Category Archives: regency tailcoat

Starting a New Regency Tailcoat

I’m back from Costume College (photos to follow soon) and I’m really excited about my new sewing project.  I have decided to make my husband a new Regency era tailcoat.

Pictured below is the previous tailcoat.  You can read all blog entries on that here.

At Costume College last year I bought the Laughing Moon Men’s Regency Tailcoat pattern #121.  The coat is a little late Regency, but I love that she said she took it from an original period garment.

P121-2TI made the mock up tonight and we tried it on.  My husband has more squared shoulders than the original and we had some other alterations to make, but the thing we noticed after the initial fit concerns was the strange roll line.  The roll line really popped up, and stood away from the neck.  It’s so against modern “classic” tailoring rules, and I started to make a new neckline, but my friend Ginger pulled out some books and we started seeing that my engrained view of collar roll lines was incorrect in this period.

For example:


Look how far Mr Brummel’s coat stands away from his neck, and how high it pops up at the roll line.

And looking at period paintings and fashion plates, and comparing them with modern period movies, we see the same.  The modern movies make the roll line where we’re accustomed to seeing it, while the original period sources make the collar stand up and out from the neck.

collarresearch2 collarresearch1

So, while this post doesn’t show any actual progress, I thought I’d share this little revelation.  It makes my mind kind of turn inside out and I’m really trying not to look at it from our modern comprehension of fit, but the period one.  I have to keep batting my hands down from drawing or pinning alterations, because the way it is in the Laughing Moon pattern is actually the way the collar is supposed to fit in the period.

So, for those of you who are also interested in Regency era menswear, I thought this might be useful information for you on fit.

Have you made any Regency era menswear?  If so, share your info with me.



A Regency Outing to the Tall Ships

The day following the Jane Austen Evening dance, a few friends, my husband, and I head down to visit the San Diego Maritime Museum in Regency costume.  We thought we might as well extend our dress up fun another day!  Here’s a few of my favorite shots:

I made my husband’s outfit (with exception of the trousers, which were bought from Jas. Townsend) several years ago to wear to the Jane Austen Evening dance, and more photos of it can be found here.  I made the dotted swiss dress (more info here) to wear to Costume College several years ago, at the same time as the hat (more info here), and made the spencer jacket to wear to another outing to the Maritime Museum (more photos here).

After the outing we had to say goodbye to friends and the Regency weekend was over, but my husband and I changed and then went out for a nice Sunday Roast at the Princess Pub in San Diego.  Mmm… yummy food and a big pot of tea was a nice way to end a lovely weekend.

>A Jane Austen Evening

>This weekend we went to the fabulous Jane Austen evening event in Pasadena.  It’s so funny- you daydream and plan and sew and create and look forward, and then all of a sudden it’s here and gone faster than you can imagine!  This dance was a joy.  It was lovely getting to see friends I hadn’t seen in quite a while, and finally meeting a friend I have had on the internet for years but we always kept passing like two ships in the night when events came up.  My husband, of course, looked very handsome and only partly because of his wardrobe ;)  And I felt like a fashionable lady in my “feather head” turban (I had the excuse for my spaciness) and gown that I finished in plenty of time!


And today, back to the modern world.  Computers, shipping, playing ring around the rosy with cars, and unfortunately taking one of my best girlfriends to the airport this morning means the weekend on historic dress is over!

>More Progress on the Regency Tailcoat

>Two steps forward, one step back- but at least I finally have the sleeves set! I did add a little padding to the sleeve cap to give it volume, but after seeing it on the form I think I’ll take it out.  I’m pretty happy with it, even though it’s being a complete bear!  Mostly lining to finish now plus buttons and buttonholes.  Our event is two weeks from tomorrow and I still don’t have his vest finished or a gown for myself!

>Regency Tailcoat

>After spending most of the day yesterday neglecting my duties around here and spending hours and hours handsewing, I’ve got the front of the jacket together!  The body is basted so my husband can try it on and we can make sure it still fits well before I start with the lining and such, but we’ll see how it goes! Crossing fingers…
I’m already really pleased I added 1″ seam allowances on this thing.  This is NOT something I will want to revisit soon. For prior posts on the project see here, here, and here

I have spend an absolutely ridiculous amount of time on this so far.  I was nearly going cross-eyed yesterday! If anyone has the gall at the event to “critique” it, they’ll get a good punch in the nose.  Ok, maybe not- but definitely a cold shoulder a la Elizabeth Bennet.  I drafted up these patterns from The Cut of Mens Clothes and made three muslins to get it to the finished pattern.  My husband and I spent hours scouring the internet and books for coat lengths and found they were pretty much all over the place- so we’re leaving it to the wearers discretion.  This coat dates to the 1820s- and though I miss the wide revers like on earlier coats, Matt prefered the more tailored look to that of the Incroyables.  Maybe, some year, when I’m not sick to death of making a coat I’ll make him a 1790s ridiculous outfit.  I heart 1790s fashion- it was so bizarre.  Look at the fashion plates here by date.
I realized while I was working on this yesterday that I don’ have very good pictures, or pictures of every one of my Regency costumes up on my website.  I really should remedy that soon- my poor website has been so neglected this year.

In other news- the Etsy store has been updated this week with some fun goodies.  There’s a couple more vintage dresses and a few more patterns up! Yippee!

I want to put the word out for the new Etsy store that a wonderful friend just opened- Top Tottie Vintage.  She has some absolutely beautiful things and they just seem to be flying out of the door!  I already bit the lure and purchased this knitting magazine from her this morning- and quickly, since a few other things I loved of hers sold very quickly.  Take a peek! She’s got some glorious McCall patterns up. 
I didn’t get compensated for this mention in any way.  Apparently the goverment now requests that you disclose if you do get compensated for posts, and unless I mention it in the future all reccomendations here are just because I feel like it and I’m getting nothing monetary for their mention.  Silly new rules.

>Sewing, sewing, sewing!

>First off, thank you all SO much for your super sweet comments on my Queens of Vintage nomination! Hooray!  You are all so very sweet, and I was very blessed by your encouraging comments :)

I’ve had a few sewing projects up my sleeve! After a while of not having an excuse to make something silly, nonsensical, or on a whim, I whipped up two quick projects in the last few days.

After finding some awesome dresses for the Etsy store, I realized I needed a light colored petticoat to photograph them with- my bright orange or black and polka dot skirt just wouldn’t cut it, so I whipped up this little off white petticoat in an evening using fabric and lace I had in the Stash of Doom.

I used Simplicity 3813, which I actually have up in my etsy store right now.  I didn’t follow the guide for the ruffles, however, and just made mine up out of straight lengths of tulle edged in a narrow lace.

Last night’s project was a fun wrap dress made from McCall 3514, from 1955.  I actually bought this pattern especially for the fabric.  The print is called “Housework Whenever” from In the Beginning Fabrics.  When it arrived my husband actually asked if I designed it! Hehe- guess it’s very “me”.  It’s printed all over with vintage gals like shown in old ads with funny sayings like “A clean house is a sign of a broken sewing machine” and “When I learned how to sew I forgot how to cook”. So fun!  For trim I have another fabric from that collection that I cut into bias strips and used for the pockets. The ties are trimmed in a twill tape printed to look like a tape measure that I picked up at a local quilting store, Fat Quarters.

I purchased this pattern from KallieDesigns on Etsy, and it has since become one of my favorites!

And finally, the project that never ends.  I put this down for a while because of Christmas prep, but I’ve been slowly ticking away at Matt’s Regency tailcoat.  The inside fronts are almost finished- which is good, cause I’ve got less than a month until the event and still don’t even have a ballgown for myself!

Guess that’s it here! Hope everyone’s having a lovely week so far!

>Regency Tailcoat Progress

>I’ve been working away at the costume I posted about previously that I’m making my husband for the Jane Austen Evening event.  Oh dear! Men’s costume is such a funny step away from women’s costuming.  Generally I know what to do to fix problems, and with a little creative problem solving I have finally tamed the wild tailcoat pattern!  I am using patterns from The Cut of Mens Clothes book and they have taken quite a bit of tweaking to get them to their current state! The vest took two muslins, which I was expecting, and in the end I pretty much ended up draping the front the way I wanted it and made it single breasted instead of the double breasted 1790s vest with lapels like it was originally.  I have saved the other pattern, though, in case we ever want to do another impression!  The coat had three muslins and I finally have it tamable and it’s all ready to go! Just a few more minor adjustments and it will be as good as it will get.
It seems with this project it’s two steps forward and one step back.  First we order fabric, then we remember something else and order that fabric, then that fabric’s not right and I need to order more fabric.  Goodness!  The materials alone for his ensemble are about to the cost of a silk gown for myself!  But the good consolation- I am adding additional seam allowances so that this coat can get some life. For every Regency event we go to I hope this coat can make an appearance, and I hope it comes out looking good enough to show up every time.  For everyone complaining about the cost of custom sewing- let me tell you- I would never ever make one custom.  I would say we’re already a good 12 hours into this project and the fabric hasn’t even been cut!
My husband is thrilled with it so far, and his excitement is contagious, I admit! I really love seeing his face light up- and he loves that I’m taking the time to make something especially for him!
No real pictures of this, but I’ll leave with a close up of the M collar.  Hopefully I’ll have some progress pics soon! I’ll be padstitching my little heart out soon enough and that will give something to show :)