Ok, maybe not so ostentatious, but certainly very big plans!
The Regency has to be one of my favorite eras of dress. The simplicity, the lovely textiles, the wonderful age of literature and science and discovery. I have made a few Regency dresses for myself over the years, but my poor husband has been left in the lurch! He’s relatively new to historic costuming, so getting him slowly adjusted to the idea (read: making him watch Jane Austen movies with me) has him just as excited about this project as I am! He had done mid 19th century re-enacting in New York at the New Bethpage Village and loved it, so it wasn’t THAT much of a stretch to get him interested in other eras as well.
I am, however, overwhelmed. My tailoring skills are so-so- I can get by, probably know more than most, but am by no means “a tailor”. And these coats- they’re absolutely fabulously wonderful, but quite scary! Menswear scares me. But in my head I say “Hey, there’s few men who actually wear Regency costumes, so having a go is as good as not!”
We’re going in January to the Jane Austen Evening event, so this gives me a good stretch to get things together. We have already purchased his trousers last year (he said “no” to breeches), and I just finished making up his shirt of a lightweight white linen, so we have the vest and coat to make. He looks so darn cute already!
Now, a forewarning that his outfit will probably span about 30 years, but I’m totally cool with it. I’m using patterns in The Cut of Mens Clothes. I already drafted them up and made and fitted the first mock ups, and after a lot of tweaking I’m ready to make up the second mock up and see how this fits! The Great Pattern Review has a few pictures of clothes a gentleman made for himself from this book and they look pretty good!
Now, I’ve heard different methods of enlarging patterns but what I did was used the guide on the side of the illustration for measurements. I scanned the image into illustrator and drew a grid based on the lines. I’m sure there’s easier ways, but it worked for me. It needed LOTS of fiddling with after the first mock up, like I mentioned, so I’m glad I’ve got a bit of time!
His fabric is on it’s way from B Black and Sons. Yay! We got blue melton wool. Has anyone else used Melton wool, and if so, how did you like working with it? What was the weight like? It looks pretty darn good from the pictures and I thought the price was actually quite reasonable! I also got a heavy hymo from them since I want the collar to be nice and stiff, and waxed thread for padstitching. I bought our lining for the jacket and the vest backing from fabric.com, since they have that great deal of free shipping if you spend $35 or more, and I found a coupon online for 20% off on top of that! Yay!
Here’s just about my favorite look for Regency, and something similar to what we’re going for, I think, to get an idea of what this project is about.