Man's Ensemble, c. 1810s

Man's ensemble consisting of shirt of white cotton, waistcoat of silk backed and lined with linen, pants of cotton, coat of wool, cravat (will be fine linen or cotton), and top hat of silk lined and interlined with cotton. All pieces entirely sewn by hand.
Regency Menswear
Dress Diary
Earlier this year, I cut out a man's shirt from Kannik's Korner #4102, and have been working on that here and there between other projects. . . But recently, I decided I felt like a millinery project, so, here is the start of a top hat!

First, I did a mock up to check the fit. Some paper shopping bags came in handy for that!
Top hat mock up in paper bags
Having confirmed I had a good fit, I went straight on to cutting out the buckram, and since my buckram was rather thin, doubling it up for the brim, and basting the two layers together. I found these "Wonder Clips" from Clover very handy for holding the layers together!
Buckram and Clover Wonder Clips
I've been thinking a bit more about the details and time period to shoot for with this ensemble, and I'm calling it "1810s" for now. These two fashion plates (both from 1813) give a good idea of the feel I'm aiming for:
Costume Parisien, 1813   Costume Parisien, 1813
As you see, I'm definitely going the route of long pants. (I just think it's a bad plan to try to introduce my husband to the idea of historic costumes by way of breeches and stockings!) The fabric I have set aside for this is a caramel colored cotton. Probably not the most frequent fabric choice for pants of this era, but the color is good, as I've seen it in multiple paintings and at least one surviving pair of pants from this era.

As for the waistcoats, I have something ridiculous like five silk fabrics hoarded away with the intention of becoming waistcoats! Among these are a waffle-like pattern and a blue stripe that are similar to those in the plates (which is a good part of the reason I chose them to be representative of what I'm aiming for!) The great thing about waistcoats is that they don't take up a ton of fabric, and can completely alter the look of an ensemble that is otherwise using the same garments. My only problem is in choosing which fabric to use first!

So that just leaves the coat, and this one will be a bit of an under-taking, I'm sure! I've done some tailoring before, and even did a coat for Glenn before (though not vintage. . . Well, I guess "Cobra Commander" is a bit vintage, seeing as how he's a 1980s thing!) so I can draw on my experience from those projects. I'm not sure if I'm going to go with the Country Wives pattern or with one of the Laughing Moon patterns instead, or perhaps I'll be pulling bits and pieces from here and there amongst multiple books and patterns to get the right look. . . We'll see! I've got my heart set on having a blue coat, but the only blue wool fabrics I can find are either a totally wrong weave, or much darker a shade than I wanted. I do have one option in my stash, but I am not completely in love with it, so may yet do some shopping around. . .
This page © 2013 by Jennifer E. Lithgow