(Actually, the jacket was bloody where I jabbed myself with the needle inserting the sleeve, but that’s fun for another day. And how you know your historical sewing project is complete. I bled for this, man.)
The Challenge: #0, Starting Simple
Year: Call it 1799. That’s the year where it will be worn.
Notions: 9 brass buttons from Wm Booth Draper
How historically accurate is it? Well…the pattern has good documentation and the fabric is within reason for the period. The waistcoat is entirely hand-sewn, but the button holes were apparently accomplished by drunken crack-headed monkeys, which is what you get for trying to finish a garment on New Year’s Eve. I was neither drunk, nor on crack, and have no helper monkeys, but all the same…thank god for jackets to hide the sins of my buttonholes.
Hours to complete: Don’t ask. It’s a soul-robbing number. The buttons and buttonholes alone took 1 full and two half Abbot & Costello movies, and two “Monarchy” episodes. Probably 25 hours total (I started in November, but stopped sewing after December 2). Total time may include naps taken when I fell asleep while sewing.
First worn: To be worn by the new owner (Mr S) January 19, at the Winter Frolic.
Total cost: Blood, sweat, tears… sorry, wrong war. Buttonholes bring that out in me.
- Fabric: $13.50
- Lining: Leftover, hence not factored in.
- Buttons: Used 9, but bought 10 because I’m not as simple as I look, so $12.50
- Pattern: Also from Wm Booth, $16.
That puts the cash outlay at $26 for materials, and $16 for pattern, which I will use again starting yesterday. Yes, sports fans, another bloody waistcoat to sew. Lucky for me, it’s red, so the blood won’t show. Checking the HSF schedule, I can see that the only 1813 garment I can make is another waistcoat (1790-1815, remember?) for the Young Mr, who needs a full set of clothes made by January 19. Waistcoat underway, pattern pieces assembled and two more pieces of broadcloth remnant order for a jacket, leaving trousers to wrestle with. At least I have fabric.