18th Century Men’s Outfit

Butterick B3072

Date Started: January 21, 2012
Date Finished:
Pattern Used: Butterick B3072 & Simplicity 4923
Material: bleached muslin, brocade satin, corduroy

January 20, 2012 – It’s about time!

I will finally be starting this costume for my husband. This was planned for last year’s Costume Ball, but was postponed, as the event temporarily became a women and children event. This year, the event has been pushed back to March 24th, giving me ample time to create this for my husband, and hopefully creating a new gown for myself. Tomorrow morning, I will be up bright and early, so I can start tracing the pattern pieces that I’m going to need. I will be making a few modifications. I will be making the breeches with a front flap, and I will be making a jabot for this. The colors I will be using will be black and silver. I have picked black corduroy, black and silver brocade satin, and bleached muslin for the shirt and jabot. So, here’s goes nothing!

January 24, 2012 – Let the mocking begin!

I spent this past weekend tracking out the pattern. After I got the entire pattern traced and cut out, I decided that I will be switching up the pants. The pants in the pattern Butterick B3072 are basic pants that call for elastic. I have no intentions of using elastic. My thought was to modify the pattern to make the pants drop front. Then, I got lazy. lol. I decided that I am going to use the pants from Simplicity 4923. This pants are very close to be historically accurate. So, I traced and cut out those pants.

Today, I came home from work and dug through my totes to find some fabric to start the mock up process. I decided that I had enough of a black and white checkered fabric to use .  I spent about an hour on cutting and sewing, all the while chatting on the phone to Angie, and making my poor husband drop trow and try them on for fit. I traced a large, and they were baggy in the legs, so far. I didn’t make it to putting the waist band on, I’ll get to that tomorrow night. Once the waist band is on, I’ll be able to tell if I need to truly down size to the medium, or just go ahead and cut the large and take it in. So, we shall see tomorrow evening.

February 13, 2012 – Progress. Finally!

After last week’s sneek attack illness, I was finally able to make it down to the sewing room. After finding the cutting table and my newly set up sewing station under the rubble of reorganization, I was able to get the mock up of the frock coat done. I used a length of dark yellow cotton for this mock.

This is a pattern that is currently still available from Butterick, but when I pulled the tissue paper from the pouch, I knew that this was the original pattern I purchased back in 1998 or so. And, I knew this because of the way the tissue paper was folded. lol. Back then, they folded the tissue paper the way Simplicity does, unlike the unruly mess they are today. Anywho! 😉

I got the mock up fabric cut and sewn in no time at all, especailly since I was just testing the basic pattern pieces: coat front, coat back, upper sleeve and lower sleeve. So far, this pattern is going together fairly easy. I like the over all look. I’m not entirely happy with the way the seam sits at the shoulders, but that is a quick fix.

This evening I will be washing and drying the bleached muslin for the shirt, and cutting the fabric for the breeches and frock coat. As I have vacation this week, starting Wednesday, I will be working to get this costume finished, so I can start on mine.

Oh! I did forget to report on the mock up for the breeches. The large in the Simplicity 4923 was too big. I did end up cutting a medium and making a mock up in a pale yellow. This size fit much better. The only adjustments I will have to make is to shorten the legs by about an inch, and to add an inch to each side at the top. Other than that, they fit beautifully!

February 20th, 2012 – All but done!

I had a very productive 5 day weekend. lol. It was one of those situations of use vacation time or lose it. So, I took Wednesday through Friday off last week and put it to good use. Well, mostly. 😉 I was able to get the shirt done on Thrusday, the rest of the garments cut out on Friday, and the breeches sewn between running to pick up the girls from school and making dinner. And the rest finished on Saturday, before dinner time.

The shirt was fairly easy, as most shirts are. I used bleached muslin for it, one of my favorites. I got it washed and dried on Wednesday, then ironed, cut and sewn on Thrusday. It came together easily, and has a nice clean look. I did work carefully, so I could skip the hand sewing on cuffs and collar. I make sure to match up the ironed-under edges, and top stitched about 1/8″ in from the edge, making sure to catch both sides with the needle. I am down to just buttons and button holes. I’ll be able to finish it once I pick out a set of buttons that I like and will look period correct. I like this shirt, and may make at least one more for him. I will most likely make him a one or two from Simplicity 4923, as well, especially after seeing how the one PJ made her hubby turned out.

Since I did the mock ups of the breeches and frock coat, I knew exactly how they were going to go together. I used a fine, black corduroy for these. Once they were sewn together, they both had a nice, clean look to them. Exactly what I wanted. The breeches just need buttons and button holes. Again, just need to find the buttons I want to use. The frock coat just needs a bit of hand sewing on the cuffes and collar to seal them, and then the buttons and button holes. Once again, just need to find the buttons. I may still take just a bit of the back seams in at the waist line, and that is just to give a more fitted look. For the waistcoat I used the silver and black brocade satin I purchased for this project, last year. lol. I used basic black broadcloth for the lining and the back of the waistcoat. As far as I’m concerned, you only need to use the expensive fabric for the front. It cuts your costs, and it’s period correct. lol.  The only complaint about the waistcoat is that it’s a little too baggy. I will be going back and altering the center back in a manner that is period correct. I will document this when I do it, add it here, and probably do a regular blog post about it. Otherwise, the waistcoat is down to just (you guessed it) buttons and button holes. Need to find the right buttons, or get the ones that you can cover, and use the scraps to cover them. The only thing I haven’t tackled for this costume is the tricorn. I need to pick up the 22 gauge millenry wire needed for it, then I’ll start on it.

February 27, 2012 –  Just about finished!

On Friday, I finally picked out all the buttons needed for this costume. However, I spent most of the weekend working on my underpinnings. I did get the jabot down to just the closures, all the hand sewing finished, the buttons and button holes in the frock coat done, and the button holes on the waistcoat done. I still need to sew the buttons on the waistcoat, and do the buttons and button holes on the breeches and shirt. Just about finished! I will be trying to get this finished up this week during the evenings. Well, as best as I can, since we have a couple of after school performances this week. lol. Hopefully, the next update will be photos of the finished costume on the husband. 😉

March 14, 2012 – Down to the hat!

I finished up the husband’s costume Monday evening. I did the final button holes, got all the buttons sewn on, and the hook & eyes on the jabot done. Since the husband worked late last night, I tormented him this evening to get and made him dress up. It was the perfect evening for it, since we have some extra daylight. lol. I really enjoyed using this pattern. I have further plans to make more garments with this pattern. As we have plan to go to Colonial Williamsburg (someday, hopefully soon), I would like for him to have another outfit or two a little less formal.

I still have the hat to make, but I will be sneaking that in when I can.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Goku says:

    Your work is fabulous, m’lady! I’ve only been sewing for about 7 years and I do enjoy seeing other people’s work.

    For this particular outfit, you used Simplicity 4923, a pattern I am VERY familiar with. The pants…PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE may I see a picture of the completed pants, specifically the front! The coat, waist coat (or vest, if you prefer), and shirt from this pattern I have made several times, they are sooo easy and look so good! Pants are a new venture for me, I am attempting now, and it’s becoming incredibly frustrating. I’m a visual learner, so if I could see a picture of the completed pants, I could figure this mess out. I am finding the pattern instructions vague and confusing at best! Thank you so much for your help!


    1. Tonia says:

      Thank you very much. I do love to sew, even if I haven’t been able to find the time this year. I do hope to get back to it soon. And, I will be more than happy to share photos of the finished pants front with you. Please email me at justblamejane at gmail.com, that way I can send the photos back to you in full size for a better view. Then, if you have any further issues with the instructions or construction, I can try to help you through it. And, I will say that the pattern is very close in historical accuracy, and looks great when finished.

      Thank you for stopping by my humble little corner of the internet. 🙂

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