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Challenge garment peers from jacket. Calm thyselves, fellow authenticity hounds. New buttons for jacket are on order.

(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

Fabric: Body: ¾ yard remnant from Wm Booth Draper WWB816 Broadcloth, light brown. Lining: Left over heavy-weight linen. Might also have come from Booth, I forget.

Pattern: Kannik’s Korner Man’s Waistcoats, 1790-1815

Year: Call it 1799. That’s the year where it will be worn.

Notions: 9 brass buttons from Wm Booth Draper

What monkey did those buttonholes?

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.

Best welt I ever made–aside from butting heads with a colleague once.

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.