Sometimes it’s the big picture that matters

The in-progress waistcoat for my husband. Full of mistakes that are driving me crazy, but he seems happy with it so far.

I’ve been working on my husband’s 18th century garments again. I’m not going for anything too dressy or accurate. I’m making a quick, affordable version right now just to give me the chance to work out the how’s, what’s, and why’s of men’s wear, as well as give Christopher the chance to see what he likes. Once I feel more confident, I’ll make him some better garments.

I’ve been getting frustrated with the pattern (it’s one of the ones available online — once the waistcoat is finished, I’ll use a link). I don’t particularly like this one for my sewing needs. Either I’m missing some important steps, or it’s a little more difficult than it should be.

I ended up sealing the pockets and using the flaps to hide the fact that they’re fake. I also have had fitting issues with him. I’ve taken so long, he’s gained some weight (which needs to come off again), and I probably messed up somewhere along the way during the few fittings he had time to stand for. Definitely time to make a tape dressform for him.

I already had the construction of the body finished, and ended up having to rip out the neckline and armholes to re-fit them better. I forgot a step, and ended up with wrinkling and a few issues on one side, but even when I did it the right way on the other side, it still wasn’t perfect.

He works from home, so I stuck my head in the study to tell him I’d finally fixed the neck and arm holes, and tacked down the pocket flaps — letting him know to be careful, because the flaps weren’t completely stitched down and could be ripped. He jumped up, wanting to try the waistcoat on and although there is still the issue of the weight gain, he was pleased with the fit.

In fact, he was so excited, he asked me to please get his shirt so he could see how those look together.

He tried them both on together and was downright giddy! I think he’s getting hooked on this costuming thing. I love when his excitement bubbles up like that. It gets to me and helps me keep going.

Even though I personally am not fond of this waistcoat (no photos yet, except the little teaser at the top of this entry, because it’s not finished — still needs something to lace the back up, as well as buttons and buttonholes), I still think it’s a nice surprise for him. He was the one who picked out the fabric for my embroidered mitts, and I know he especially loved it. I ended up having enough of it to make this waistcoat. I don’t quite have enough for another one though, so I definitely want to make this one work.

I also saw something else I want to change. Since his shirt was one of the first 18th century items I had made, and he finally had a chance to try it on with a waistcoat, I have decided to re-do the ruffles around the neck opening.

It didn’t even hit me as hard as it normally would have. You all know the “what!? Yet another thing to fix? I thought I was finished with that!” feeling. Instead, I just felt pleased he’d thought to try them on together so I could fix that detail with plenty of time to spare.

I’m going to hit an antique show this weekend, and sometimes there are old trims, notions, and fabrics. I’m hoping to stock up on anything that could even somewhat pass as useable, even if they’re not a perfect match. If I don’t find anything that would work on the shirt, I’ll just grab some scrap fabric and make a narrower gathered ruffle this time.

In the meantime, although I would like to try to start using better materials and techniques, I need to try to remember that if someone is happy and pleased with what you’re making for them, that’s really the most important thing!

About Cynthia Griffith

I have way too many interests and hobbies, and continually cycle through them -- paying attention to some, while others wait for when I can get around to them again. My main interests are sewing and costuming (I enjoy historical clothing, such as 18th and 19th century, as well as fantasy costumes like elves and hopefully someday even dwarves), as well as getting back to art by drawing fan art of Thorin Oakenshield and Company. My husband Christopher and I spend a lot of time together, enjoying the outdoors and shared hobbies such as juggling. This blog and website is my way to share what I'm up to with friends and family.
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One Response to Sometimes it’s the big picture that matters

  1. Isis says:

    I’ve made one set of clothes for my husband and I found the fitting truly daunting. Just straight lines- no curves. 🙂

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