More 1820s & 1830s prep

Not much sewing this week but lots of washing, pressing, measuring & cutting! It’s still all to get ready for the sewing day at work tomorrow… 10-12 volunteers coming and we need to keep those hands busy! The pantry aprons were easy to cut, I ended up doing two of those – and I found some great tape at Jo-Ann Fabrics. Its a folded hemp binding braid and once it’s pressed flat, it’s a great width.

Waistcoats were another story. I didn’t have any 1820s (or 1830s) patterns for men’s waistcoats so I had to come up with something based on some of my 18th century patterns altered to be shorter and have lower neckline. I’m using up some wool from my stash… and was able to find a great blue, grey & brown stripe that looks perfect for a waistcoat. I also drafted a self-lined shawl collar – and with the stripes… I must say, it looks pretty snazzy! I didn’t go hunting for buttons yet, but I’m tempted to do covered buttons to match. Covered pennies should be just the right scale! I am supposed to be cutting a second waistcoat but since I completely forgot to get a full set of measurements for the gentleman who will be wearing it… oops – guess I’ll work on that when I see him tomorrow.

Men’s shirts are deadly dull… but yep, I had to cut one of those as well. I love this chart from The Workwoman’s Guide:

shirt chart

One of these days I’ll re-calculate the entire thing to yards & inches but for now I just do the measurements as I need them. The shirt I cut is the Large, all the way to the right but 2″ are added to the collar which was originally 18″. Our guys just do not enjoy snug necklines! I also skip the shoulder straps and frills since these shirts just don’t see enough hard wear to warrant the extra work.

For the sewing-bee tomorrow, most of these pieces will be sewn by machine but I’m hoping I can convince everyone to do as much hand finishing as possible… hemming, buttonholes, etc. We’ll see where that gets us!


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