Sunday, 3 May 2015

1795 Men's Suit Project - Breeches

Pattern: Margot Hill, The Evolution of Fashion.
Fabric: Artificial micro-suede, apparel weight.

Final Size: 33" waist. *As is from the book pattern. I made no alterations to size.

 The pattern is cut on the cross to give mild stretch in the legs. There is no inside seam, of course. This makes size grading a bit funny, but not terribly difficult.

 The frustrating thing about this pattern, however, if that the leg piece measures 31" across, meaning that even with a sound 60" wide fabric you won't be able to fit the piece on a typical selvage to selvage fold. This results in rather a lot of fabric waste. You'll end up having to buy 2.5 yard to get the necessary width, but will be left with quite a bit.

Above are the pieces for the waistband, knee band, and front fly. The waistband is quite thick, 3", with plenty of room to add welted pockets.

If you already know how to make fall front trousers and breeches, there is really nothing special here. The pattern follows the usual line. I, however, did not know how to make them when I started so it was all knew to me.

I started by just sewing the legs together at the center seam, then did the outside seam of each leg. at that point, you have to cut the front flap open according to the lines on the pattern:

Before I started making these breeches, I had learned just the week prior how to make a "gauntlet" style cuff placket [Tutorial here]. Because of that, finishing the edges of the fall that I had just slit proved quite easy. Of course, the Hill book does not come with construction instructions, so having learned this ahead of time was convenient.

But before the plackets on the fall, I had to do the fly. It's basically two triangular pieces that meet under the front fall and button together to close the breeches. Below you see one side of the fly pissing to the slit where I will stitch it. I chose to do the fly pieces double sided, but I often saw them as a single pieces with edges just turned. It depends on how strong your fabric is.

Below I have the "gauntlet" placket pinned so that I can whip-stitch it on the other side. I am terrible at writing tutorials, so if you are unfamiliar with the details of the gauntlet placket, refer to the tutorial I linked above.

Above is the front fall, all bound and top stiched =)

Blow you will see the work I did for the knee band and placket. It's a pretty typical tab placket construction. I hand stitching the channels on the knee band and covered the buttons by hand (not the metal back covering kits).

And finally COMPLETE! =)

 The buttons that you can see while closed are burnished brass, engraved with a coat of arms. The other buttons are just mother-of-pearl, with the rough side turned out.

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