Sunday, 11 December 2016

Pink Silk Breeches

Wow, it's been a while since I posted anything here! (I have been doing stuff! I've got 2 more un-blogged garments besides this one, which I will post soonish. Mostly I've been doing surface design stuff for school though.)
2 years ago I made 4 pairs of breeches for my line in the school fashion show, but due to time constraints, they weren't anywhere near accurate. This is my first pair of proper breeches.

My pattern is based off of a couple of 1770's-60's pairs from The Cut Of Men's Clothes.
I made them in a pale pink silk, because why not? I don't much like wearing pastels, but I still want to have a pastel 18th century suit. Just because. And since I didn't know how my first pair of breeches would turn out, I thought it better to make them in a colour I won't wear often.
(Pink is also a perfectly accurate colour for breeches.)
The fabric is very thin by itself, and I had to put white fusible interfacing on every piece to give it the correct weight. It's lined in white cotton. Most of the seams are machine sewn, with hand finishing where necessary.
Sewing the plackets for the fall front.
The corner pockets came together easier than I expected, though lining up all the pieces was rather fussy.
I recently learned that welt pockets are easier to sew if you sew the bag on after turning them to the inside. Why do all the sewing books say to sew the welt and the bag on in one step? I shan't ever do it that way again!
The waistband is interfaced in very heavy canvas, which I added after the welt pockets were done. (I think the canvas was from a boating supply store or something?)
There are rectangular holes to allow the pockets to sit behind the canvas.
I hand basted the canvas in place, then pulled the basting out once the waistband was sewn.
Lacing eyelets being added to the centre back to make the waistband adjustable.
This is the first time I've successfully made eyelets by poking the holes with an awl, and I'm quite pleased with them! They're small, but sturdy.

You can see where I had to piece the top of the back pieces.
My silk yardage was very narrow.

Pocket buttonhole.
I put mother of pearl buttons on the waistband and fall corners, and covered buttons on the pockets and knees.

Last time I made covered buttons I only wrapped fabric around them and stitched the scrunched fabric edges down, but I've since learned that anchoring the button itself by a thread is a good idea. I probably put far too many threads on, but they're sturdy.

Most of the pictures of me wearing these were taken by my little sister, and the lighting and perspective was sufficiently terrible for me to crop my face out of almost all of them.
I think they fit pretty well, since breeches in fashion plates and museum collections appear to have the same distribution of weird wrinkles.

This picture is one I took before I finished putting the buttons on, but I think it shows off the shoes and stocking the best.
I love my new shoes!!
They are the first pair of fancy expensive shoes I've had in my life!
I assumed they wouldn't go with anything else I had, but they look surprisingly nice with my grey waistcoat.
Breeches are very weird and complicated, but I think I have a much better understanding of how they work now. I doubt I'll ever make a completely handsewn pair, because they have a lot of seams, and most of them aren't even visible when they're being worn.

I do wish I had gotten better pictures of them. I've got a lot of posts with inadequate pictures, so perhaps I ought to try getting someone to nicely photograph things sometime.
Next post will be my Halloween costume!


  1. Nice work Vince. It all looks very complicated to me. I like the idea of anchoring the buttons with thread before covering.

  2. I love how historically acurate your works are! The pants fit like the ones in the old pictures. And my, you have sexy calves! ;)

    1. My fabrics weren't particularly accurate with this one, but I think I got the pattern pretty good! The weird wrinkles seem to be inevitable with fabrics that have no stretch.

      Hahaha, thank you, I suppose that makes me well suited to the 18th century! My calves are certainly much better looking this year than they were last.