Breeches, part 1

As you know from my last post, I decided to make my breeches out of black silk. This is not a detailed tutorial, but a summary of my process.

First, I found a pattern in Norah Waugh´s The cut of gentlemen´s clothes 1600-1900. Buy the book or go to the library. There are many commercial patterns available online, but I wanted to give this a chance. It has side seams and one seam centre front to centre back. No inner leg seam. The back section is cut on the bias, which gives it some elasticity. I took my measurements and made a rough sketch on paper. I used this as a guideline when cutting the two pieces for the toile. I basted the toile, and tried it on. (3) I want rather tight fitting breeches, not baggy ones, so I needed to take in the side seams. Needed also to add some extra centimetres to the top of the front. (The pinned section on image 4). Take care with the side seams, they are supposed to be vertical. The toile is my final pattern. I took it apart, and used it when cutting the black silk. (4) Started to sew the pieces together on our machine, but the needle turned out to be too thick, so I finished the seams by hand. Took longer time, but hey – it´s more period.

I took some time to make a welt pocket in the waistband. (5, 6, 7) There is an excellent tutorial here. Not so difficult as it seems, and so worth the effort, in order to be able to carry a fob watch. Gathered the back piece before attaching it to the waistband. The waistband is lined with linen (green, only because that´s what I found in our stash) and cut in two pieces in the back to make it adjustable. Then fiddled around with the buttons, to determine the size on the fall front. (8, 10) Ended up with about 17 x 17 cm (7×7″). Then I cut the fall front. (9) The silk is really difficult to photograph. It´s much nicer irl!

Next: Lining the fall front, sewing buttons, button holes, finishing the knees.

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