I took a little break from Costume College sewing last week to whip up some new clothes for my boy to wear to a Bastille Day brunch. First, I made him a little Indienne print waistcoat that would work for both my Curtain-Along project and the Historical Sew Fortnightly "Eastern Influence" challenge. I used a Mill Farm Pattern for his waistcoat, and I thought the pattern made up quite nicely and was definitely worth the very reasonable price that I paid for it. My biggest complaint was that you have to pick one size for the patterns, and since I bought this one 2 years ago, I had to size it up on my own to fit him now. Multi-sized patterns are definitely a plus when working with kids clothes!
this adorable boy's waistcoat from the Winterthur Museum. The front is made from a scrap of my Waverly curtains, and the front lining and the back are made from tan cotton duck. I also used a bit of striped light-weight linen for the lining in the back because I like the idea of using mix-and-match scraps for period linings. I was incredibly lazy and machine sewed and bag-lined the waistcoat instead of using period construction techniques, but it still looks pretty much the same and it saved me a good bit of time.
I also needed to make him an 18th c. shirt, which I am going to count for the HSF "White" challenge. I used the instructions in that same Mill Farm pattern to get me started, although I think I messed something up because the neckline and sleeves are less gathered than I expected them to be. I also had some trouble figuring out how to do the gussets and finish the seams. I am very much a visual learner, and unfortunately, the Mill Farm patterns are quite sparing with their illustrations. I referenced several other sites online to help me wrap my head around it, and I think it all came together okay in the end. I really liked this article by the Northwest Territory Alliance and found their instructions very helpful, even though I didn't follow them exactly.
I made the shirt out of a lightweight linen/cotton blend, and while I used my machine on some parts, I finished everything by hand. I was also excited to be able to use some of my tiny 1920's mother-of-peal shirt buttons from the collar and cuffs. As a finishing touch, I hemmed a triangle of gingham fabric and made a neckerchief to tie around his collar. All of the materials for the waistcoat, neckerchief, and shirt came from my stash.
This outfit is still a work-in-progress, and I hope to make him some drop-front trousers and a jacket sometime this fall. I also made his shirt and waistcoat bigger than necessary, so maybe they will last for a few wearings.