First, I should mention that I've made a few changes to my 1730's waistcoat pattern. Some months ago I sewed up a practice waistcoat in a cheap brocade and found that there was a bit of a fit problem. The front was too curved, and this made it gape too much in the front when I buttoned it up.
1730's waistcoats are typically worn with only a few buttons done up, just above the pocket flap. This waistcoat fits fine when I button it up higher and leave the lowest few buttonholes undone, but this won't work as well for the 1730's look. I also realized it was a bit short. It's quite long compared to the waistcoats I've made before, but still not quite long enough.
I hadn't really narrowed down what time frame I wanted this suit to represent when I made this waistcoat, but now I've settled on early 1730's.
|My practice waistcoat, and the improved pattern.|
You can see the extra bit taped on the hem, and the holes where the pocket corners were marked before.
I think I'll mock it up one more time, just to be sure. I plan to make the waistcoat for this suit out of a piece of very nice vintage silk brocade, which is something I can't get any more of, so I really don't want to mess it up.
|1736 Portrait of a member of the family Van der Mersch, Cornelis Troost.|
(Yes these patterns are copyrighted and I feel a bit bad about posting them, but the entire book is online as a pdf and it's the first google search result, so I don't think it makes much of a difference if I post it here too.)
(It's also a book that's out of print and pretty expensive...)
|The front. |
The marks for the pocket don't show up well in this photo, but they're level with the waist pleat thing.
|The sleeves, the extra strip that goes in the CB of the skirts, the cuff, and the pocket flap.|
|c. 1735, National Museum of Scotland|
Costume Close up only goes as early as 1750, and the only coat cuffs it has are ones of a much smaller style that are attached differently.
After looking closely at images of extant coats with enormous cuffs I decided the best method was to sew the two halves of the cuff together, interface them with buckram, and line them - completely finishing all the edges.
|c. 1720's, The Met. |
This is the underside of the cuff.
You can see the sleeve slit and where it overlaps with the cuff.
|Coat worn by Gustave III, 1766|
I know it's several decades later but it's a similarly big cuff, and appears to be attached in the same way.
Perhaps it's foolish of me to make a 30's coat with it when I could have made a narrower, later 18th c. coat and still had enough left for breeches, but oh well. I want a forest green coat with ridiculously huge cuffs, and I shall have one.
I sewed my cuff halves together by machine and stitched buckram in by hand. (I stiffened some black linen for the buckram because I have much more of it than I do brown linen)
It was a bit tricky to get the cuff to behave when it was stiffened and had a big curved seam down the middle, and I wondered if maybe the halves would have been lined individually first and whipstitched together, but looking at the coat photos it doesn't appear that they were.
|The buckram doesn't extend past the fold.|
|Cuff lining going on.|
Edit: Nope, I did end up unpicking the edge of the lining on all but the top edge of the pocket flaps, and part of the way around the cuffs.
Speaking of decorative buttonholes and buttons, there will be a lot of them. The plain brown & brocade suit I posted above has 27 buttons and holes down the front edge of the coat alone!
This one has 26, with 10 more on the cuffs, 26 fake buttonholes down the sides of the back vent, and 8 on the pocket flaps, plus two buttons at the tops of the side vents.
|c. 1720's, The Met.|
46 buttons and 70 buttonholes in all.
I'll see how the spacing works out on my coat, but I want to get the look right so I expect my numbers will be pretty similar.
(Edit: I actually ended up doing more than that. 47 buttons and 79 buttonholes.)
I'm definitely doing only one line for mine, because I do not want to stitch 70 fake buttonholes twice as long as necessary, but extant coats seem to have examples of both options. I looked at some earlier and later coats for this, because often the photos aren't high quality enough to see the buttonholes well.
In the brown & brocade one I think they're one row? It's grainy but to me they look too smooth to be 2 rows.
|c. 1735, National Museum of Scotland|
|Probably 1750's, from Whitaker Auction.|
|LACMA, c. 1755(The buttons are later replacements- the originals would most likely have been cloth covered.)|
I'm not sure why this coat has a little row of backstitches along the back seams like this. Were they sewn, pressed open, and then topstitched for extra reinforcement? Or did one piece have the seam allowance folded in and get backstitched onto the other one?
I can see that unlike later coats, where the CB vent has a little overlap, these ones meet edge to edge.
These earlier coats have more interfacing than the later ones, and thank goodness there's a diagram in The Cut of Men's Clothes to tell me what goes where! That's one of those things I can't figure out by looking at photos of displayed garments.
|A lot of heavy buckram and padding in there.|
(the horizontal lines indicate padding)
|I'll need to iron it a bit because it's been crunched up in a box.|
|Pamela Asks Sir Jacob Swinford’s Blessing (detail), Joseph Highmore, 1743.|
|Man's coat fragment, c. 1745, Manchester Gallery of Costume|
wooden button blanks, which may not be enough, but I've just ordered more