Friday, 22 November 2013

Neck Stock

It's late, but I made something for challenge # 23.
A few weeks ago I came across this post on Victorian Tailoring. I thought the neck stock looked interesting, so I decided to make one. Two Nerdy History Girls also has a nice article that talks about stocks.
Stock, last quarter of 18th century, (source)
Because I don't have a suitable buckle, mine closes with 3 buttons. I made Dorset buttons using this tutorial.
1/2" plastic rings and embroidery floss for making buttons. I split the embroidery floss in half  because the  rings were so small.
I love Dorset buttons! They're so easy to make, and so neat looking. I made two extra buttons because they were so much fun. They will probably go on a shirt or something.
2 white buttons and 3 off white ones. The off white ones are for the stock.
The linen tabs are 6 cm on the narrow end and 7 cm on the wider end. I stitched them with a backstitch.
Only one of these tabs is in the finished stock, the other was replaced with a longer one.
I cut a rectangle of cotton 28 cm by 32 cm. I tried to finish the longer edges with a rolled hem, but they didn't turn out very roll-y looking. I turned the hemmed edges in about 1 cm before gathering the ends so that they wouldn't show.
The end of the rectangle being gathered. You can sort of see the disappointing hem.
I backstitched the gathers onto the tab and tucked all the ends in, like a shirt cuff. After sewing the first one of these on I measured and discovered that the second would need to be replaced or there would not be sufficient overlap. I cut another tab about 2 cm longer.
The tab sewn on on the other side, pinned on this side.
I stab stitched along the edge of the tab, through all the layers, so it would be very firmly attached.
I went around the other 3 sides with more stab stitching. I put 3 buttonholes on the short tab and 3 buttons on the long tab.
The long tab. 

The finished stock.
Since my 18th century test pattern shirt isn't finished, here it is over the turned up collar of a modern dress shirt.
It doesn't sit properly on this collar.
The stock is not quite so full as the mfa example above, or this one from Christies, but it looks okay. It would probably have nicer folds if I had used finer fabric. The buttons are rather awkward to close, so I'm glad I didn't use any of my precious gauzy fabric on this.
The back.
Update: I am wearing it upside down in these pictures, how did I not notice that? I guess it could go either way. I suppose I could have put the buttons in a straight line. Actually, now that I think about it, hooks and eyes would have been much better.

Since the fabric I used was given to me, I'm submitting this for challenge # 23, Generosity & Gratitude. Both the linen I used for the tabs and the cotton used for the main piece was given to me by Paula Keppie, an artist (you can see some of her stuff here if you scroll down) who recently moved out of town. She gave me a HUGE amount of fabric. So significantly huge was the amount, that I took pictures of it before putting it away.
Linen on the left, cotton in the middle, silk on the right.
Silk on the far left, the small heap after that is synthetic. The nicely folded pile after that is linen, and the rest is cotton. 

This is at least a quarter of my entire stash. Thank you for the gigantic heap of fabric Paula!
I also have Victorian Tailoring and Two Nerdy History Girls to thank for their posts on stocks, and Diane Gilleland for her button tutorial. The thread and embroidery floss both came from my Grandmothers stash, so the only thing I bought for this project was the plastic rings.

The Challenge: # 23, Generosity & Gratitude
Fabric: Plain white cotton and unbleached linen, very small amounts of each.
Pattern: None
Year: 1770's to 1810's I think.
Notions: Three 1/2 " white plastic rings, off white cotton embroidery floss, white cotton thread.
How historically accurate is it? Not great. The closure is inaccurate, as are most of the materials. The look is pretty close though, and the construction isn't too bad.
Hours to complete: Unknown. I forgot to write down the time when I started because I was so excited about making Dorset buttons.
First worn: Yesterday
Total cost: Approximately 1.19 cents, for the plastic rings.
I've been a little worried about the quality of my blog posts lately, there seems to be a lot of boringness. Next post will almost certainly be about a pair of colourful 18th century mitts.


  1. The buttons are really neat! And tidy too!
    And on a "want to make fun of historically inaccurate costumes and generally pull your hair out at other peoples ….um….silliness" I found this

    Oh the silliness abounds.

    1. I hadn't seen that one before, but there are plenty of awful costumes out there.
      Have you seen this site?

      Also, some of the buttons are actually slightly off centre. It's not too bad though.