button holes, and a detachable collar.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Shirt Part 2

I found this image of a shirt from 1840-1849 online. I think the shape of this original is pretty close to the shape of the draft I'm using.

Shirt 1840-1849 (Australian Dress Register)

I found drafting the shirt pattern fairly easy and straight forward, though I did get a bit confused once or twice. I still need to draft the pleats for the front. Other than that, I'm done drafting. 

So far I've learned a lot about shirt drafting in the past month. I can't wait until I can start sewing the shirt.

Front and back drafts

Collar, cuff, and sleeve drafts

For fabric, I'm using some cotton that looked and felt like some of the shirts at Fort Langley. The white is for the pleated shirt I'm making. The white and blue stripe is for another shirt I'm making, so that I'll have more than one period shirt.

 Below are some tools I made to help in the making of garments. The first two I made in the wood shop at my school.

To make the knee board, I used the diagram in the back of the book, The Victorian Tailor.

Knee board

Point presser for pressing seams and turning out corners on collars and cuffs.

Tailors ham used for pressing curved areas of clothing