Sunday, 15 February 2015

Inverness Cape: part 4

Now that I have finished the cape of my Inverness, I'm moving on to the forepart. After testing the fit in my first post, I decided to slightly change the shape of the arm hole, this gave a little more freedom to my arm.

Here you can see how I changed the shape of the arm hole.

I constructed the button placket and the facing the same way as I did on the cape in the last post. Then I made the patch pockets and basted them in place. I also turned in the half inch seam allowance around the arm hole.

Patch pockets and basting.

Here's the turned in edge around the arm hole.

Then I top stitched around the arm hole and sewed on the pockets. I basted the two partial capes on to the back, then basted the foreparts to the cape and back at the shoulders and sides. I stitched all layers together. Next, I constructed the collar and attached it. Attaching the collar has been the trickiest part of making the Inverness so far.

All I need is buttons and button holes, then I'm done. Some time in the future I would like to add a lining and a binding around the edge.

Inverness Cape: part 3 - references

I have two main resources for construction techniques that I've been using. The first is a modern military Inverness cape that I borrowed. I am also using this great Inverness cape tutorial.

Below are some references with descriptions and accompanying images referring to Inverness capes. The first one, The Handbook of Practical Cutting, is the pattern that I used for my cape.

The Handbook of Practical Cutting by Louis Devere 1866 
One of the most convenient of all cloaks, and the one which is in most general use, is the Inverness Cape. It is a kind of cloak with large armhole, this armhole being covered by a cape, which is placed at the front part of the garment only. It's appearance is shown by fig. 6. This cape is most commodious and comfortable in wear, ether for travelling, or as a evening wrapper for evening parties, or theatres. It is so loose that it does not disarrange the costume worn underneath, and the large size of armhole, permits it to be put on and taken off with the greatest possible facility. The cape affords that protection to the chest, required in this climate by a gentleman who is wearing a full evening dress costume.

The Handbook of Practical Cutting by Louis Devere 1866

The West-End Gazette of Gentlemen's Fashion-January 1, 1867 
Our next design is an Inverness Cape. This garment, although it is not fashionable, is a permanent favorite as a kind of wrap or over garment for railway travelling. There is no garment which surpasses it for this and similar purposes, so that it will always be in use.

The West-End Gazette of Gentlemen's Fashion-January 1, 1867

The West-End Gazette of Gentlemen's Fashion-December, 1871
It is a garment which is very useful as a wrap and for travelling, as it can be worn over a dress suit, or over another great coat. It is also very useful for young gentlemen, as they do not soon grow out of it.

The West-End Gazette of Gentlemen's Fashion-January 1, 1867

Monday, 9 February 2015

Shirts & Men's Haberdashery

Today I just received a new book in the mail by the name of Shirts & Men's Haberdashery 1840s to 1920s by R.L. Shep & Gail Cariou. This book has a wealth of information on historical mens shirts and lots of great illustrations, patterns and old advertisements. I can see myself getting a lot of use out of this book.

Below are some photos of the book.

Shirts & Men's Haberdashery 1840s to 1920s

How to take shirt measurements. 

Collar and tie advertisement. 1891

Shirt advertisement. 1890

Deveres 1859 shirt pattern.

Norfolk shirt pattern. 1870

Shirt pattern advertisement. 1871

A few different illustrations of collars and cuffs, and how to cut them. 1899

Sunday, 8 February 2015

More walking sticks

In the last few weeks I've made two more walking sticks, as well as finished my first one.

To finish the first walking stick, I gave it a couple coats of shellac, waited for it to dry, then glued on the handle.

I made the second walking stick by turning a walnut shaft on the lathe like the first one. I then filed a twist/spiral in to the shaft. I decided to ebonize this walking stick. Ebonizing is a way to blacken wood using iron acetate. The iron acetate turns the wood black by reacting to the tannin in the wood. I gave it a couple coats of shellac. This gave me a nice glossy black. Then I added a silver cap to the top of the walking stick.

I've used a different approach to make the third walking stick. First, I cut out the the L-shaped handle and the shaft. I then drilled a hole in the top end of the shaft, and the bottom of the handle. I used epoxy to fix a threaded rod into the hole, connecting the handle and shaft together. After the epoxy set, I sanded the joint between the handle and shaft flush. I used a spoke shave and files to shape the walking stick. I then sanded it smooth. I still need to give it a coat of shellac.

All the walking sticks still need a brass ferrule fitted on to the end, but for now they're done.
I am so pleased with how these walking sticks turned out.